Chambers & Partners 2013
Legal 500 2011 (Immigration leading silks - band 2)
Chambers & Partners 2010
Chambers & Partners 2009
Chambers & Partners 2008
Ian started out in criminal law by doing cases of malpractice for the West Indian Standing Committee in the 1960s and was involved in major political trials during the 1970s and 1980s including the Mangrove Nine
, Angry Brigade, Balcombe Street siege, Black parents and students' association cases in London and Manchester, including Jackie Berkeley, Newham Seven, DPP v Rose (HL), Satpal Ram, and the Ordtech (arms to Iraq) appeal case. He has appeared in countless murder and other serious criminal cases, including recent terrorist trials (see recent cases below):
Ian has been involved with race relations and immigration law since the days of opposition to the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962. He was a member of a small group of Society of Labour Lawyers and of the Campaign Against Racial Discrimination (CARD) legal group in the 1960s, which helped draft proposals for race relations law in the United Kingdom.
He wrote his first book for Butterworths on immigration and race relations law in 1969. His bookMacdonald's Immigration Law and Practice is now in its 8th edition [updated 2010] and is the standard textbook used by immigration practitioners, immigration officials, Adjudicators and Judges.
His immigration practice continues to cover the whole field of immigration law, both court work and advice. Ian has been instructed in many of the well-known anti-deportation campaign cases and has been counsel, both as junior and as silk, in numerous reported immigration cases from Immigration Appeal Tribunal level up to the House of Lords, and has been to Strasbourg and to the European Court in Luxembourg. He advises football clubs and other sporting bodies as to overseas professional staff. In 1998 he was appointed by the Attorney General as special advocate to the Immigration Appeals Commission dealing with national security cases, and acted in that capacity in both pre and post 9/11 appeals He resigned in December 2004 in protest against the indefinite detention powers without trial imposed by the Anti Terrorism Crime and Security Act 2001, and has since acted in control order appeals.
Ian has recently been instructed to prepare and argue grounds of appeal to the Supreme Court on the issue of posted workers in the EU. He is also presently involved in a criminal trial in which there are issues relating to posted workers and to the effect of a European Directive on the proper ambit and interpretation of the criminal offence of facilitating a breach of immigration law.
Inquests / race relations
Ian has always undertaken inquest work, acting for bereaved families, since the early days of his practice, appearing at St Pancras Coroners' court on an almost weekly basis in the 1960s. In 1981 he represented families of those who had died in the Deptford fire and became famous for riding his bike from the inquest to the High Court to challenge rulings of the coroner. In 1987 he was appointed chair of an inquiry into racial violence in Manchester Schools, following the murder in the playground of 13-year-old Ahmed Ullah by another pupil. His widely proclaimed report was published in book form under the title Murder in the Playground. In 1998 he was leading counsel for Duwayne Brooks in the Lawrence Inquiry, helped to run community self defence on behalf of young Asian clients, who mobilised to resist attacks by racist mobs on their community in Burnley in 2002, and was briefed with Terry Munyard in autumn 2003 on behalf of the Sylvester family in the Inquest into the death under police restraint of the late Roger Sylvester. Recent cases:
Public law (judicial review)
Undertakes judicial review work relating to immigration, prison law and other civil and criminal law cases. Recent cases:
Nomination as UK Immigration Advisor of the Year (2014) in the High-Value Immigration Awards 2014
Senior Statesman: Immigration: London "Ian Macdonald QC is the author of key immigration practitioners' textbooks. His elevation to Senior Statesman status is in recognition of his long-standing contribution to the field of immigration law." Chambers & Partners 2013 more
Leading Silk: Immigration and Nationality "...highly admired by peers and clients alike." Legal 500 2011, Immigration leading silks - band 2 more
Leading Silk: Immigration "Ian Macdonald QC's practice encompasses the full range of immigration law, and he has appeared in numerous reported immigration cases in the Immigration Appeal Tribunal and the House of Lords. One of the practice's true veterans, he authored a leading textbook in the sector, and has been involved in immigration and race relations since he was called to the Bar." more
Leading Silk: Immigration "Ian Macdonald QC's tremendous reputation for work across the immigration and race relations sector is assured not only through his efforts in court, but also by dint of the fact that he authored the leading textbook on immigration. His personal approach is valued by sources, who comment that his 'affable, outside the box style endears him to peers and clients alike'. Macdonald's varied practice covers the full gamut of immigration advice and representation, from defending alleged terrorists to advising sporting bodies on the procurement of overseas staff" - Chambers & Partners 2009.
Leading Silk: Immigration and Nationality "Ian Macdonald QC is strong on the racial relation aspects of immigration, with expertise on high-profile anti-deportation campaign case" - Legal 500, 2008
Leading Silk: Immigration "Ian Macdonald QC's reputation for sector-defining work in immigration and race relations is assured through his authorship of the leading immigration textbook and his long-term influence on the sector through his own case law. Sources recognise him for his work on the overlap between crime and immigration, noticing his work defending alleged terrorists and appearing on control order appeals in the British and European high courts." - Chambers & Partner 2008
2/10/12 - UK's rejection of Afghan interpreter asylum bid (BBC Newsnight)
21/11/11 - Dereci (European citizenship) case commentary
21/7/11 - "Exploitation" in the context of the offence of trafficking (Lexis Nexis Current Awareness)
Macdonald's Immigration Law and Practice (8th ed, 2010) with Ronan Toal and other members of the immigration team in Chambers
New Nationality Law with Nicholas Blake (1984)
Race Relations: The New Law (1977);
Race Relations and Immigration Law (1969);
The Land Commission Act 1967 (co-author);
Resale Price Maintenance (1964); Ian is on the editorial board of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law and was former consultant editor of Butterworth's Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents; and Nationality and Immigration.
Ian has written numerous articles on (inter alia) immigration, counter terrorism, race and employment law for New Law Journal, IDS Brief Supplements, Oxford Economic Law Review, Race & Class Today, the national media, Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law and for journals in Canada and the United States.
British Representative on the Commission Seciale pour l'Ãtude des Lois Anti-trust (1963-65)
Member of the Commission of inquiry into the disappearance of General Delgado (1965)
Member of the legal committee on inquiry into student sit-ins at Manchester University (1971), Member of independent trade union committee of inquiry into events on the right-to-work march on Friday 19 March 1976, Chairman of inquiry into racial violence in Manchester schools - Murder in the Playground (1988).
Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (President since 1984), Administrative Law Bar Association, Bar European Group and Criminal Bar Association.
Ian was born in Glasgow and remains committed to his Scottish heritage. Friends went to the Scottish Bar and prospered, but apart from reading for the English Bar in the Faculty of Advocates' Library in Edinburgh, and being in a Swiss law firm in Geneva, he has so far stuck to the English Bar, where he has built up a very successful criminal and immigration practice.
Ian started life at the Bar in a very establishment set, specialising in local government and planning law, and had done a bit of teaching at what is now Kingston University. Then he heard of a zany bunch of young radicals who had set up shop in Lincoln's Inn just after finishing pupillage, and rushed to join them. Thus began Garden Court in 1974. Ian has was head of chambers here at Garden Court North, since we were established in 1996 until 2013 and he was also joint head of Garden Court chambers (London) with Owen Davies, until he relinquished the baton in 2002.
French (fluent), some Spanish.
Quick Guide to LASPO 2012 Part 3 (re: crime)
Quick Guide to LASPO 2012 for Housing Law
Quick Guide to LASPO 2012 for Immigration Law
Now on Twitter @gcnchambers
22/10/14 Lucy Mair speaking at Human Rights Lawyers Association careers day Leeds
21/10/14 David Campion on UNISON JR of Employment Tribunal fees
GCN ASB training for Yorkshire Housing Law Practitioners on 6.11.14
10/10/14 Pete Weatherby QC wins Legal 500 Regional Silk Award
9/10/14 Zimran Samuel wins Family Law Junior Barrister of the Year Award
3/10/14 Clerks achieve "first class" recommendation in Legal 500 2014
26/9/14 Legal Aid, Labour and a 'manifesto for hope' (Justice Gap)
Immigration update seminar | Manchester 23.10.14 3CPD
10/9/14 Mark George QC to chair international seminar on Judicial Recusal
10/9/14 Mikhil Karnik joins GCN immigration team
28/8/14 Supreme Court challenge to Cat A prisoner's refusal of oral hearing
28/8/14 No Mad Laws Campaign
13/8/14 3-judge Upper Tribunal panel critical of LAA failure to grant Legal Aid
12/8/14 Rights without remedies: ECtHR ruling on prisoners votes
1/8/14 Clare Ashcroft on BBC Radio4 Woman's Hour
31/7/14 Murder conviction quashed at re-trial
30/7/14 Unlawful council tax reduction scheme judgment - implications for many low income council tax payers
29/7/14 Hilllsborough: latest
22/7/14 Unlawful killing verdict in toddler inquest
21/7/14 "Bricks and mortar" interim accommodation
16/7/14 CART-type JR permission granted
16/7/14 Lucy Mair on Litigants in Person following legal aid cuts
10/7/14 Zimran Samuel expert evidence in Pakistan CG case
9/6/14 Vijay Jagadesham on students and veracity checks
19/5/14 Supreme Court hears IPP Article 5 challenge
24/4/14 GCN's Lucy Mair shortlisted for LALY award
24/4/14 David Campion awarded Master of Laws in Employment Law
28/3/2014 Angry GCN Members oppose CBA decision to discontinue protests against legal aid cuts
19/3/2014 Lucy Mair contributes to BHRC Report
17/3/2014 Zimran Samuel contributes to BHRC report
12/3/14 Kerry Smith Returns from maternity
11/3/14 GCN Sponsor Legal Justice Together: Call for Action
03/3/14 Scott v Pacific Mortgages in Supreme Court
28/2/14 Tom Royston on Bedroom Tax
20/2/14 Police Call Handler Unanimously Acquitted of Misconduct
02/01/2014 Criminal Barristers National Protest
19/12/2013 Breach of PSED in the provision of women’s approved premises
Richard Brigden acting for anti fracking protesters
3/12/2013 MoJ VHCC list clarification
28/11/2013 Employment status of a CoE priest
19/11/13 Leicester City Council v Shearer
> Go to News headlines
6th November 2014 >>
Anti-social behaviour update for Yorkshire Housing Law Practitioners Association
23rd October 2014 >>
Immigration autumn update
29th October 2014 >>
The Solicitors Group Immigration Law Conference
3rd Floor, Blackfriars House, Parsonage, Manchester, M3 2JA