Matrix Chambers

Immigration Department

London (Bar)
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Strong public law set with a broad immigration offering. Members regularly appear in the Supreme Court, the CJEU and the ECtHR. They are instructed by high net worth clients and leading sports personalities as well as asylum seekers, victims of trafficking and detainees. Recent work has included a Court of Appeal hearing in the case of Pham, a suspected Vietnamese terrorist living in the UK, whose protracted appeal against the deprivation of his citizenship had previously brought the question of the existence and function of European citizenship before the Supreme Court.

Client service: "Their clerking teams really are a cut above: extremely capable, well organised and well resourced." "I know all the clerks very well and my interactions with them are always smooth and easy."  The clerking is led by practice director Jason Housden.

Chris Buttler
An established public law barrister, he is noted for his work in detention and removal cases. He is also praised for his handling of torture and trafficking cases. He regularly acts on behalf of individuals in the High Court and Court of Appeal and is particularly highly regarded for his adept representation of vulnerable clients. 
Strengths: "Tipped for future stardom – he has a very direct style in court which judges like. He's incredibly targeted in his drafting and pares the case down to its bare essentials." "He is able to analyse the law in such a technically impressive manner that judges and opponents find it hard not to agree with him. We specifically like him for his intellect and fierce advocacy in court."
Recent work: Acted as lead counsel in a challenge to the Home Office's decision to cut financial support for victims of slavery from £65 per week to £37.75 per week. The court ruled that the cut was unlawful, since there was a duty not to allow victims to fall back into the hands of traffickers, and ordered repayments of over £1 million to the victims.

Hugh Southey QC
Exceedingly popular among top-flight solicitors, he specialises in human rights and immigration matters. He regularly appears in the highest courts in test cases regarding SIAC decisions, EU law and unlawful detainment. His immigration practice is complemented by his broader prison law expertise. 
Strengths: "Hugh is incredibly approachable for a silk, and his down-to-earth manner draws clients and solicitors to him. He is incredibly sharp, but is also empathetic and has a unique ability to think outside the box." "He's an excellent leading counsel. He's able to take a lot of papers, ideas and arguments and set them out really clearly and persuasively, and works really well to tight deadlines."
Recent work: Acted in a Court of Appeal case to consider the question of whether a person could be denied a UK passport on the basis of a threat to national security.

Nicholas Armstrong
Has a wide-ranging immigration practice that routinely sees him appearing in test cases regarding national security. He demonstrates further skill in deportation cases and is at the forefront of English language testing cases. He is increasingly sought after for his expert advice to businesses on matters such as Tier 2 sponsorship licences and illegal working after Brexit. He operates a strong practice in cases challenging immigration detention practices.
Strengths: "An excellent jury advocate who is articulate, incredibly clear and very good at breaking down and conveying complex material with great simplicity." "His solicitor background gives him excellent insight into taking instructions and lateral thinking."
Recent work: Brought a challenge to Rule 35 of the Detention Centre Rules, which was designed to bring vulnerable detainees to the attention of Home Office decision makers, but which was found to have led to no reports on detainees at risk of suicide.

Raza Husain QC
A world-class public law practitioner held in the highest esteem by peers and clients alike. He is particularly renowned for his adroit handling of human rights and asylum cases. As a regular feature in the Supreme Court and increasingly in EU courts, his caseload includes complex work for refugees and prominent high net worth individuals.
Strengths: "He's charming to be against and is very, very knowledgeable on immigration law - a great advocate."
Recent work: Acted for the claimants in R (Bashir) v SSHD, a Supreme Court case to determine whether the UN Refugee Convention applied to the Sovereign Base Areas (SBAs) in Cyprus, and whether it thereby entitled refugees living in the SBAs to be settled in the UK.

Samantha Knights QC
Comes highly recommended by peers and solicitors, who recognise her work in ground-breaking immigration cases. She also offers expertise across national security and deportation matters, having appeared before SIAC. She is also noted for her expertise in refugee and trafficking law.
Strengths: "She's very thorough and really good to work with." "I was impressed with her written work and her responsiveness."
Recent work: Acted in a case challenging the Home Office's treatment of a Lithuanian national who was trafficked into prostitution in the UK. The case concerned the unlawful detention of victims of trafficking, and considered the extent to which EU refugee law provided for them.