DEPARTMENT PROFILE

Garden Court Chambers

Immigration

27 ranked barristersBand 1London (Bar)UK Bar 2021 View ranking table
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Ranked Barristers

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A highly esteemed immigration set with a strong track record in sophisticated cases at the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and SIAC. Areas of particular strength include complex asylum and deportation matters in the context of European human rights law, but also private, business and high net worth immigration. Members act for a broad range of clients on the claimant side including private individuals, children, families and sponsoring businesses. Recent cases handled by the set include OR v Secretary of State for the Home Department, an out of country deportation appeal concerning a highly vulnerable individual with severe mental illness, and a judicial review challenging the return of an asylum seeker to an EU country. Sources say: "It is the leading immigration set. They have a fantastic ethos: they are completely committed to their clients and they work constructively with instructing solicitors."

Client service:

"We have a good working relationship with the clerks - they are very responsive and get the results we want. Lisa O'Leary is fantastic." "The clerks are super friendly and very responsive. They have great training courses which they offer frequently and all the people who present show such an in-depth knowledge of immigration." The practice manager for immigration is Lisa O'Leary.

Strengths:

Abigail Smith
Draws on her prior experience working for solicitors' firms and previous engagement with various NGOs to offer excellent immigration advice to a diverse clientele. She is often instructed in Article 8 claims and cases concerning family reunion. She frequently appears in the First-tier and Upper Tribunals in complex asylum and immigration matters.
"Abigail goes the extra mile to prepare for all cases and she has such an easy way with clients, which puts them at ease. She really is superb." "Her skeleton arguments are incredibly thorough and impressive."

Strengths:

Adrian Berry
An exceptionally skilled junior whose practice is heavily focused on British nationality and EU free movement law. He routinely receives instructions from large-scale corporations in major commercial immigration matters. He is also praised for his work in nationality law, naturalisation and statelessness.
"He is an intellectual powerhouse. One of the top barristers in the business immigration field. Very pragmatic and very client-friendly." "A first-class forensic mind." "He has incisive and encyclopaedic knowledge."

Strengths:

Ali Bandegani
A highly regarded junior with a strong immigration practice. He is particularly well known for his expertise in public law and human rights challenges to Home Office policy concerning asylum, detention and deportation. He is frequently called upon to represent refugees including victims of torture and individuals with mental health conditions.
"An excellent advocate with a strong grasp of refugee issues and a developing practice relating to strategic public law litigation." "He is extremely bright and knowledgeable and has a lot of experience in immigration and cutting-edge judicial review work."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in R (Miahkel) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, which sought to challenge legal aid rules for immigration detainees, alleging that they discriminated against those detained in prison rather than in an immigration removal centre.

Strengths:

Amanda Weston QC
Leading immigration barrister who routinely acts for high-profile clients in complex citizenship and inbound-travel matters. Distinguished for her commitment to the representation of migrants, she also weights her caseload towards unlawful detention and trafficking work on behalf of vulnerable adults and children.
"She is intellectually razor-sharp, has excellent drafting skills and is a creative and original thinker. She is highly committed to her clients and never worn down or constrained by pressures." "A really effective silk." "A fantastic QC with an excellent reputation for all aspects of immigration law."

Strengths:

Bojana Asanovic
Well-regarded barrister with an interest in EU free movement, gender identity and trafficking cases.
"She is super good on European issues - she really knows that area backwards." "She is extremely intelligent and sees the big picture in cases. Really committed."
Recent work: Acted for AIRE Centre as intervener in R (Hafeez) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, a challenge to the lawfulness of Regulation 33 of the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016, which permit removal of EU citizens before their deportation appeal.

Strengths:

Colin Yeo
An esteemed and popular immigration barrister, he is particularly highly regarded by peers and widely recognised for his editorship of the Free Movement blog. He is known for his handling of EEA claims and has been active exploring the impact of Brexit on free movement. He is also experienced in challenges to deportation and deprivation of citizenship decisions. His client base is varied and includes high net worth private individuals, law centres and businesses of all sizes. 
"Colin is an exceptionally astute barrister; especially good on Brexit-related issues and advice." "His Free Movement blog is very far-reaching; it is a huge and amazing resource."
Recent work: Instructed as junior counsel in a judicial review challenging the fees charged by the Home Office for children registering as British citizens.

Strengths:

David Jones
An accomplished lawyer who is adept at handling immigration, asylum and human rights law at all levels, from the First-tier Tribunal to the ECtHR. Market commentators highlight his strong track record of securing substantial damages for individuals who have been unlawfully detained. He has also represented business migrants and high net worth individuals.
"David is an enormously experienced barrister who fights every case with great passion and skill." "He is exceptional in advocacy - very polite and persuasive in the court."

Strengths:

David Sellwood
A popular choice with solicitors, who instruct him in a range of immigration and asylum appeals and complex judicial review challenges. He is particularly well versed in unlawful detention cases, deportation matters and associated human rights issues. He has often appeared before the Upper Tribunal, High Court and Court of Appeal.
"He is a pleasure to work with. Responsive to emails and telephone calls, on top of the law and very thorough in his paperwork." "He is very knowledgeable and efficient, and really good with the clients."

Strengths:

Duran Seddon
A leading junior with an impressive case history, having been involved in a number of high-profile immigration, asylum and human rights matters before SIAC, the House of Lords and the Strasbourg Grand Chamber. He routinely acts for senior political and business figures in highly sensitive cases.
"He is superb - meticulous in his approach to reviewing material, and always ensures that he understands every aspect of the case." "An excellent advocate."

Strengths:

Edward Grieves
A highly praised junior with a wealth of experience before SIAC, who frequently appears in complex and highly sensitive national security matters involving individuals with alleged links to terrorist activities or groups. He is also well versed in cases involving the Refugee Convention.
"He is very effective on the factual side of advocacy; he has a real mastery of large numbers of complex facts." "He has tons of experience in very intense and complicated SIAC nationality cases and he has an amazingly strategic mind."

Strengths:

Gemma Loughran
Popular among peers, Loughran routinely appears before a range of judicial fora, ranging from the tribunals to the SIAC. She has significant experience handling complex human rights and judicial review claims, including country guidance cases, and those regarding deprivation of citizenship and trafficked individuals.
"She is an extremely effective barrister; the quality of her presentation and her distilling of complicated legal issues is very impressive. She is also a thorough and skilful advocate who inspires confidence in clients and solicitors alike." "She is just so sensible and responsive. She is very pragmatic and always brings the client's best interests to the fore in any decision she makes."

Strengths:

Greg Ó Ceallaigh
He continues to impress peers and clients alike with his flourishing immigration and asylum practice. He offers great experience in areas such as EU law-related judicial reviews, third-country removal and detention matters. He is also well versed in the Dublin III Regulation.
"He knows how to show a client the seriousness of the appeal, but equally not overwhelm them." "He is very, very effective; he knows exactly how to pitch cases in a way that maximises the chance of success." "Works very hard for his clients and presents arguments with clarity."

Strengths:

Helen Foot
An erudite immigration and asylum specialist focusing on nationality and citizenship cases for a range of vulnerable claimants including children, asylum seekers and victims of trafficking. She is regularly called upon to appear in the tribunals and the courts, and has deep experience in deportation matters as they relate to criminal convictions and the protection of human rights.
"She produces excellent advocacy and is very understanding and approachable; good at communicating with clients." "She has a deep, comprehensive knowledge of immigration law and is an absolute pleasure to work with."
Recent work: Represented four children of a Nigerian man convicted of fraud, in Omotosho v The United Kingdom, an application to the ECtHR regarding the rights of children of foreign nationals with criminal convictions.

Strengths:

Kathryn Cronin
A first-class advocate with a wealth of immigration knowledge. She is regularly instructed in asylum and family law cases and has notable expertise in matters concerning gender persecution, trafficking and child-related immigration. She remains a leading light in the crossover between immigration, family and public law. Cronin is admitted to practice in both the UK and Australia. She has made significant contributions to the literature on the subject of family and children's asylum cases.
"She is regarded as a real expert in the field and the courts attach very significant weight to her analysis of asylum law. A very good advocate." "Once Kathryn has taken on a case, one feels certain that she will not let things rest until every avenue has been explored and the case put forward in the strongest possible way. Her clients love her."

Strengths:

Laurie Fransman QC
A celebrated silk with market-leading knowledge of nationality and asylum law. He enjoys a glowing reputation, both domestically and internationally, thanks in part to his significant contribution to leading literature in the area. His areas of expertise within asylum law include complex protection and exclusion cases. He is well versed at representing private clients, particularly from Eastern Europe. He is the founder of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association.
"He is extremely approachable and has the ability to sift through the facts and cut to the point in very complex, heavy cases. He has a remarkable way of explaining issues to clients."

Strengths:

Louise Hooper
Held in high esteem for her expertise regarding sexual orientation and gender-based claims. She routinely acts on behalf of vulnerable clients who have been victims of unlawful detention and trafficking. She is noted for the advice she gives to governments, NGOs and the Council of Europe regarding domestic violence cases and the Istanbul Convention.
"An excellent refugee and immigration barrister with a real passion for the work."

Strengths:

Mark Symes
A quality advocate offering an all-round immigration service, who is noted for his work on international protection. Before coming to the Bar, he worked at the Refugee Legal Centre and he is now best known for appearing in various landmark country guidance asylum cases and judicial review challenges. He has extensive experience before the higher courts, including the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal.
"He is incredibly efficient, full of bright ideas and always balanced and sensible with his advice." "He is meticulous and dependable."
Recent work: Acted for an intervener in KV (Sri Lanka) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, an important Supreme Court case on the approach to medical expert evidence in cases assessing the risk of torture.

Strengths:

Miranda Butler
Offers comprehensive knowledge and skills in a wide range of immigration, asylum, deportation and associated public law matters. She is particularly adept at handling complex challenges against Home Office immigration policy and decisions. She often acts on behalf of vulnerable clients including children and victims of trafficking.
"She is absolutely brilliant: highly knowledgeable, fantastically committed and approachable. A real delight to work with." "Miranda is very thorough and prepares appeals in very good time, always forwarding the skeleton argument well in advance to discuss any possible changes. She takes into account my suggestions and is always ready to discuss the case from every possible angle."
Recent work: Acted for an Iranian asylum seeker, whom the Home Secretary sought to remove to Italy under the Dublin III Regulation on the basis that it was a ‘safe third country’, in a challenge to that decision. The challenge was on the basis of evidence of worsening conditions for vulnerable asylum seekers in Italy.

Strengths:

Nicola Braganza
A junior who continues to receive praise for her work with vulnerable appellants and their families. Her caseload includes complex work involving victims of slavery, torture and domestic abuse. She also has significant experience handling LGBT+ asylum claims. She regularly appears before the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal. She is associated with the Athens Refugee Legal Support project.
"Nicola provides consistently high-quality advice, drafting and advocacy to our clients."

Strengths:

Patrick Lewis
A truly experienced practitioner who handles a wide range of immigration and asylum matters, including matters before the Court of Appeal. He is a commercial immigration specialist who regularly advises both private individuals and large corporations. He has extensive experience with the PBS and regularly handles entrepreneur applications and civil penalties for businesses.
"He is outstanding; his skeleton arguments are utterly terrifying, and the judges love him. An absolute force to be reckoned with." "He is fantastic; really good at explaining things clearly."
Recent work: Represented the appellant in RS (Sri Lanka) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, an asylum case where the Court of Appeal considered the evidence of an escaped detainee who was subject to an arrest warrant and on the stop list, and decided that he did have a well-founded fear of serious harm if he were to return.

Strengths:

Peter Jorro
Highly experienced practitioner with a varied practice covering areas such as the PBS, asylum and EEA law. He is also well versed at handling cases concerning criminal history, family naturalisation and extradition. He counts high net worth individuals, businesses and asylum applicants among his broader clientele. He has considerable experience advising corporate clients in relation to Tier 2 sponsor licences.
"Peter Jorro is an excellent advocate; he is extremely persuasive in court and writes very well. He is able to distil the legal arguments in an extremely succinct and helpful manner." "He has a sharp mind and excellent legal knowledge and responsiveness."

Strengths:

Raza Halim
Employs his background in international development in detention and deprivation of liberty cases, as well as asylum and general immigration law. He frequently appears before SIAC, where he has strong experience of complex deprivation of citizenship and national security-related cases.
"He is very tactful and persuasive in his written work. He succinctly summarises very complex cases." "He is incredibly gifted and has excellent drafting."

Strengths:

Rebecca Chapman
Offers broad immigration expertise and specialist insight into international human rights law. She regularly handles third-country and asylum cases and was appointed a deputy judge of the Upper Tribunal in 2015. She frequently advises vulnerable clients, including children, individuals with mental health conditions or serious illness, and LGBT+ asylum seekers. She has deep experience in cases involving the deportation and extradition of foreign criminals and Article 3 ECHR.
"Her legal knowledge is phenomenal." "Rebecca is extremely experienced but also very down to earth. She makes time to answer questions and support clients." "A strong advocate who has a great rapport with clients."

Strengths:

Ronan Toal
Much respected for a practice that has seen him become a favourite among fellow barristers and solicitors alike. His caseload is varied, with a particular focus on human trafficking and country guidance matters. He is also well versed in cases that concern asylum claims and nationality law. He has strong experience of appellate work arising from immigration appeals.
"He is extremely clever and thinks outside the box to find solutions to difficult situations." "He provides excellent written work, is never underprepared, and is a strategic thinker." "A real immigration brain; his technical knowledge is second to none."

Strengths:

Sadat Sayeed
Routinely handles politically sensitive cases on behalf of high-profile individuals within the political, business and sporting worlds. He is particularly noted for his deep knowledge of human rights and refugee law, regularly advising clients from Eastern European countries. He is adept at handling cases concerning deportation, extradition and international protection.
"He gives great attention to every detail, both legal and factual, and gives his all to ensuring that the case is prepared and argued to the highest standard." "Sadat turns around advices and other work very quickly, has an excellent rapport with clients and can explain his advice very clearly." "The quality of his written work and advocacy is unsurpassed."

Strengths:

Sonali Naik QC
Esteemed silk with a wealth of experience appearing before tribunals and in judicial review proceedings. Her practice has a strong focus on test and country guidance cases. Recently she has been particularly active in cases concerning the deprivation of nationality. While largely publicly funded, she also acts for private clients.
"She is very persuasive on her feet and impressive at winning the court around, even in difficult cases." "A fantastic QC - a real fighter for justice with tremendous knowledge and experience, particularly in connection with nationality law."
Recent work: Appeared before the Court of Appeal in a preliminary issue hearing against the decision of the Upper Tribunal, in AS (Safety of Kabul), a country guidance case about internal relocation in Afghanistan.

Strengths:

Stephanie Harrison QC
Highly esteemed barrister who is particularly well known for her adroit handling of the most complex immigration and asylum matters. She frequently appears in the highest courts in landmark immigration cases, such as national security matters and deportation appeals. She has a strong track record in bringing sophisticated challenges to Home Office decisions by way of judicial review.
"She is formidable and ultra-robust; she doesn't give an inch and pursues the Secretary of State as if her life depends on it." "An absolute heavyweight in court with sublime advocacy skills." "She is really fantastic; she has great strategic oversight and is able to strip down legal issues and get to the really crucial points."
Recent work: Acted for a claimant in the judicial review challenging the Home Secretary’s proposed investigation into immigration detention abuse at Brook House.

Immigration Department

Garden Court Chambers

firm
Department location

57-60 Lincoln's Inn Fields

London

Greater London

UK

WC2A 3LJ

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Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)

London (Bar)

Immigration


Amanda Weston QC
Band 2
Laurie Fransman QC
Star Individuals
Sonali Naik QC
Band 2
Stephanie Harrison QC
Band 1

Juniors

London (Bar)

Immigration


Abigail Smith
Band 2
Adrian Berry
Band 1