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The Immigration Team

Our immigration barristers have a longstanding reputation for dedication and professionalism and are instructed to advise, or to appear in cases, across all areas of immigration, nationality and asylum law, representing clients at all levels of court and tribunal domestically from the First-Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) to the United Kingdom Supreme Court, and internationally in various international courts and tribunals including the European Court of Human Rights.

Members of the team have been involved both in many of the leading cases of recent years[KR1] , and in numerous important historical decisions[KR2] .  Several members of the team are authors, editors, or contributors to, leading texts, and members are regularly asked to take part in seminars and events focussing on immigration, nationality, or asylum law.  We provide ongoing seminar series following current developments in the law.

The team is committed to excellence in both publicly funded and private work. Our long-standing commitment to the protection of individual rights and the empowerment of the vulnerable is reflected in our work for community organisations and charities, as well as in willingness to act pro bono, or under a conditional fee agreement in appropriate cases. Members are involved with and active in assisting voluntary bodies and charities including:

  • Advocate (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit)
  • Amnesty International
  • Bail for Immigration Detainees
  • The Centre for Advice on Individual Rights in Europe (‘the AIRE Centre’)
  • The Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • The International Human Rights Committee
  • The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants
  • The Refugee Council UK
  • Rights in Exile
  • The UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group

Multi-Disciplinary Expertise

Barristers within the immigration team are often members of more than one specialist practice group. This provides excellent scope to draw on expertise in the intersection between laws concerning immigration, asylum, and nationality, on the one hand, and criminal, extradition, family, or housing law on the other.

Members of the team are able to provide advice and act as expert witnesses on immigration issues which arise in other proceedings, for example in the family courts. 

Recent Cases

R (otao Akter) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 704:  The Secretary of State’s review of earlier decision was arguably a reconsideration within a single process so there was no break in continuous lawful residence disapplying entitlement to indefinite leave to remain.

ST & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1085:  The Secretary of State’s ‘No Recourse to Public Funds’ scheme was unlawful as inconsistent with requirement to best interests of child as a primary consideration as required by section 55 Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009.

R (DMA, AHK, BK and ELN) and R (AA) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWHC 3416 (Admin), [2020] WLR(D) 683:  Secretary of State in breach of section 4(2) Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 duty to provide accommodation or arrange for the provision of accommodation in failing to provide accommodation to the claimants within a reasonable period of time or to monitor the provision of accommodation, and breached public sector equality duty in failing to monitor accommodation.

Unuane v United Kingdom - appn 80343/17 (Fourth Section) [2020] ECHR 832, [2021] INLR 152:  decision come to in accordance with Part 5A Nationality Immigration Asylum Act 2002 was nonetheless incompatible with article 8 ECHR for failure to weigh relevant right adequately against public interest, including to attach sufficient weight to the best interests of affected children.

Wilson (NIAA Part 5A; deportation decisions) [2020] UKUT 350 (IAC): whether an offence ‘has caused serious harm’ rendering the person a ‘foreign criminal’ under Part 5A of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 is a matter for the judge; the FTT was entitled to find that mere possession of a bladed article in a public place did not meet the threshold, but was still required to conduct a full proportionality assessment under Article 8(2) ECHR.

R (Abidoye) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 1425, [2020] All ER (D) 17 (Nov): the application of the presumption against retrospectivity to Part 5A of the 2002 Act; whether the engagement of human rights constitutes an exception to the principle in Henderson v Henderson. 

Secretary of State for the Home Department v Devani [2020] EWCA Civ 612, [2020] 1 WLR 2613: whether the Upper Tribunal slip rule can reverse disposal; the weight to be given to assurances as to prison conditions.

Uddin v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 338, [2020] 1 WLR 1562: the test for whether family life exists between an adult and his foster family is the same as in cases where the relationship arose from birth – namely real, effective, or committed support; family life is a question of substance, not form; continuing cohabitation after adulthood is suggestive of family life.

Hussein v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 156, [2020] All ER (D) 148 (Mar): how to qualify for ‘enhanced protection’ against deportation for permanently resident EEA nationals continuously resident for 10 years and the test of ‘serious grounds of public policy or public security’ as required by Article 28 of Directive 2004/38/EC.

Patel (British citizen child – deportation) [2020] UKUT 45 (IAC), [2020] All ER (D) 126 (Feb): a child’s British citizenship is relevant when assessing whether the ‘unduly harsh’ test in s117C(5) of the 2002 Act is met, but is not necessarily a weighty factor; all depends on the facts.

Smith (appealable decisions; PTA requirements; anonymity) [2019] UKUT 216: Guidance from President Lane on the correct procedure for seeking permission to appeal in the Upper Tribunal where an individual’s appeal has been allowed in part by the First-tier Tribunal.

MS (British citizenship; EEA appeals) Belgium [2019] UKUT 00356 (IAC):  British citizenship is a relevancy when assessing whether expulsion of a parent us ‘unduly harsh’ for purposes of 117C(5) Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002; weight depends on the facts.

R (on the application of Khajuria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 1226 (Admin):  Requirements of Points Based System hard edged, but given arguability that in particular circumstances there had been equivalent job creation application could be considered outside the Immigration Rules.

Bhavsar (late application for PTA: procedure) [2019] UKUT 196 (IAC):  There is nothing in the Tribunal Procedure (First-tier Tribunal) (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Rules 2014 that prevents the First-tier Tribunal from refusing to admit an out of time application for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal where the First-tier Tribunal does not extend time- refusal of admission is appropriate in such a case.

WA (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 302, [2019] All ER (D) 124 (Mar): important appeal on freedom of religion and belief and refugee status, including the application of the ‘right to live freely’ in a protected identity per HJ (Iran) v SSHD; HT (Cameroon) v SSHD [2010] UKSC 31; the Court held that the Upper Tribunal had erred in its country guidance on the risk to Ahmadis in Pakistan by imposing illegitimate restrictions on the refugee definition.

Other Significant Cases

OA (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 3042: where expert evidence has been provided in an asylum claim, it is not only relevant to the risk relating to the Appellant’s health, but also as potential corroboration of the truth of her account. 

Forrester v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 2653, [2018] All ER (D) 11 (Dec): the correct approach to ‘very compelling circumstances’ in respect of a foreign criminal sentenced to four years’ imprisonment or more; there is no need for ‘very compelling circumstances’ to consist of factors independent of the exceptions in s117C(4) and (5); in a sufficiently strong case there may be factors relating to a particular exception that can amount to something over and above the exception constituting compelling circumstances within the meaning of the statute.

Rai v Entry Clearance Officer, New Delhi [2017] EWCA Civ 320, [2017] All ER (D) 23 (May): Article 8 family life between adults is made out by support which is real, effective, or committed; s117B Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 does not alter the outcome in historic injustice cases.

GS (India) & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 40, [2015] 1 WLR 3312:  Challenge to treatment of article 3 ECHR medical cases testing scope of guidance in N v United Kingdom (2008) 47 EHRR 39, N v Secretary of State [2005] 2 AC 296, [2005] UKHL 31, and D v United Kingdom (1997) 25 EHRR 31.

KK (Congo) & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 415:  Arguable need for clarification of exigent judicial guidance in article 3 and 8 ECHR medical cases in light of features such as lawful residence prior to diagnosis and treatment, and long lawful or mainly lawful residence.  

Shebl (Entrepreneur: proof of contracts) [2014] UKUT 216 (IAC): a ‘contract’ for the purposes of the Immigration Rules is not defined more narrowly than in contract law; a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applicant need not, therefore, produce a contract contained in a single document in order to succeed.

R (Gurung) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWCA Civ 8, [2013] 1 WLR 2546: historic injustice is based on causation, not the weight to be given to egregious state conduct, and creates a strong claim to settlement where Article 8 is engaged. 

RT (Zimbabwe) & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] UKSC 38; [2013] 1 AC 152:  All of the article 1A(2) 1951 Refugee Convention ‘Convention reasons’ reflected characteristics or statuses which the individual could not, or could not be expected to, change because they were so closely linked to his identity or expressed fundamental rights; a person obliged to conceal protected beliefs to avoid persecution was entitled to protection; there is no principled basis for treating differently a person who had no political beliefs but to avoid persecution, would be forced to pretend that he did.

R (ST (Eritrea)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] UKSC 12, [2012] 2 AC 135: effect of article 32 Refugee Convention on the proposed expulsion of a refugee after a successful appeal.

R (Quila and another) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] UKSC 45, [2012] 1 AC 621: Immigration Rules raising the minimum age for leave to enter or remain as a spouse found unlawful as breached Article 8 read with Article 12 ECHR.

R (Bahta) & ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 895, [2011] All ER (D) 244 (Jul):  Administrative Court erred in failing to award costs against SSHD where claim settled on terms positive to claimant- defendants not addressing issues after receipt of adequate letter of claim is unacceptable, and a claimant who then files proceedings and obtains substantial relief, even by agreement, should obtain costs from defendant.

R (otao ZO (Somalia)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; R (otao MM (Burma)) v same [2010] UKSC 36, [2010] 4 All ER 649:  Article 11 of Council Directive (EC) 2003/9  obliged member states to make provision for access to the labour market by applicants for asylum after a claim had been outstanding for a year, and this included both first time applicants and those seeking acknowledgement of fresh claim.

MA (Ethiopia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  [2009] EWCA Civ 289, [2010] INLR 1:  Tribunal erred in law by asking how claimant would be treated if returned to country of former nationality, not whether she faced exclusion which prevented her return and gave rise to valid persecution claim.

R (Baiai and others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2008] UKHL 53, [2009] 1 AC 287: Certificate of Approval scheme for marriages involving specified non-citizens found unlawful as over-extensive and disproportionate to aim of preventing marriages of convenience.

EB (Ethiopia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  [2007] EWCA Civ 809, [2009] QB 1:  The Refugee Convention covers adverse measures including arbitrary deprivation of nationality and attached rights of protection and/or return where a Convention reason arises,.

VNM v Secretary of State for the Home Department  [2006] EWCA Civ 47, [2006] All ER (D) 242 (Jan):  A tribunal considering reasonableness of internal relocation must consider adequately whether presenting a false history and explanation for displacement is practicable and consistent with ability to sustain reasonable life on a false basis beyond the short term.

Hysi v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2005] EWCA Civ 711, [2005] INLR 602: requirement of concealment of important features of identity as a condition of internal relocation renders such relocation unreasonable.


We regularly host seminars to help you keep your knowledge and skills up-to-date. 

Details of past and upcoming seminars can be found on chambers’ seminar page. 

Members of the team are happy to offer training in house to firms of solicitors or other organisations. If this is of interest, please get in touch with Everton Wedderburn to discuss your specific training needs.

Direct Access

Many of our barristers are able to act directly for members of the public without the need for a solicitor.

We are able to provide advice and expertise with applications, appeals and judicial review proceedings across:

  • Asylum and International Protection
  • Nationality Law
  • The EU Settlement Scheme
  • Business Immigration
  • Immigration Detention and Bail
  • Trafficking
  • Human Rights Claims
  • Family Reunion and Migration


Individual team members are fluent, or have a high level of proficiency, in French, German, Hindi, Italian, Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Polish and Urdu.