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Immigration Law

“The foremost set leading the way at the London Immigration Bar, Garden Court Chambers houses an unsurpassable team of advocates who handle the full gamut of immigration matters."

Chambers UK Bar Guide - Band 1

"Garden Court practitioners, from top-quality juniors to renowned QCs, appear in the highest courts acting on behalf of vulnerable clients and high net-worth private individuals alike."

Chambers UK Bar Guide - Band 1

"A highly esteemed immigration set with a strong track record in sophisticated cases at the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and SIAC."

Chambers UK Bar Guide - Band 1

"It is the leading immigration set. They have a fantastic ethos: they are completely committed to their clients and they work constructively with instructing solicitors."

Chambers UK Bar Guide - Band 1

"We have a good working relationship with the clerks - they are very responsive and get the results we want. Lisa O'Leary is fantastic." "The clerks are super friendly and very responsive. They have great training courses which they offer frequently and all the people who present show such an in-depth knowledge of immigration."

Chambers UK Bar Guide - Band 1

To contact the Immigration Clerks, please email or phone

+44 (0)20 7993 7600

Top Ranked: Chambers UK Bar 2022
The Legal 500 2022: Top Tier Set

Garden Court’s Immigration Team is recognised as the pre-eminent set of barristers in the UK specialising in immigration law.

We have been awarded the highest ‘Band 1’ status for immigration law by the independent Chambers Bar Guide rankings. We handle cases with unrivalled levels of expertise.

We know the immigration system inside-out and have covered every kind of situation. Our barristers have appeared in many of the cases that have shaped UK immigration law, and we continue to write the leading textbooks on immigration and asylum. We will be at the forefront of holding the government to account in the future treatment of EU citizens post-Brexit.​

We work with NGOs and charities on test cases, policy work, campaigns and events. These include the Immigration Law Practitioners Association, the Anti Trafficking Legal Project, Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, Bail for Immigration Detainees, UNHCR UK, All Party Parliamentary Group on Visas & Immigration, Amnesty International, Equality & Human Rights Commission, Medical Justice, Young Roots, the Helen Bamber Foundation, Liberty and the Trafficking Law and Policy Forum.

Areas of Expertise

  • Asylum and international protection
  • Family and children immigration
  • National security, terrorism and international armed conflicts
  • Human rights
  • EU citizens
  • Commercial and business immigration (including the Points Based System)
  • Sponsor licences for businesses and colleges
  • British nationality
  • Trafficking
  • Deportation
  • Third country removals
  • Foreign criminal matters
  • Immigration detention
  • Migrant welfare
  • Private immigration work, acting for individuals from the highest echelons of international politics, business and sport

our immigration counsel

  • Provide the very best strategic advice on the most relevant evidence and the strongest arguments to support any kind of application to the Home Office or Entry Clearance Officer – the earlier counsel comes on board, the more value they can add
  • Give realistic guidance on your options when your last application has failed (including whether a further application or a legal challenge to the last refusal makes most sense)
  • Ensure that Court and Tribunal challenges are based on the latest legal thinking and are backed by the best available evidence
  • Understand the way that government decision-makers and judges think, and are thus very well-placed to advise on how best to present a case from the earliest stages



Our team of specialist barristers are supported by clerks with expert knowledge of:

  • Senior barristers who are well known in the immigration Tribunal system and have very extensive legal experience
  • Experienced and knowledgeable junior barristers who can handle cases more cost-effectively, and who have the expertise of senior colleagues to draw on

To contact the Immigration Clerks, please email or phone +44 (0)20 7993 7600



Barristers can add value to the legal advice you offer your client beyond acting as advocates. Sometimes the most useful work we do is to offer insight into a client’s options well before any litigation takes place. Whatever stage a case has reached, it is always useful to get another view.

Our barristers can:

  • Help to plot a strategic solution to a client’s needs, whether that involves making a further better evidenced application or pursuing another immigration route altogether
  • Advise on the required evidence and legal arguments available in administrative review applications, appeals or judicial review claims: the sooner counsel comes on board, the earlier they can start making a real difference
  • Ensure that an application is structured in the best way possible to generate an appeal if refused


administrative review

Some administrative review applications are straightforward and solicitors may well be comfortable with drafting themselves.

However, the more complicated the legal and evidential issues, the more likely it is that counsel may add value, particularly where it is likely that the application is just a prelude to a judicial review claim.

Our counsel are experts at:

  • Analysing the Rules and Guidance to spot arguable errors
  • Understanding the nuances of evidential flexibility found in Rule 245AA addressing missing documents and information
  • Running arguments based on fairness when things have gone wrong at the interview stage



Our casework includes:

  • Drafting persuasive grounds of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal, which may result in concessions from Entry Clearance Managers or senior Home Office staff before a case comes to court
  • Advising on precisely what evidence is needed, looking over draft witness statements and checking supporting documents
  • Drafting skeleton arguments and providing the very highest quality of advocacy at appeal hearings
  • Drafting grounds in order to obtain permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal against First-tier Tribunal decisions and then providing expert representation at the subsequent hearings
  • Litigating in judicial reviews – we can add value at every stage, from drafting the original Pre Action Protocol letters to providing the concise and well-argued grounds that are vital to steer a judicial review application to a realistic conclusion.
  • We act in every kind of challenge, including nationality refusals, administrative review refusals, challenges to “clearly unfounded” certificates, refusals to recognise fresh claims, and unlawful detention claims



Our casework includes:

  • Strengthening the client’s case by pointing those instructing towards the best possible country evidence to support an asylum claim, advising on expert reports and advising on witness statements
  • Persuading judges to allow appeals by our knowledge of the latest asylum and international protection case law
  • Preventing deportation by putting together a watertight case on links to the UK

Visit our Immigration Detention, Asylum and Deportation page for more details



Our casework includes overturning refusals based on dishonesty allegations, such as:

  • Refusals of settlement because the Home Office do not accept the claimed earnings are genuine, including where there are inconsistencies between earnings shown on tax returns and immigration applications
  • Accusations of cheating in English language tests
  • Omissions in application forms



Our casework includes:

  • Advising on the best way for a British citizen to lawfully move abroad for a period and return in the future ensuring residence rights in European Union law for their here (ie Surinder Singh cases)
  • Obtaining permanent residence for European Economic Area (EEA) nationals with complex histories of work, self-sufficiency and study
  • Preventing the expulsion of EEA nationals accused of involvement with marriages of convenience or abuse of EEA rights
  • Winning appeals involving proof of continuous residence and exercise of Treaty Rights throughout a person’s stay in the UK
  • Advising on the likely consequences of the UK’s departure from the European Union



Our casework includes:

  • Advising on the best way for a British citizen to lawfully move abroad for a period and return in the future ensuring residence rights in European Union law for their here (ie Surinder Singh cases)
  • Obtaining permanent residence for European Economic Area (EEA) nationals with complex histories of work, self-sufficiency and study
  • Preventing the expulsion of EEA nationals accused of involvement with marriages of convenience or abuse of EEA rights
  • Winning appeals involving proof of continuous residence and exercise of Treaty Rights throughout a person’s stay in the UK
  • Advising on the likely consequences of the UK’s departure from the European Union



Our casework includes:

  • Demonstrating that there really were “insurmountable obstacles” to relocation abroad for a loving couple whose “partner” application had been refused
  • Showing that it would be unreasonable for the parents of a British citizen child to have to leave the country
  • Making further representations that were accepted as a fresh human rights claim, generating a further right of appeal
  • Overturning “clearly unfounded” certificates to ensure a right of appeal before an independent immigration judge
  • Getting refusals overturned for much-loved family members who have been repeatedly denied visit visas
  • Obtaining a visa for an elderly adult dependent relative with complicated care needs that could not be met in their country of origin



Our barristers can:

  • Advise on the complicated web of Rules and Guidance that govern applications to make sure everything is in order
  • Cast an eye over the evidence which it is proposed to rely on
  • Analyse the client’s route to indefinite leave to remain having regard to the need for continuous lawful residence
  • See whether a refusal can be undermined having regard to missing documents, evidential flexibility, and common law principles of fairness



Our barristers can:

  • Help advise on business plans and other aspects of an Entrepreneur application – and go on to fight the client’s corner during administrative and judicial review challenges
  • Advise on the best strategy where a Sponsor’s licence is under threat: whether the client is facing an audit, or had the licence suspended or revoked. Remember: the sooner we come on board and start advising, the higher the chances of success
  • Give realistic advice on the best approach to take to a Civil Penalty Notice



We have authored or contributed to all of the authoritative texts on immigration law including:

  • Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice (Butterworths LexisNexis, 9th edition)
  • Immigration Appeals and Remedies Handbook (Bloomsbury, 2015)
  • Immigration Practice and Procedure in Family Proceedings (Jordans, 2013)
  • Fransman’s British Nationality Law (Bloomsbury Professional, 3rd edition 2011)
  • JCWI Guide to the Points-Based System (JCWI, 2011)
  • Halsbury’s Laws of England (Butterworths 5th ed, vol. 4 2011) British Nationality
  • Asylum Law and Practice (Bloomsbury, 2nd edition 2010)
  • Blackstone’s Guide to the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 (Oxford University Press, 2010)
  • Support for Asylum Seekers and other Migrants (Legal Action Group, 2009)
  • HJT and ILPA’s Home Office Policy Manual (HJT, 2009)
  • Blackstone’s Guide to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 (Oxford University Press, 2009)
  • Jackson and Warr’s Immigration Law and Practice (Tottel, 4th edition 2008)


Recent notable cases and news

Stephanie Harrison QC, Chair and Joint Head of Garden Court Chambers, comments on the Nationality and Borders Bill receiving Royal Assent

29 April 2022

Court of Appeal rules unlawfully removed child entitled to damages

Our Sonali Naik QC and Greg Ó Ceallaigh of Garden Court Chambers represented the Appellant, instructed by Hannah Baynes of Duncan Lewis.

1 April 2022

Children of appellant in KO (Nigeria) achieve success in European Court of Human Rights

The applicant children were represented by Sonali Naik QC and Helen Foot, of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team, instructed by Oluwole Osibona of Freemans Solicitors.

25 February 2022

Sonali Naik QC and Irena Sabic act in 'deport first, appeal later' case where appellant killed by Taliban

Sonali Naik QC and Irena Sabic, of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team, represent the appellant, instructed by Nasir Ata of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

31 January 2022

Helen Foot, Emma Fenn and Gráinne Mellon appointed as Recorders

We are delighted to announce that Helen Foot (Call: 2008), Emma Fenn (Call: 2010) and Gráinne Mellon (Call: 2010) of Garden Court Chambers have been newly appointed as Recorders by the Queen.

26 January 2022

Nicola Braganza, Mark Gatley and Liz Davies of Garden Court Chambers to be appointed Queen’s Counsel

Garden Court Chambers is delighted to announce that Nicola Braganza, Mark Gatley and Liz Davies of Garden Court Chambers will be formally appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2022.

22 December 2021

Grace Brown wins BSN Lawyer of the Year at UK Diversity Legal Awards 2021

We are delighted to announce Grace Brown is the BSN Lawyer of the Year, in the Chambers category, at the UK Diversity Legal Awards 2021

2 December 2021

The Nationality and Borders Bill - Legal Opinion prepared by Garden Court Barristers for Women for Refugee Women

In legal advice prepared for the charity Women for Refugee Women, Stephanie Harrison QC, Emma Fitzsimons, Ubah Dirie & Hannah Lynes of Garden Court Chambers state the Nationality & Borders Bill will “disproportionately adversely disadvantage women & girls

25 November 2021

Gráinne Mellon highly commended at Bar Pro Bono Awards 2021 in the 'Junior Pro Bono Barrister of the Year' category

We are delighted to announce Gráinne Mellon of Garden Court Chambers was highly commended in the 'Junior Pro Bono Barrister of the Year' category at the Bar Pro Bono Awards 2021

3 November 2021

Gráinne Mellon shortlisted for International Bar Association's Pro Bono Award 2021

We are delighted to announce Gráinne Mellon of Garden Court Chambers has been shortlisted for the International Bar Association's Pro Bono Award 2021 for her incredible work helping vulnerable EU children and families apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

28 October 2021

Garden Court Chambers welcomes Eva Doerr as a new tenant

Eva specialises in all areas of public and human rights law, with a focus on immigration and asylum law and challenges based on the Equality Act.

22 October 2021

Garden Court secures number one rankings in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2022

21 October 2021

Supreme Court reaffirms, in the bail context, the constitutional principle that judicial orders must be obeyed unless and until set aside

Representing the Appellant, Amanda Weston QC led Gordon Lee, both of Garden Court Chambers.

20 October 2021

ARAP, resettlement and family reunion - Factsheets for Afghan citizens seeking asylum in UK

These factsheets are intended to assist Afghan nationals and those supporting them with a brief summary of some of the main routes for Afghans to enter the UK. The Garden Court Immigration & Public Access teams are committed to supporting Afghan clients

25 August 2021

In ‘unprecedented’ judgment President of SIAC strikes out Secretary of State’s Safety of Return Reply in protection appeal

The Appellant was represented by Stephanie Harrison QC and Ali Bandegani of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team, instructed by Dan Furner of Birnberg Peirce.

14 July 2021

Important new ruling on access to British Passports for those subject to nationality deprivation proceedings

David Jones of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team appeared for the Claimant instructed by Mark Lilley-Tams of OTB Legal.

28 June 2021

Garden Court Immigration Team dedicate 10th Edition of Macdonald's Immigration Law & Practice to the life and legacy of Ian Macdonald QC

The General Editors, Stephanie Harrison QC, Ronan Toal & Sadat Sayeed, are leaders in the field & practice in the number one ranked Garden Court Immigration Team. David Neale is a legal researcher & former barrister

25 June 2021

Three FREE 90-minute seminars to celebrate launch of the Immigration Appeals and Remedies Handbook (2nd edition)

Mark Symes and Peter Jorro, of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team, are doing three FREE 90-minute seminars to celebrate the launch of their Second Edition Immigration Appeals and Remedies Handbook.

25 May 2021

Home Office held in breach of Article 2 duty concerning death in immigration detention

Sonali Naik QC, Raza Halim and Stephen Clark of the Garden Court Chambers Public Law Team represented the Applicant. They were instructed by Jamie Bell and Toufique Hossain of Duncan Lewis Public Law Team.

14 April 2021

Upper Tribunal rules Home Office interpreted guidance on settlement illegitimately

Peter Jorro of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team represented the appellant, instructed by Jessica Wong of Brion & Co.

22 March 2021

High Court rules on access to emergency accommodation during pandemic to people usually ineligible for support

Liz Davies, Adrian Berry and Connor Johnston of the Garden Court Chambers Housing Team were instructed to represent Shelter.

11 March 2021

The new third country inadmissibility regime for asylum claims

Blog post by Mark Symes and Miranda Butler of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team.

5 March 2021

Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team welcomes Bojana Asanovic as a new tenant

25 February 2021

Court of Appeal rejects attempt by Secretary of State to broaden refugee exclusion categories

Amanda Weston QC of Garden Court Chambers and Anthony Vaughan of Doughty Street Chambers represented NF, instructed by Jawaid Luqmani of Luqmani Thompson Solicitors.

12 January 2021

Court of Appeal provides important guidance as to the correct approach to be used by the Competent Authority when deciding whether an individual is a victim of trafficking

The Appellants were represented by Ronan Toal of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team. Our own Stephanie Harrison QC, Gemma Loughran, and Ella Gunn, instructed by Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, represented the AIRE Centre.

21 December 2020

The Asylum Research Centre publishes its major report yielding interesting results on the reliability of reports produced by the Trump administration

The Asylum Research Centre publishes its major ‘Comparative Analysis of U.S Department of State Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (2016-2019)’. Garden Court Chambers’ legal researcher, David Neale, is its board member.

9 November 2020

Court of Appeal allows father of four’s deportation appeal

Sonali Naik QC and Helen Foot were counsel for the Appellant KB, instructed by Smita Bajaria of Bajaria Solicitors.

28 October 2020

Court of Appeal Declares the Home Secretary's Removal Policy Breaches the Constitutional Right of Access to Justice

Our Sonali Naik QC and Ali Bandegani of the Garden Court Immigration Team, instructed by Duncan Lewis and Stephanie Harrison QC for the European Human Rights Commission.

21 October 2020

GREVIO publishes evaluation report on Belgium implementation of Istanbul Convention

Maria Moodie of Garden Court Chambers advised upon and drafted Chapter VII of the Belgium report in relation to protections available for migrant women and asylum seekers who have experienced or are at risk of gender based violence.

12 October 2020

Strengthening protection for migrant women - Council of Europe Drafting Committee

Louise Hooper was appointed expert to the committee in June 2020 and compiled and presented a needs assessment.

5 October 2020

Reported case: High Court orders release of vulnerable immigration detainee

Claimant represented by Taimour Lay of Garden Court Chambers instructed by Bahar Ata of Duncan Lewis Solicitors. David Jones of Garden Court Chambers is instructed in the ongoing unlawful detention claim.

21 August 2020

Lord Chancellor accepts unlawfulness of new Legal Aid scheme for immigration and asylum appeals

Sonali Naik QC and Ali Bandegani of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration and Public Law Teams represented the claimants in two separate claims.

12 August 2020

The Team

Stephanie Harrison QC

Year of Call: 1991

Year of Silk: 2013

Laurie Fransman QC

Year of Call: 1979

Year of Silk: 2000

Sonali Naik QC

Year of Call: 1991

Year of Silk: 2018

Amanda Weston QC

Year of Call: 1995

Year of Silk: 2018

Nicola Braganza QC

Year of Call: 1992

Year of Silk: 2022

Kathryn Cronin

Year of Call: 1980

Peter Jorro

Year of Call: 1986

Rebecca Chapman

Year of Call: 1990

Valerie Easty

Year of Call: 1992

Navita Atreya

Year of Call: 1994

David Jones

Year of Call: 1994

Duran Seddon

Year of Call: 1994

Grace Brown

Year of Call: 1995

Edward Grieves

Year of Call: 1995

Louise Hooper

Year of Call: 1997

Patrick Lewis

Year of Call: 1997

Adrian Berry

Year of Call: 1998

Gordon Lee

Year of Call: 1998

Ronan Toal

Year of Call: 1999

Bojana Asanovic

Year of Call: 2000

Sadat Sayeed

Year of Call: 2001

Irena Sabic

Year of Call: 2002

Colin Yeo

Year of Call: 2002

Maha Sardar

Year of Call: 2002

Abigail Smith

Year of Call: 2003

Andrew Eaton

Year of Call: 2004

Christopher McWatters

Year of Call: 2004

Mark Symes

Year of Call: 2004

Greg Ó Ceallaigh

Year of Call: 2006

Alex Grigg

Year of Call: 2007

Richard Reynolds

Year of Call: 2007

Jo Wilding

Year of Call: 2007

Helen Foot

Year of Call: 2008

Gemma Loughran

Year of Call: 2008

Ali Bandegani

Year of Call: 2009

Raza Halim

Year of Call: 2009

Gráinne Mellon

Year of Call: 2010

Emma Fitzsimons

Year of Call: 2011

Bijan Hoshi

Year of Call: 2011

Taimour Lay

Year of Call: 2011

Maria Moodie

Year of Call: 2011

Grace Capel

Year of Call: 2012

David Sellwood

Year of Call: 2012

Stephen Clark

Year of Call: 2013

Sophie Caseley

Year of Call: 2013

Ubah Dirie

Year of Call: 2014

Matthew Ahluwalia

Year of Call: 2015

Laura Profumo

Year of Call: 2016

Franck Magennis

Year of Call: 2016

Zehrah Hasan

Year of Call: 2016

Steven Galliver-Andrew

Year of Call: 2018

Ella Gunn

Year of Call: 2018

Navida Quadi

Year of Call: 2018

Rachel Schon

Year of Call: 2018

Eva Doerr

Year of Call: 2019

Fatima Jichi

Year of Call: 2019

Associate Members

Femi Omere

Year of Call: 1999

We are top ranked by independent legal directories and consistently win awards.

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