Mr McCarthy is a senior lawyer who has been actively involved in public and church affairs for many years as well as being a member of the Australian Bar.
He has had extensive engagement in university education and governance, sports administration, arts administration, legal aid and professional committees and international charitable and disaster relief activities.
Mr McCarthy was Senior Counsel for the Dunghutti people, appearing as Senior Counsel in their successful native title case in the Federal Court in 1997.
In 2006, Mr McCarthy was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Gregory the Great (KCSG) by the Holy See for services to the Catholic Church in Australia and to the wider Australian community.
In 2012, Mr McCarthy was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the University of Sydney.
Mr McCarthy was born in 1947 in Parkes, NSW and educated at the University of Sydney (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws) and University of Virginia (Master of Laws). He is married with six children.