Paul Laverty was born in Calcutta, India, to an Irish mother and Scottish father. He obtained a Philosophy degree at the Gregorian University in Rome. Thereafter he obtained a law degree at Strathclyde Law School, in Glasgow.
During the mid 1980s he travelled to Nicaragua and lived there for almost three years. He worked for a Nicaraguan domestic human rights organisation which provided hard evidence of human rights abuses during the war between the Marxist Nicaraguan Government (The Sandinistas) and the United States backed "Contras" in which the subject of human rights became highly contested. He travelled to the war-zones and obtained corroborated eye witness accounts which were passed on to international human rights organisations. He also travelled widely in El Salvador, during its civil war, and Guatemala too. (His interests in Latin America affairs continued much later with long research trips to Chiapas in Mexico, and along the US - Mexican border concentrating on the city of Juarez.)
After his time in Central America Paul made contact with director Ken Loach as a result of which he wrote Carla's Song, his first screenplay, starring Robert Carlyle, followed by My Name is Joe in which Peter Mullan won best actor in the Cannes Film Festival of 2000, followed by Bread and Roses, shot in Los Angeles, starring Adrien Brody. Laverty's next script, Sweet Sixteen won best screenplay award in the Cannes film festival of 2002. Laverty and Loach have a very close working relationship now spanning over ten years. Laverty has written five full length feature scripts and one short directed by Ken Loach and they have several other projects in development. Both work closely with producer Rebecca O'Brien.
Before writing he likes to immerse himself in the world of the film and carries out detailed research before writing the first draft. While he continues to work with Ken Loach he has other feature projects in development with other directors.