Immigration - London (Bar)
This set is recognised as having the greatest collective immigration expertise in the market. In terms of depth and experience, its members hold sway, and instructing solicitors turn to them time and time again. Sources note that "the ethos of the set is excellent – they go above and beyond the call of duty. Pro-migrant, they make sure everybody, whoever they are, will get the right representation."
Client service: "The set has some really outstanding barristers, and the general service and clerking are very good."
Ian Macdonald QC
Hugely experienced and a man with an excellent reputation. His recent cases have included a number pertaining to the removal of sponsor licences from colleges.
Expertise: "He's so experienced – he literally wrote the book on immigration law."
Laurie Fransman QC
Highly rated by barristers and solicitors alike, he is the "guru on nationality issues" and has "unmatched knowledge," making him the first port of call for many.
Expertise: "He's an absolute joy to work with and a very impressive advocate." "We seek opinions on highly sensitive matters from Laurie, based on his pre-eminence and depth of experience."
Recent work: Acted in an appeal before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) looking at the immigration status of a high-profile Algerian businessman who had fallen out with the Algerian president.
Stephen Knafler QC
Maintains a busy immigration practice and regularly appears in front of the Supreme Court, ECHR and ECJ.
Expertise: Solicitors praise his collaborative approach, noting that "he is eager to get everyone involved in the case and willing to listen to everybody's arguments." "He's a very good lawyer, who doesn't take stupid points."
Recent work: Appeared in R (Brown), a case concerning Jamaica's designation as a country with no risk of persecution, despite its widespread discrimination against LGBT individuals.
Stephanie Harrison QC
"A guru on immigration law" who "knows everything there is to know about it."
Expertise: "She has great wisdom and judgement. She has the ability to deal with very sensitive cases and handles clients with immense calm and wisdom." "In court she's capable of delivering knockout blows."
Recent work: Led a SIAC case on the removal of British citizenship whilst an individual is abroad, particularly in circumstances where this may lead to worse treatment by the country of residence.
Her knowledge on the crossover between family and immigration is "invaluable." She is the first choice for "complex family appeals" and "one of the few barristers you can instruct on international adoptions." Capable of handling the full range of immigration work, she is "amazing all-round and as good as a barrister can be."
Expertise: "Calm, clear and loved by clients."
Recent work: Handled a significant third country removals case in front of the ECJ which clarified that the UK must look into asylum claims of unaccompanied children, even if asylum has previously been sought elsewhere.
Navtej Singh Ahluwalia
Many solicitors' first port of call for immigration and judicial review. Experienced in all areas, he is praised for his knowledge of the points-based system (PBS) and his "great grasp of the changes that have gone on in the past few years."
Expertise: "Navi is a great advocate, who is very persuasive and can be charmingly aggressive."
"Has great attention to detail, and wins cases where other barristers may struggle."
Recent work: Appeared in MF Nigeria, succeeding in convincing the court to reject the government's attempts to define the circumstances in which Article 8 would apply to immigration appeals.
Has a great deal of experience in immigration law and is particularly good at those issues with a family law angle. She "continues to be the counsel of first choice in cases involving spouses," and is noted for her client care, particularly when it comes to vulnerable clients.
Expertise: "She has a fantastic rapport with clients and is extremely bright." "She brings years and years of experience to the work." Recent work: Advised the appellate in MM (Zimbabwe), regarding a paranoid schizophrenic faced with deportation.
Brings a huge amount of experience to the table and specialises in the most complex legal issues. He is well known for his work involving highnet worth individuals with asylum claims.
Expertise: "He produces excellent written work, and he thinks very clearly and deeply about Home Office cases." He has the much sought-after combination of "technically ability" and the ability to "build inter-personal relationships."
Advises on all areas of immigration law, handling cases up to and including the Supreme Court. Described as a "super brain at the top of his game," he is an "excellent barrister" who has been involved in some very high-profile work.
Expertise: "Supremely clever and authoritative, the clients have confidence in him straight away." "Working with him is easy, as he always works within deadlines and he's diplomatic when he thinks something is wrong."
Recent work: Successfully argued that the deportation of a critically ill woman would breach her human rights as it would almost certainly lead to her death due to a lack of medical care.
The "guru on European immigration issues." He has handled many of the largest cases in the past few years and is regularly instructed because of his technical ability and fantastic knowledge.
Expertise: "Thorough and highly knowledgeable." "In EU law he really is the person."
Recent work: Handled a case concerning the interplay between family and immigration courts. This matter established that before deportation can be considered, the best interests of a child must be taken into account.
Active in all areas of immigration law, including PBS and EEA matters. He practises at all levels, and has an active workload in the higher courts.
Expertise: "An affable chap who gets good results. He's very responsive." "Technically great and very knowledgeable, he has a very articulate way of conveying that knowledge to clients."
Recent work: Handled a country guidance case on Pakistan and the dangers faced by the minority Ahmadi Muslim religious group.
Focuses on immigration matters with a human rights slant but also has a growing commercial practice.
Expertise: "A dedicated barrister" who is "very good at handling tricky cases that others might not be too keen on."
Recent work: Instructed on behalf of the family of Jean Charles de Menezes after three members of the family were faced with deportation despite a long period of residence.
Highly rated by peers for her work on immigration and asylum matters, she is regularly instructed on judicial reviews and cases before the Court of Appeal. Has recently been involved in country guidance cases relating to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Expertise: "Approachable and easy to work with."
Recent work: Challenged the Secretary of State's decision to remove an Iraqi national before the pending decision in an Iraqi country guidance case.
Handles the full range of immigration law but is especially experienced in politically sensitive asylum and human rights matters for high-profile businesspeople. Has further expertise in detention cases and is said to be "incredibly dedicated" to this work.
Expertise: "Clients love him and he doesn't stop until his case is as good as it can be."
"He's really good with vulnerable clients."
Has a wide immigration and asylum practice, and has recently been involved in a number of unlawful detention cases.
Expertise: "His written arguments are always very good."
Recent work: Acted for a member of a group that hijacked a Sudanese plane in 1996 and was subsequently denied indefinite leave to remain despite other group members being allowed to stay.
Has a mixed practice and regularly takes on both business immigration matters and human rights-focused cases. She is a particular expert on cases involving victims of trafficking.
Expertise: "A real fighter."
An immigration and human rights specialist with particular expertise on the rights of children.
Expertise: "Quiet but persuasive," she is known for her commanding advocacy.
Receives praise from senior barristers for her practice. She works across all areas of immigration law, including matters pertaining to nationality and deportation.
Expertise: "Her background as a former lawyer at ECHR really shines through."
Recent work: Appeared in HM, a noteworthy country guidance case on Iraq.
An expert in refugee law and a "real expert on asylum matters." He is often instructed on country guidance cases and has a good knowledge of other jurisdictions.
Expertise: "Dynamic and brilliant."
Recent work: Acted in EM (Eritrea), a noteworthy case on third country removals and the interplay between the ECHR and the ECJ.
A skilled immigration and asylum junior who is regularly sought out by some of the leading solicitors in this area.
Expertise: "She continues to impress as she combines skilled advocacy with excellent client care."
Has a wide-ranging practice and regularly represents both clients in asylum cases and high net worth individuals.
Expertise: "He is clear, to the point and practical, which is always an important skill, particularly in immigration matters." "I have found him to be very thorough and responsive. The clients like him and feel confident in his ability to represent them."
Recent work: Continues to act for Tamils faced with deportation to Sri Lanka.
"Sparky and imaginative" in the way that she deals with some of the most difficult cases involving terrorist suspects and reoffending foreign criminals.
Expertise: "It is important to go the extra mile and she does." "Takes the most difficult cases, and is a leading radical lawyer." Recent work: Advised in AH (Algeria) v SSHD.
Despite her relatively recent call year, she is highly praised by her more senior peers. Her practice encompasses all aspects of immigration law and takes in a number of detention cases.
Expertise: One peer reported: "I was up against her and was extremely impressed. She was very able."
Recent work: Advised a respondent known as MG in a case involving permanent residence and whether periods of imprisonment ought to be taken into account.
The leading public law set in the country, Blackstone is home to some of the most noteworthy immigration barristers. Its immigration expertise is buttressed by its members' unparalleled knowledge of human rights and civil liberties law.
Michael Fordham QC
The "undoubtedly excellent" Fordham is a leading light at the Bar, who is often instructed on the most noteworthy immigration cases.
Expertise: "A genius. It's only a matter of time before he becomes a judge."
Recent work: Acted for the claimants in a case in which it was argued that apolitical individuals would face persecution if they returned to Zimbabwe as they would not be able to positively prove allegiance to ZANU PF.
Monica Carss-Frisk QC
Acts for the government and for claimants on a range of immigration and asylum issues. She regularly appears in the ECHR and the Supreme Court on complex test cases.
Expertise: "She entirely has the ear of the court."
Recent work: Acted for the claimants in the third country removal case EM (Eritrea).
Dinah Rose QC
Handles complex work involving national security issues. She is known for her fantastic human rights and public law practice, and is well known for her crossover immigration work in this area.
Expertise: "A superb cross-examiner and a barrister with nothing left to prove."
Recent work: Acted for the claimant on a SIAC appeal concerning proposed removal to Algeria, and the consequent risk of torture.
David Pannick QC
One of the standout silks at the Bar, and a man who maintains a healthy immigration practice.
Expertise: "He is an extraordinarily impressive advocate. When you have a case that requires you to pull out all the stops you simply have to select the best of the best, and he's just that."
Recent work: Undertook a couple of foreign domestic helper cases in Hong Kong, one in the Court of Appeal and the other in the High Court.
Doughty Street is highly praised for its immigration practice. Barristers at the set are often sought out for their wide-ranging expertise, and handle matters as diverse as legally aided asylum appeals, and Tier 1 applications for high net worth individuals.
Client service: "The clerking team is very professional, efficient and courteous."
Judith Farbey QC
Regularly instructed on all aspects of the PBS and routinely handles Tier 2 and Tier 4 matters for businesses and individuals. She has noted expertise in sponsor licences for foreign students. Also has a strong detention practice, and is praised for her work as a special advocate.
Expertise: "Excellent with both the detail and the bigger picture." "Absolutely excellent, she's very clever and easy to work with. Lots of barristers are lastmin.com but she's hyper-prepared."
Recent work: Instructed by the NUS on an intervention into the judicial review concerning the removal of London Metropolitan University's sponsor licence.
Highly praised by fellow barristers with one in particular stating that she is in a league above many other juniors. Dubinsky has a wide immigration practice and works at all levels, from tribunals to the Supreme Court.
Expertise: "Utterly tenacious, she's clever and fearless. She takes difficult cases to the very top."
Recent work: Challenged the UK government's policy of indefinite detention for foreign national prisoners pending deportation.
Has a complex caseload in the UK and Europe. Praised by his peers, his practice encompasses the full range of immigration and asylum law, and he is regularly instructed on judicial reviews.
Expertise: "He's not afraid to tackle the most complex issues."
Recent work: Acted for Refugee Action in its intervention in a judicial review challenging Home Office policy on the distribution of asylum support.
Has a wide-ranging immigration practice and is considered an expert on asylum law. He is regularly instructed on cases involving Tamil refugees.
Expertise: Barristers and solicitors alike praise him for his "thorough and detailed" approach.
Recent work: Appeared in a Sri Lankan country guidance case relating to allegations of widespread torture of Tamils upon repatriation.
Maintains a varied immigration practice. He regularly appears in human rights and asylum cases, and also has a burgeoning business-focused workload.
Expertise: "A barrister who's definitely moving upwards."
Recent work: Acted as junior in a case concerning the standstill clause in the EU-Turkey association agreement and whether this could be relied upon by a claimant who had breached the conditions of his stay.
Mixes a human rights and asylum practice with work for corporate clients and high net worth individuals. He is popular with solicitors, who describe him as "amazing" and someone they would go to for anything.
Expertise: "Can handle a human rights case one day and an entrepreneur matter the next. He does a good job and is liked by his instructing solicitors." "Has an excellent brain and establishes good rapport with the client."
Recent work: Advised in Young v Young, £400m ancillary relief proceedings in the High Court, counselling the wife on opposing an application by her husband for the return of his passport.
Regularly instructed on both private and legally aided matters. He has particular expertise in detention cases and immigration matters with EU law elements.
Expertise: "He's always good if you've got a fight on your hands with a deportation."
Recent work: Represented a Turkish national who was threatened with deportation following redundancy. Successfully argued he ought to be allowed to remain as a self-employed businessman under the EU-Turkey association agreement.
Described as "one to watch" by peers, she punches above her weight and is popular with solicitors and NGOs. Experienced in EU law, she has a particular specialism in cases involving vulnerable individuals such as children and victims of trafficking.
Recent work: Advised on a reference to the ECJ on the citizenship directive's five-year residency requirement and whether a period in prison could be taken into account.
A very strong junior who is particularly strong on the human rights and immigration crossover.
Expertise: "Provides valuable input," and is noted for his "eager and keen" approach to difficult cases.
Recent work: Undertook a country guidance case concerning Pakistan and the threat of persecution faced by members of the minority Ahmadi religious group.
An immigration and asylum specialist who is tipped to go a long way.
Expertise: "Very imaginative and great with clients." "She's great to work with, thorough and very thoughtful." "She's completely collegiate, and shares her information and knowledge."
Recent work: Appeared as co-counsel for an appellate in the MP Sri Lankan country guidance case concerning the threat of torture faced by returning Tamils.
Has a busy immigration practice and regularly takes on cases with human rights or criminal law elements. As a junior, she is involved in some high-profile and complex matters, including cases in SIAC.
Expertise: "She produces incredibly detailed written work."
Recent work: Led by Dinah Rose QC on a judicial review concerning the fast-tracking of the claim of a Ugandan asylum seeker.
This heavyweight public law chambers is known for its work on some of the most cutting-edge immigration cases. The set punches above its weight in terms of the quality of cases handled by its barristers.
Raza Husain QC
One of the eminent names in the field and considered to be "the leading claimant immigration QC" because of his "extraordinary knowledge." He regularly appears in complex cases in the Supreme Court and Luxembourg.
Expertise: "A fighter, who is really intelligent and knows his stuff backwards."
Recent work: Appeared in RT (Zimbabwe), which concerned the right to hold no political opinion and still receive protection under the Refugee Convention.
Hugh Southey QC
A very prominent claimant silk, who recently joined the set from Tooks Chambers. He has been involved in some important and high-profile cases, and is highly praised by his peers. He carries out a raft of immigration work with crossover elements in human rights, criminal and prison law.
Expertise: "A brilliant silk to work with – he's seen a lot in his time."
Recent work: Advised the appellate in ZZ, arguing that SIAC proceedings had breached EU law.
Regularly acts in crossover immigration cases involving detention and social security. He also has a growing business immigration practice and is praised for thinking of novel approaches to this work.
Expertise: "Very good – he used to be a solicitor and his practice very much benefits from that." "He is very hard-working and hyper-committed."
Recent work: Acted in the Court of Appeal case of AM (Angola) on the detention of torture victims.
Acts in all areas of immigration law, and has a wealth of experience in handling cases with a civil liberties and human rights slant. She works at all levels, and regularly appears in cases before the higher courts and in Luxembourg.
Recent work: Intervened in Al-Sirri on behalf of UNHCR. This case concerned the scope of A.1(F)(c) of the Refugee Convention.
Barristers at this set are known for their work on behalf of the Treasury Solicitor (TSol). It is the standout chambers for government work and has expertise across the full spectrum of immigration law.
Lisa Giovannetti QC
Regularly works for the government on immigration cases relating to national security issues. She also acts for individuals, and handled the recent high-profile case concerning displaced Chagos islanders.
Expertise: "An effective advocate who is good at dealing with difficult and emotive issues. She manages to put a respondent's case in a way which is sympathetic."
Recent work: Represented the Secretary of State in a test case concerning new immigration rules concerning foreign spouses.
Steven Kovats QC
Regularly instructed by TSol on immigration matters, and also maintains a busy claimant practice. He is regularly instructed on cases in the higher courts, including hearings in Strasbourg and Luxembourg.
Expertise: "A very robust advocate." "He instils clients with confidence from the outset."
Recent work: Advised the Home Secretary on an appeal concerning the refusal of refugee status to individuals from North Korea.
Eleanor Grey QC
Has a strong general public law and immigration practice, and regularly acts on cases at the cross-roads of the two areas.
Expertise: "She is incredibly meticulous, judicious and direct in her dealings. She's also intellectually very powerful."
Well regarded by peers, he is regularly instructed on behalf of and against the Secretary of State on the full spectrum of immigration law. He repeatedly appears in the High Court and Court of Appeal.
Recent work: Appeared in the Court of Appeal, successfully submitting that individuals who have been deprived of their British citizenship while abroad have no right of return to contest the decision.
1 Pump Court has been involved in immigration work for a long time now and is seen to be further enhancing its presence in the market. It has barristers on hand at all levels of call who can tackle immigration and asylum cases of every stripe. Matters are handled all the way up to the Supreme Court and ECHR, and judicial review challenges are routinely undertaken. Gender-related persecution, trafficking and detention are particular areas of specialism. The barristers here are "unfailingly conscientious, knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with."
An immigration and human rights specialist.
Expertise: "Calm, thorough, and able to make the best of a doubtful case." "Good on the law and good with people."
"Head and shoulders above the majority at the junior Immigration Bar," he has recently been busy with work relating to third country removals.
Expertise: "Super-committed – he puts so much into his cases and gets really really good results." "He's passionate about his cases and a brilliant drafting machine. Works wonders with vulnerable clients and fights to the last on their behalf. He can make the most unappealing case become incredibly sympathetic."
Recent work: Acted in EM for three claimants in the Court of Appeal in fighting proposed removals to Italy.
An immigration and asylum specialist with a particular focus on the judicial review of immigration cases.
Expertise: "A very experienced barrister with great experience of the higher courts and skill at handling detention cases."
Recent work: Appeared in a judicial review questioning the detention of a former prisoner with mental health issues.
Has wide-ranging immigration expertise and regularly deals with cases involving victims of trafficking.
Expertise: "She is very hard-working and very easy to work with." "A kind-hearted human being first of all, and will do her best to alleviate her client's suffering."
A generalist immigration practitioner with a particular focus on unlawful detention, deportation and complex asylum cases.
Expertise: "Amongst the best there is when it comes to immigration detention work at the moment." "He has the ability to keep tiny details organised in his mind even when the case has been rolling along for years."
Recent work: Appeared in LK (Somalia), which concerned a challenge to detention where there was no reasonable chance of deportation.
An extremely strong immigration practitioner known for her expertise on cases involving past deception.
Expertise: "An expert on misrepresentation matters. Also very good at representing vulnerable trafficked women."
The set debuts in the rankings this year thanks to the strength of its immigration practitioners and the expertise they have across a wide range of specialisms. Members are active on cases both for and against the government.
Client service: "They are very receptive – no matter how busy they seem to be they will always get back to you. This is a good, friendly set of chambers."
Has a thriving immigration and asylum caseload, and has recently received a raft of instructions on immigration detention.
Expertise: "Very intelligent and very user-friendly."
"Really coming into his own and getting a lot of high-profile work at the moment."
Recent work: Appeared in AL (Albania), a landmark decision on costs in public law cases.
Has a mixed public law practice with a substantial immigration workload attached to it. He is particularly strong on immigration-related judicial reviews.
Expertise: "Really good on immigration detention."
Recent work: Represented three separate Chinese nationals faced with the threat of deportation based on incorrect identity information.
Regularly works for individuals and the government on a range of public law cases.
Expertise: "She is a fearless fighter; she has a soft touch when dealing with her clients but represents a stiff challenge to her opponents. She always puts clients' interest first and genuinely treats the case as her own."
Recent work: Appeared in a judicial review and obtained interim relief for the return of a claimant from Azerbaijan who had been removed on the incorrect basis that their claim had been withdrawn.
Represents claimants and the government on cases covering the full spectrum of immigration law.
Expertise: "Known for doing government work in this area." "He is very good and well liked by solicitors."
Recent work: Appeared for the Secretary of State in JD (Congo), which defined the boundaries of appeals to the Court of Appeal from the Upper Tribunal.
An immigration specialist with crossover knowledge in matters involving EU law. He is an expert on unlawful detention.
Expertise: "Very user-friendly and very good. He's a good one to go to for the more unusual cases."
Recent work: Advised the claimant in SG (Iraq), which clarified the circumstances that the tribunal could stay proceedings where there is a pending country guidance case.
Angus McCullough QC of 1 Crown Office Row
A Special Advocate involved in significant SIAC cases. By way of example, he successfully appeared in the case of Zatuliveter, the Russian accused of spying who had been a Parliamentary researcher for an MP.
Expertise: "He is very clever, incredibly straight and very robust."
Recent work: Acted as a Special Advocate for Abu Qatada in SIAC.
Jeremy Johnson QC of 5 Essex Court
Focuses on work for TSol and practises across the gamut of immigration law.
Expertise: Peers comment: "He's very good to be against – he is fair and puts across difficult cases from the government's point of view." "He is a class act, as he is both principled and a wonderful opponent."
Recent work: Appeared for the Secretary of State in SK (Sri Lanka) concerning the limits of the Refugee Convention for people associated with war crimes.
John-Paul Waite of 5 Essex Court
Well known and well respected for his immigration caseload on behalf of the government.
Expertise: "Effective, quick in his turnaround of papers and very pleasant in his demeanour."
Recent work: Appeared for the government in a case involving a claimant alleged to have been unlawfully detained for four years.
Alan Payne of 5 Essex Court
Practices across the full range of immigration law and is a member of the Attorney General's A panel.
Expertise: "He's very bright and is involved in a ton of cases."
Recent work: Appeared in the significant case of EM (Eritrea) v SSHD.
Tim Eicke QC of Essex Court Chambers
A true immigration expert with extensive knowledge of matters pertaining to EU law.
Expertise: "His work on EU cases is well known. He's the government lawyer of choice, and his knowledge of EU cases is better than everybody else."
Recent work: Advised the government in Al-Sirri concerning the limits of the Refugee Convention.
Charles Bourne QC of 11KBW
A very experienced immigration practitioner whose practice is focused on instructions from TSol.
Expertise: "He is an extremely good advocate who is good at helping the tribunal understand the intricacies of his case."
Recent work: Appeared for the Secretary of State in the Court of Appeal, overturning a previous decision that a foreign national with a manslaughter conviction should be able to stay on Article 8 grounds.
Robin Tam QC of Temple Garden Chambers
Popular with the government for his immigration expertise, particularly in relation to national security.
Expertise: "A firm advocate, who is good at putting the government's case forward."
Recent work: Appeared in XX (Ethiopia), a case concerning deportation to Ethiopia because of national security concerns.
Glen Hodgetts of Glen Hodgetts (Barrister-at-Law)
"A no-nonsense, athletic thinker," who has a wide-ranging immigration and asylum practice.
Expertise: "Clients always come back from hearings saying what an excellent advocate he is. He is someone who will often go the extra mile." "His knowledge and research ability are second to none; he misses nothing."
Eric Fripp of Lamb Building
Acts on behalf of private clients and those in receipt of legal aid. Handles the full range of immigration work.
Expertise: "He is a highly effective advocate and someone you can fully trust to do a good job."
Shivani Jegarajah of Mansfield Chambers
Her practice involves unlawful detention cases and asylum appeals. She has particular expertise in cases involving Tamils.
Expertise: "She has a good rapport with the judges and a good manner with the clients."
Recent work: Handled a country guidance case relating to the treatment of the Ahmadi religious minority in Pakistan.
Robert Palmer of Monckton Chambers
Although known for his work with TSol, he also acts for claimants and advises on the full range of immigration issues.
Expertise: "Hard-working and good on the detail."
Recent work: Defended the government in a claim brought by New London College following the withdrawal of its sponsor licence.
Daniel Bazini of No5 Chambers (London)
Has a broad-based immigration practice and is highly rated by his peers.
Expertise: "A fantastic and tenacious advocate, who fights all the way for his clients."
Recent work: Appeared in a judicial review known as MM, which challenged the government's new immigration rules.
Joanne Rothwell of No5 Chambers (London)
Regularly takes cases involving business immigration and high net worth individuals.
Expertise: She is "a real stalwart," according to those that use her.
Edward Nicholson of No5 Chambers (London)
A highly respected immigration practitioner known for his work in difficult and ground-breaking areas.
Expertise: "He does well and takes an imaginative approach to his work. He has been doing important work of late."
S Chelvan of No5 Chambers (London)
Has a long history of undertaking cases where sexual identity is the underlying issue.
Expertise: "He has great client skills, as well as court skills. He is a very eloquent speaker and is very watchable in court." "He has probably become the leading practitioner in the UK for political asylum claims on sexuality."
Recent work: Appeared in MS (Afghanistan) involving the threatened removal of a known collaborator with coalition forces.