Theo’s practice focuses on public law and employment, within a civil common law practice.

He specialises in the following areas:

Immigration, asylum and public law
Employment, equality and discrimination matters
Civil (common law)

Theo has appeared in courts and Tribunals at all levels up to and including the Court of Appeal (where he has appeared without leading counsel), the High Court, and the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). He regularly appears in the Immigration and Employment Tribunals, the County Court, and the High Court.

Key cases

WAS (Pakistan) v SSHD [2023] EWCA Civ 894Successfully appeared (led by Eric Fripp) in an international protection case where Court of Appeal made further observations regarding the evidential limits that may constrain Appellants who claim that surveillance of their sur place activities by the hostile state has taken place. The Court built on Sedley LJ’s comments in YB (Eritrea) [2008] EWCA Civ 360 (at paragraph 18 in that case), stating ‘Those observations have even more force in the light of the great changes since 2008 in the sophistication of such methods, in the availability of electronic evidence of all sorts, and in the ease of their transmission.’ ([84]) The UT erred by ‘losing sight of the fact that direct evidence about “the level of and the mechanics of monitoring” in the United Kingdom is unlikely to be available to an asylum claimant or to a dissident organisation’ ([85]) as well as imposing too high a standard of proof

Major v Kirishana [2023] EWHC 1593 (KB)
In this notable case, which generated widespread coverage in legal news and commentary and is to be reported (WLRs), Theo appeared on behalf of the successful appellant. The appeal challenged and overturned an interlocutory decision which had refused the appellant’s litigation friend’s application to be discharged (on grounds of the litigation friend’s poor mental health and withdrawal of consent to act). The High Court, largely adopting appellant’s submissions, setting a new, stringent test for refusing an application to discharge a litigation friend where consent has been withdrawn or where other factors required in order to appoint a litigation friend (competence, and no conflict of interest with the protected party they are to appear for) are no longer fulfilled.

SI (2023)
Permission granted in JR of local authority’s failure to conduct a lawful child in need assessment where an age-disputed asylum seeker was referred to them for assessment and support. The local authority purported to accept the claimed date of birth of the claimant when assessing him, finding he was under-age, but returned him to adult accommodation without further support or assistance given the proximity of his (claimed) 18th birthday. Lengthy extension of time for bringing JR was granted and the matter ultimately settled.

R (LYB) v Kent CC [2021] EWHC 663 (Admin)
Permission granted in decision which affirmed the lower threshold for permission decisions in age assessment cases, and found that in an application for interim relief to have the claimant accommodated as a child pending determination of the JR, the balance of convenience was ‘clearly’ in favour of the grant of interim relief, following the reasoning of Fordham KC in R (BG) v Oxfordshire County Council [2014] EWHC 3187 (Admin)

Tekocak [2021] EWCA Crim 724
Appeared (without lead counsel) in Court of Appeal.

KG v SSHD UKUT PA/00269/2019
Successfully appealed the First-tier Judge’s decision to refuse asylum, on grounds that expert psychological assessment had not been properly taken into account, and persuaded UTJ of the need for a fresh hearing.

Areas of expertise

Theo has extensive experience appearing in housing matters in the County Court, in both the private and public law spheres.

He regularly appears on behalf of local authority and housing association tenants in homelessness appeals in the County Court, and has also acted in judicial reviews against local authorities regarding homelessness decisions.

Theo is also frequently instructed in landlord and tenant matters on behalf of tenants (often on a Legal Aid basis), local authority landlords, and private landlords. His experience includes complex discrimination, human rights and PSED counterclaims and defences; advising and appearing on behalf of private and local authority landlords on difficult possession cases; and commercial lease matters.

Theo also delivers in-house training on housing law and practical legal approaches to landlord and tenant disputes.

Theo has been representing clients in the employment tribunals since 2016.

Since coming to the Bar, he has worked on numerous employment matters of all stripes, for both Respondents and Claimants, and regularly appears in lengthy full trials on liability and quantum. He has also advised on and appeared in complex strategic litigation, and represents clients at both judicial and private mediations. Recent trial matters have involved complex collections of claims focusing primarily on discrimination matters, including direct and indirect race discrimination and disability discrimination, victimisation, s.15 discrimination arising from disability, failures to make reasonable adjustments, and constructive dismissal and unfair dismissal matters etc. Pending trials include more discrimination claims, and a breach of contract and unlawful deductions TUPE matter.

Prior to coming to the Bar Theo had already appeared in the employment tribunals for a number of years on a pro bono basis with FRU and other organisations, including e.g. in a matter for Kensington & Chelsea CAB involving 10 heads of claim for which he drafted pleadings, appeared at Tribunal on behalf of the client, and which resulted in a £30k settlement.

Theo represents immigration and asylum clients in both the First-Tier and Upper Tribunals, as well as appearing in judicial review proceedings in the High Court and on appellate matters in the Court of Appeal. He regularly appears in and advises upon EUSS, deportation, detention, asylum and human trafficking/modern slavery, and a wide variety of other matters including ECAA Ankara applications and reconsiderations.

Theo also appears in judicial reviews in a variety of immigration-related matters including age assessment and local authority care decision challenges.

Notable cases (see ‘Notable Cases’ tab, above):
WAS (Pakistan) v SSHD [2023] EWCA Civ 894
Adeyanju v ECO UI-2023-001829
SI (2023) EWHC
R (LYB) v Kent CC [2021] EWHC 663 (Admin)
KG v SSHD UKUT PA/00269/2019

Prior to coming to the Bar Theo had already gained extensive experience in the immigration and asylum fields, having worked at the leading specialist firm Luqmani Thompson & Partners as a Law Society-accredited Senior Caseworker. In that role he had personal conduct of numerous asylum claims, specialising in particular in UASC (unaccompanied asylum seeking child) cases. This included working with victims of trafficking and victims of torture, in tandem with organisations such as Freedom from Torture.

During his time at Luqmani Thompson, Theo also assisted the senior partners on a wide range of immigration and public law matters including at the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court level (e.g. WA (Pakistan) v SSHD [2019]EWCA Civ 302), conducting legal and country research as well as other casework tasks, and working on complex criminal deport matters as well as on public law actions such as injunctive relief applications (stays on removal).

Additionally as part of his own caseload Theo advised and represented private clients making human rights based applications, and had conduct of Tribunal appeals.

Theo’s first practical contact with the area of immigration law was during his legal studies, when as a volunteer for Haringey Migrant Support Centre he assisted (in a non-advisory capacity) clients of the Centre on a wide range of immigration and related matters, and worked on the preparation of cases including pro bono appeals. Through his pro bono immigration work he also had contact with many prominent NGOs in the immigration sector such as Migrants Organise and Coram Childrens Centre.

He continues to pursue his passion for pro bono work as a barrister, representing immigration clients at bail hearings with Bail for Immigration Detainees and taking on cases through Advocate.

Further information

Theo is a passionate pro bono advocate. He appears in and advises upon pro bono immigration and immigration-related matters on behalf of a number of organisations including BiD and Migrants Organise. Prior to commencing independent practice at the Bar, he gained pro bono experience in a wide variety of areas, including representing numerous clients as a Free Representation Unit volunteer in employment and social security matters, working with the National Centre for Domestic Violence, Haringey Migrant Support Centre and various CABs from 2015 to 2019.

Bar Professional Training Course, City Law School
Graduate Diploma in Law, City University of London
BA Music (Hons.), University of Oxford

Appointments & Memberships

Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association
Administrative Law Bar Association