Garden Court Chambers

Immigration Department

London (Bar)
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Has long enjoyed a reputation as the go-to set for the representation of claimants in the full range of immigration matters. Tenants regularly appear in the most high-profile and significant immigration cases, including country guidance cases and those which significantly challenge legislation and Home Office policy. Barristers here are instructed in cases involving unlawful detention, national security, EU free movement and business immigration, among other issues. Chambers acts for a diverse client roster of asylum seekers, including children and vulnerable adults, victims of trafficking and torture, and high net worth individuals and businesses. Recent cases include KO (Nigeria) v SSHD, a case where the Supreme Court found that parental misconduct was irrelevant when assessing whether their deportation was 'unduly harsh' on the child. Sources say: "Garden Court is a top-flight chambers, and every member is first-rate in terms of their passion and commitment. They combine many years' experience and have people who can do every area of immigration."

Client service: "The clerking service is efficient, friendly and responsive." "Dealing with the clerks and arranging conferences is really easy, and their billing is efficient; it's a slick operation." The practice manager is Lisa O'Leary.

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, as well as in cases concerning family reunion. She frequently appears in the First-tier and Upper Tribunals in complex asylum and immigration matters. 
Strengths: "She's wholly reliable and a sharp thinker who challenges cases and probes areas of weakness while building her clients' confidence." "Excellent at leading complex issues, flexible, responsive, willing to work within short timeframes and executes cases well."

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.
Strengths: "An absolutely brilliant brain and a delight in equal measure. One of the finest legal minds in EU and immigration law of our time." "He is the undoubted authority on EEA and UK nationality law. He is always ready to go the extra mile and undertakes in-depth research for each matter, no matter how busy he is. He provides comfort and confidence to clients but also explains matters to them with exceptional clarity."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant in a test case to determine whether a person of Somali heritage born in Aden during the colonial era should now be considered a British Overseas citizen.

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. 
Strengths: "A wonderful, creatively thinking, passionate advocate who is fuelled by humanity." "She has a first-class legal brain. Her written notes were outstanding and her legal analysis and advocacy were excellent."
Recent work: Acted in a number of immigration appeals and damages claims on behalf of an eight-month-old baby who had British citizenship but was detained with its Nigerian mother by the Home Office.

Anthony Vaughan
Hailed by peers, he routinely acts on behalf of high-profile individuals in challenges against decisions of the Home Office, particularly regarding deportation or removal actions. He also assists in cases concerning deprivation of citizenship, including those with a national security element, and detained fast-track claims. He makes regular appearances before the Supreme Court and SIAC.
Strengths: "He's hugely efficient and is really good at responding quickly to unexpected dilemmas that pop up in a case because he's such a quick thinker." "He's exceptionally good on technical work and highly complex cases involving high net worth individuals."
Recent work: Acted for relatives of Bashar al-Assad in a challenge to the Home Secretary's refusal to give them British passports. SIAC ruled that the Home Secretary had acted unfairly, but that the same decision would have been reached had a fair process been followed.

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. 
Strengths: "I enjoy working with Colin because he is practical and pragmatic, and brings a wealth of knowledge to his work." "He runs a very well-used blog in immigration law and he has one of the widest-reaching grasps of immigration law."
Recent work: Advised Edna Kopoi on an application to the Supreme Court in an immigration appeal.

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.
Strengths: "Excellent is an understatement. My number one person to call, his knowledge is phenomenal in the matters I instruct him in. He's extremely thorough and passionate and you know he's going to fight for you." "Of all the barristers I've engaged he is by far the best at putting clients at ease, explaining their case to them and ensuring they fully understand everything."
Recent work: Acted for the appellant in reference to the Administrative Court, which determined Kirkuk in Iraq, to be contested territory, quashing a judge's decision to override country guidance from a 2015 case, and restoring the appellant's protection entitlement as an Iraqi asylum seeker.

David Sellwood
A popular choice with solicitors, who instruct him in a range of immigration and asylum appeals. In addition to his work in matters before the immigration tribunals, he has experience of Supreme Court proceedings.
Strengths: "He takes complex cases and makes them simple; he's so organised and just gets on with it." "A very bright barrister who works incredibly hard and will certainly do well."

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.
Strengths: "The ultimate in asylum lawyers. He is outstanding in his attention to detail and has excellent analytical skills, including where there is a very complex factual matrix." "He is committed, experienced and has in-depth knowledge of immigration and asylum law."

Edward Grieves
A highly praised junior with a wealth of experience before SIAC. He is also well versed in cases involving the Refugee Convention.
Strengths: "He's got a really thorough understanding of how cases need to be prepared by open representatives in SIAC cases. He's tactically astute, has excellent client care skills and is very, very bright." "A really sensible guy. Lots of juniors don't have a proper sense of realism and objectivity, but he's got that in spades."
Recent work: Acted in a SIAC challenge brought by two students who had been excluded from the UK by the Home Secretary due to fears that they had been involved in an Al-Qaeda plot in Manchester. The case was successful and the exclusion overturned.

Gemma Loughran
Popular among peers, Loughran routinely appears before a range of judicial fora, including the First-tier and Upper Tribunals and the High Court. She has significant experience of handling complex detention and removal cases, and is particularly noted for her provision of expert advice to Somali nationals and victims of trafficking.
Strengths: "Just a really safe pair of hands for pretty much everything. Approachable, down to earth, great with clients and an astute tactician." "My number one barrister of choice for challenges to the Home Office's failure to identify victims of trafficking. She brings so much knowledge to the cases."
Recent work: Obtained an emergency injunction and brought a successful judicial review on behalf of Christopher Richards, in respect of a notice he received, stating that he could be deported to Jamaica within a 14-day window without further notice. Mr Richards was a witness to the death of Carlington Spencer in Morton Hall IRC, and his case attracted the attention of figures including David Lammy MP, who drew parallels with the Windrush scandal.

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. 
Strengths: "He's very clear-headed and his written work is very good. You get a real sense of authority with him in terms of knowing how a case ought to be handled."  "He's very responsive and has a very good understanding of the law in EU immigration cases."
Recent work: Acted unled for the lead claimant in a test case challenging the lawfulness of removals to Italy under the Dublin III Regulation.

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.
Strengths: "She's the best there is: certainly your go-to person in family and immigration law because she's a rare breed who knows her stuff in both areas. She's very calm, she has excellent client skills and her written argument is brilliant." "Brings great legal knowledge to cases but also the wisdom of having so much experience. I would say she's a go-to at the British Immigration Bar with regard to adoption and surrogacy cases."

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.
Strengths: "His level of knowledge of the law is incredible, as is his ability to get through the detail and hit the key issues. He's an expert in the field." "His book on nationality is unrivalled and he has enormous expertise."

Louise Hooper
A promising immigration junior who has garnered peer respect 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.
Strengths: "Very experienced, excellent in immigration detention cases and criminal deportation cases. A real fighter who won't give up."

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. 
Strengths: "An excellent barrister who has technical expertise in pure immigration law and the points-based system, and an encyclopaedic knowledge of asylum law." "He's exceptionally good. If I had a particularly complicated, difficult case, I'd go to him."
Recent work: Represented Saleem Dadabhoy, a CEO who faced deportation to Pakistan, in a judicial review challenge to the Home Office's decision to refuse his application to remain on good character grounds, raising several potential issues with the Home Office's administrative review process.

Michelle Brewer
Acts primarily for victims of human trafficking and unlawful detainment, representing clients in public law, immigration and criminal appellate proceedings. She regularly advises organisations such as the EHRC on anti-trafficking measures. She also regularly advises charitable organisations on the current anti-trafficking measures and procedures. She accepts business and private immigration instructions.
Strengths: "Brilliant, inspirational and very passionate."  "She's unbelievable when it comes to a case involving trafficking or transgender issues."

Nicola Braganza
A junior who continues to receive praise for her work with vulnerable appellants and their families. Her caseload includes complex work regarding trafficking, FGM, domestic abuse cases and asylum-seeking children. She regularly appears before the Upper Tribunal and the Court of Appeal. She is associated with the Athens Refugee Legal Support project.
Strengths: "She's very thorough and quite formidable in her litigation style. I find her to be very focused and passionate about her work. She brings strong, dogged advocacy to the case." "She would be my first choice because she really cares. We deal with very difficult, complex cases and as well as being able to grasp the issue very quickly, she also understands how vulnerable the client is."
Recent work: Acted for a Bangladeshi national in a remitted asylum hearing before the FTT, following a successful judicial review of a previous ruling and adjournment of the first remitted hearing, where the judge showed bias against the appellant at the outset. The appellant was finally able to persuade the tribunal that he was at serious risk if he were to return to his home country, because he was gay.

Patrick Lewis
A truly experienced practitioner who regularly appears before the Court of Appeal and Administrative Court. 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. 
Strengths: "He's incredibly thorough and knowledgeable, always adds something to the case, and is excellent with nervous clients. He's also a very persuasive advocate." "He has a lovely manner and is very calm."
Recent work: Successfully represented a number of individuals whose leave was cancelled following allegations that they had used a proxy to take the English language test required for acceptance.

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. 
Strengths: "Absolutely outstanding in his ability to think commercially, and in his pragmatism, his eye for commercial solutions, and his really broad knowledge. We try to use to use him for absolutely everything." "He was brilliantly prepared, his written submissions were excellent - and we won. His experience really shows and he has encyclopaedic knowledge."
Recent work: Advised and represented RS Global in resisting a decision by the Home Office to suspend its Tier 2 sponsor licence on the basis of alleged infractions of the conditions of the licence.

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. 
Strengths: "Whenever I work with Raza I always have absolute confidence that the client has the best possible chance of success. He is able to very quickly master new cases; he immaculately presents the case and always works from the heart." "An excellent junior who is hard-working and involved in several key immigration and public law cases."
Recent work: Acted in a Court of Appeal case testing the compliance with EU law of the Home Office's policy on the detention of asylum seekers who had already sought asylum in another member state on arrival in the UK. The court found the Home Office's policy to be non-compliant and ruled that the appellants in the case were unlawfully detained.

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. Her strong rapport with vulnerable clients, including victims of domestic violence, trafficking or family separation, is widely respected in the market. She is praised for her work in cases invoking Article 3 ECHR, among other issues.
Strengths: "She is extremely knowledgeable on all aspects of immigration law. She has always been excellent and her appointment as a judge has given her another edge as she's now even better at knowing how a tribunal is going to react to an argument." "She has the combination of being passionately committed to the client as well as organised and focused. Clients know she's 100% on their side, and she delivers."

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.
Strengths: "A go-to barrister who is incredibly clever and can marshal evidence in unappealing circumstances. He has amazing legal knowledge." "Ronan Toal is an excellent lawyer and a very good tactician."
Recent work: Represented a Sri Lankan national in a successful Supreme Court appeal against decisions by tribunals and the Court of Appeal, that wounds he presented as evidence of torture inflicted in his home country were in fact self-inflicted by proxy. The court held that a medical expert's evidence in favour of the appellant had been wrongly rejected, and the asylum appeal was remitted to the Upper Tribunal.

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.
Strengths: "An absolute leader in his field, whose knowledge of Article 8 ECHR is unchallenged. Very much liked by the clients and judges, and leaves no stone unturned." "He's extremely approachable, willing to listen to queries and gives on-point advice which is always extremely relevant and pertinent. He's an excellent advocate too."

Shu Shin Luh
Excellent public law barrister who comes highly recommended for judicial review challenges to the lawfulness of detaining asylum seekers. Her clients are charities, and migrants who claim asylum in the UK on the grounds of torture, trafficking and other human rights abuses.
Strengths: "Our go-to barrister on migrants' rights." "A leading light in trafficking cases," and "excellent for unlawful detention appeals."

Sonali Naik QC
Esteemed silk with a wealth of experience appearing before tribunals and in judicial review proceedings. Her practice focuses on Article 8 ECHR and deportation matters. Recently she has been particularly active in cases concerning the deprivation of nationality. While largely publicly funded, she also acts for private clients. 
Strengths: "She's so clear-headed, it's refreshing; she sees straight through to the point. I've been incredibly impressed by her written work and her determination to get the case as far as we can go with it." "Her communication is really good, and she is very efficient and will respond regardless of how busy she is."
Recent work: Appeared in a Supreme Court case testing the reasonableness of the removal of children from the UK under the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, and to what extent deportation was 'unduly harsh' on the child.

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 human rights claims, unlawful detention matters and deportation appeals.
Strengths: "She's a go-to silk for juniors, whose experience covers the whole range of immigration, asylum and SIAC. She's an excellent and well-researched advocate." "Absolutely brilliant on her feet: a first-class advocate and a fearless tactician. She's great in difficult cases."
Recent work: Successfully represented the respondent in a challenge against a Home Office and SIAC policy of indefinitely imposing strict bail conditions restricting the liberties of those who could not lawfully be detained because there was no prospect of them being deported.