Sandra is an experienced and approachable practitioner, specialising in Immigration, Asylum and Public law. Ranked as a Leading Junior by Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners, she is approachable, knowledgeable and committed to the interests of her clients.

Sandra is committed to ensuring that vulnerable clients have a fair opportunity to have their voice heard. She is a Liaison Reviewer with Advocate, the Bar’s leading pro bono charity providing legal assistance, and works with UKGLIG, ILPA and various law centres to promote and protect the rights of the most vulnerable in society.

Sandra sits on the Middle Temple Equality and Diversity Committee and is actively involved in programs aimed at encouraging access to and retention at the Bar.

Key cases & testimonials

Patel (British citizen child – deportation) [2020] UKUT 45 (IAC) (29 January 2020) – British citizenship of a child is a relevant factor when assessing whether the ‘unduly harsh’ requirements of section 117C(5) are met. However, it is not necessarily a weighty factor; all depends on the facts.

OA (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 3042 (26 November 2018) – representing a vulnerable lesbian asylum-seeker, ultimately granted asylum in the United Kingdom. The Court of Appeal overturned a decision of the lower courts, directing that where expert psychiatric evidence has been provided in an asylum claim, it is relevant not simply to the risk relating to the Appellant’s health, but also as potential corroboration of the truth of her account.

Forrester v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 2653 (29 November 2018)– challenging the decision of the UT to overturn a successful appeal against deportation. The Court of Appeal gave clear guidance as to the appropriate factors to balance in such a case.

Shehu, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Citizens Directive: no suspensive appeals) (IJR) [2016] UKUT 287 (IAC) – whether the SSHD has a right to remove a person claiming an EEA right of residence pending appeal.

Waqar, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (statutory appeals/paragraph 353) ( IJR) [2015] UKUT 169 (IAC) (25 March 2015) – Sandra represented a person facing deportation, weeks after a change in the law defining ‘human rights claim’ for the purposes of the 2014 Immigration Act.

She is very knowledgeable on all areas of immigration law especially EU and Brexit law. Her advocacy is succinct and forceful. She always goes the extra mile to find a powerful argument that's just right for her clients.Legal 500 2024
A brilliant advocate and immigration strategist. She is highly experienced in deportation and family-based appeals.Chambers UK 2024
She has an exemplary knowledge of immigration law and consistently provides fast, comprehensive advice. She is very generous with her time and support.Chambers UK 2024
A 'go-to' barrister for all things immigration. She is a very strong advocate in court and clients respond well to her manner and style.Chambers UK 2023
She is a fighter and does not give up.Legal 500 2022

Areas of expertise

Sandra acts at all levels, from the advisory stage upwards, dealing with all aspects of public and private immigration work. She appears regularly in the Tribunal and Court of Appeal, providing careful and professional representation in asylum, deportation and family cases, with a particular focus on cases involving aspects of EU Free Movement law. Sandra is an experienced and popular trainer in this area, providing expert seminars for HJT, the leading provider of training in immigration and human rights law. She is a member of the ILPA European Subcommittee, and trains with ILPA. She is also the lead reviewer for Advocate, the Bar’s leading provider of pro bono work.

Sandra is Direct Access qualified, and accepts instructions in all areas of immigration, nationality and administrative law. Easily accessible and clear in her instructions, Sandra provides advice and representation to both individuals and organisations as appropriate.

Sandra has a busy judicial review practice, advising and appearing on refusals of fresh human rights and asylum claims, unlawful detention, challenges to age assessments and injunctive relief for removals and administrative errors, amongst others.

Further information

As a former lecturer at the University of Law, Sandra maintains her skills in teaching by delivering regular lectures and seminars on immigration, asylum and EU developments for various organisations and in chambers. Sandra is the top-rated trainer for HJT Training, where her personable style and ability to dissect each area of law, for even the least confident of practitioners, has made her a favourite for both accreditation training and at the annual Judicial Review conference.

Deportation: A Survey of the Post-Brexit Landscape
An examination of the changing law governing the deportation of foreign nationals.

Refugee resettlement: the changing landscape of Home Office resettlement concessions

Sandra Akinbolu and Karen Reid – EUSS – It’s not over yet

Unlawful Detention Webinar

External Publications

The Law and Practice of Expulsion and Exclusion from the United Kingdom (contributing author)

Contributing author to HJT Training ‘Mastering Immigration Law’ published regularly by HJT Training.

Contributor to Lexis Nexis practice notes

Appointments & Memberships

Member Middle Temple Diversity and Equality Committee
Member Middle Temple Access to the Bar Scheme


French & Spanish, with a working knowledge of Italian and Portuguese