Immigration and asylum
Members of our immigration and asylum law team advise and represent people in applications to the Home Office, appeals in the First-tier and Upper Tribunals (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), bail applications and in applications for judicial review.
With the ‘hostile environment’ and Brexit resulting in many legislative and rule changes and much litigation, as well as scandals such as Windrush, our team has remained dedicated to providing accurate and creative assistance with real sensitivity to the human impact of asylum and immigration decision-making.
We are committed to cases funded by legal aid and members also volunteer their time where pro bono assistance is necessary. Several of our immigration and asylum barristers are public access-trained, which means they can be instructed directly by members of the public in appropriate cases.
The team provides training on a regular basis and members have contributed to Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice and other texts and journals. We also comment in the media on immigration issues.
Protection and human rights: asylum, Article 3 ECHR, statelessness
The team is passionate about asylum work and several members have worked for specialist immigration organisations and firms and/or international organisations including the United Nations, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International before coming to the bar. Our protection and human rights work includes complex humanitarian and medical Article 3 ECHR appeals. Statelessness is another of our areas of expertise and we can advise on freestanding applications under Part 13 of the Immigration Rules as well as arguments arising in protection and human rights claims. We have extensive experience representing vulnerable clients such as victims of torture, clients with serious mental health problems and children, and prioritise the need for them to participate in a way that is safe, enables their voices to be heard and ensures they understand the process.
Members of the immigration and asylum law team have been involved in appeals designated as country guidance and have taken points of law up to the Court of Appeal and/or by way of judicial review. Examples include:
- EP (Albania) & Ors (rule 34 decisions; setting aside)  UKUT 233 (IAC)
- Hussain & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 145
- R (on the application of AM) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (legal “limbo”)  UKUT 00062 (IAC)
- SMO, KSP & IM (Article 15(c); identity documents) Iraq CG  UKUT 00400 (IAC)
- AMA (Article 1C(5) – proviso – internal relocation) Somalia  UKUT 11 (IAC)
- TK (gay man) St Lucia  UKUT 92 (IAC)
- MI (Palestine) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 178
- OO (Burma – TS remains appropriate CG) Burma  UKUT 52 (IAC)
- MST and Others (national service – risk categories) Eritrea CG  UKUT 443 (IAC)
- FA (Libya: art 15(c)) Libya CG  UKUT 413
- R (on the application of Semeda) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Statelessness; Pham applied (IJR)  UKUT 658 (IAC)
Modern slavery, trafficking and domestic violence
We have particular expertise in cases involving modern slavery/trafficking and domestic violence. This includes issues arising in protection claims but cases challenging decisions taken by the Competent Authority and advising on Section DVILR (Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules) applications and decisions.
Notable cases include:
- MY (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1500
- R (on the application of NM) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 2798 (Admin)
- R (on the application of AT) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 2589 (Admin)
- R (on the application of FK) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 56 (Admin)
- AB v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1490 (Admin)
Lucy Mair has also presented a webinar on Modern slavery and trafficking.
Article 8 ECHR: family immigration, deportation
Our immigration and asylum law barristers have extensive expertise in cases involving family and private life (Article 8 ECHR) such as applications to join or remain with family members. We have been successful in cases involving accusations of deception, including ETS cases. We also can advise on fee waiver issues. We act in the particularly challenging area of deportation, where criminal offending is involved. We can provide advice from an early stage about the complex legal issues in this area of law, and the kind of evidence that will be required. We are mindful of the distress caused by family separation and uncertainty over status and strive to explain difficult concepts in a straightforward way and to ensure effective participation and understanding.
- R (Kiarie) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKSC 42
EU law and EU Settlement Scheme
The team over many years has advised and represented EU national clients and their families in applications and appeals, including complex cases involving extended family members, retained rights and derivative rights. We are now supporting and representing clients who fall under the EU Settlement Scheme, including cases where there are pending deportation proceedings. Members of the team who have expertise in housing and social security law advise in cases where entitlement is affected by immigration status.
Reported examples include:
- Fratila v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions  EWCA Civ 1741 and CG v Department for Communities in Northern Ireland  EUECJ C-709/20 (Grand Chamber, 15 July 2021) (means tested benefits for those with Appendix EU pre-settled status)
- Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Gubeladze  UKSC 31,  AC 885 (right to reside in EU law for the purposes of state pension credit).
Judicial review in asylum and immigration context
The team undertakes a wide range of public law work related to its asylum and immigration law expertise, some of which is highlighted above. It includes challenges to refusals of fresh claims, clearly unfounded certificates, negative age assessments, asylum support issues, delay in decision-making, public funding-related cases, unlawful detention claims and urgent removal cases. The team has extensive experience challenging refusals of permission to appeal by the Upper Tribunal by way of ‘Cart JRs.’ We welcome involvement at pre-action stage.
Notable cases include:
- R (AS) v Liverpool City Council  EWHC 3531(Admin) [age dispute affecting accommodation]
- MT and others [challenge to lawfulness of the Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (the Amendment Regulations))
- R (Udah) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 2690 (Admin) [fresh claim and unlawful detention]
- R (on the application of FR (Albania)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 605 [certification as clearly unfounded]
- R (on the application of G & H) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 239 (Admin) [Cart JR]
- R (Gudanaviciene) v Director of Legal Aid Casework & Anr (British Red Cross Society intervening)  EWCA Civ 1622 [exceptional case funding]
The team can advise on British citizenship applications, including in cases involving complicated status tracing, good character issues and where the applicant is a child in care. We also act in deprivation of citizenship cases, both in appeals and judicial reviews.
- R (Din) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1046 (Admin)
Employment and business immigration
Our team of immigration and asylum barristers advise on work and business options for individuals and have undertaken judicial reviews of refusals, for example where ILR has been refused due to issues in HMRC records. We have also assisted educational institutions facing sponsor licence suspensions and revocations. In the county court, we have assisted employers facing civil penalties.
‘Garden Court North Chambers is a ‘go to set’ for all aspects of immigration law. Clients praise the set for the ‘excellent level of client care’, and ‘in-depth training courses’
– The Legal 500, Tier 1 set, 2022
‘Garden Court North Chambers is home to one of the largest immigration teams on the Northern Circuit, and it’s barristers are ‘leaders in their field’
– The Legal 500, Tier 1 set, 2021