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

To contact the Immigration Clerks, please email or phone

+44 (0)20 7993 7600

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Top Ranked Chambers UK Bar 2019
The Legal 500 United Kingdom Top Tier Set 2019

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

We are the only set of barristers 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.

Areas of Expertise

  • Asylum and international protection
  • Family and children immigration
  • National security, terrorism and international armed conflicts
  • Human rights
  • EU free movement
  • 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 2015)
  • 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)


The Team

Ian Macdonald QC

Year of Call: 1963

Year of Silk: 1988

Laurie Fransman QC

Year of Call: 1979

Year of Silk: 2000

Stephanie Harrison QC

Year of Call: 1991

Year of Silk: 2013

Sonali Naik QC

Year of Call: 1991

Year of Silk: 2018

Amanda Weston QC

Year of Call: 1995

Year of Silk: 2018

Kathryn Cronin

Year of Call: 1980

Peter Jorro

Year of Call: 1986

Rebecca Chapman

Year of Call: 1990

Nicola Braganza

Year of Call: 1992

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

Michelle Brewer

Year of Call: 1999

Ronan Toal

Year of Call: 1999

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

Shu Shin Luh

Year of Call: 2006

Greg Ó Ceallaigh

Year of Call: 2006

Anthony Vaughan

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

Bryony Poynor

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

Grace Capel

Year of Call: 2012

David Sellwood

Year of Call: 2012

Stephen Clark

Year of Call: 2013

Miranda Butler

Year of Call: 2013

Sophie Caseley

Year of Call: 2013

Ubah Dirie

Year of Call: 2014

Laura Profumo

Year of Call: 2016

Franck Magennis

Year of Call: 2016

Camila Zapata Besso

Year of Call: 2016

Navida Quadi

Year of Call: 2018

Associate Members

Femi Omere

Year of Call: 1999

Latest News

How will the UK immigration system cope with no deal Brexit?

Written by Patrick Lewis of Garden Court and Anne Morrison of Davidson Morris.

22 August 2019

Garden Court Chambers welcomes new tenant Camila Zapata Besso

We are delighted to announce that Camila Zapata Besso has joined Garden Court Chambers as a tenant.

1 August 2019

New European Court of Human Rights judgment: Greece violates articles 3 and 5

Ronan Toal and Shu Shin Luh of Garden Court acted on behalf of Statewatch as a third party intervener, instructed by Zubier Yazdani of Deighton Pierce Glynn.

20 June 2019

Jo Wilding launches 'Droughts and Deserts: a report on the immigration legal aid market'

The report, launched on 12 June, was written by Dr Jo Wilding of Garden Court and funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

14 June 2019

High Court declares Home Secretary’s investigation into immigration detention abuse at Brook House inadequate

Stephanie Harrison QC of Garden Court Chambers represented MA instructed by Lewis Kett and Nicholas Hughes of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

14 June 2019

Albanian asylum claims: our resource hub

We welcome lawyers who represent Albanian clients to read the resources we have recently published about Albanian asylum claims which are available for free here.

11 June 2019

Albanian boys and young men: the risk of trafficking and re-trafficking on return

David Neale of Garden Court's paper addresses the situation of Albanian boys and young men who claim asylum on the basis that they face a risk of trafficking or re-trafficking on return to Albania.

11 June 2019

A practical response to the surge in certification of asylum claims by Albanian nationals

This briefing note is prepared jointly by Garden Court Chambers and the Migrant and Refugee Children's Legal Unit to raise awareness in the sector of a sudden spike in the numbers of asylum claims by Albanian nationals which have been certified as 'clearl

5 June 2019

Court of Appeal remit Upper Tribunal Country Guideline case on Afghanistan and provide guidance on correct approach to internal relocation

Sonali Naik QC, Ronan Toal and Gemma Loughran were instructed by JD Spicer on behalf of the appellant. Ali Bandegani was instructed by Baker McKenzie for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

28 May 2019

Tribunal orders Home Office to return deportee to UK in first order of its kind following successful challenge to 'deport first, appeal later'

Sonali Naik QC and Ali Bandegani, both of Garden Court Chambers, represented the claimant. They were instructed by Sulaiha Ali and Phillip Armitage of Duncan Lewis.

7 May 2019

Court granted injunction today for man facing deportation from UK to DRC

Alex Grigg of the Garden Court Immigration and Public Law Teams was instructed on behalf of Habib Bazaboko by Cyrielle Vallet Simond and Toufique Hossain of Duncan Lewis Solicitors.

12 April 2019

Albanian blood feuds and certification: a critical view

This paper is written by David Neale, legal researcher and former barrister at Garden Court Chambers.

4 April 2019

Supreme Court reasserts the role of medical experts in asylum claims by torture survivors

The appellant was represented by Ronan Toal and Michelle Brewer. Stephanie Harrison QC, Ali Bandegani and Mark Symes for the interveners.

6 March 2019

Court of Appeal case gives guidance as to how Tribunal judges should approach the assessment of credibility in asylum cases

Patrick Lewis instructed by York Solicitors on behalf of the Applicant and Hafsah Masood instructed by GLD on behalf of the Respondent.

22 February 2019

Major reforms to immigration detention decision-making proposed in report of the Joint Human Rights Committee

Following a wide-ranging inquiry into the use of immigration detention by the Home Office, the report of the Joint Human Rights Committee of both Houses of Parliament is now available.

7 February 2019

Further Guidance from the Courts on Article 8 post Rhuppiah

David Jones of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team has been instructed by Sutovic and Hartigan Solicitors to prepare the grounds of appeal to the Supreme Court.

6 February 2019

Gemma Loughran and Kirsten Heaven appointed Fee Paid Judges of the First-Tier Tribunal – Immigration and Asylum Chamber

We are delighted to announce that Gemma Loughran and Kirsten Heaven have been appointed Fee Paid Judges of the First-Tier Tribunal – Immigration and Asylum Chamber.

30 January 2019

Northern Ireland appeal case on 'Chen parents' in Court of Justice of the European Union

Garden Court’s Gráinne Mellon and Ronan Toal appeared in the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) last week on behalf of the AIRE Centre who were intervenors in the case of Bajarati v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] ECR 1.

28 January 2019

Dubs Amendment: High Court finds Home Office unlawfully failed to publish policy and breached its duty of candour

The claimant was represented by Sonali Naik QC, Bryony Poynor and Miranda Butler of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team.

22 January 2019

Appeal rights under the 2016 EEA Regulations are to be introduced for extended family members (EFM)

Grace Brown represented the Claimant. She was instructed by Sharif Khan of Oliver Hasani Solicitors.

14 January 2019

Miranda Butler acts in European Court of Human Rights challenge by Azerbaijani journalist

Miranda Butler acted for the interveners, a coalition of NGOs including PEN International and Privacy International.

10 January 2019

Upper Tribunal rules Home Office’s removal of disputed minor to Germany unlawful and orders his return to UK

QH is represented by Sonali Naik QC and Greg Ó Ceallaigh of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team.

4 December 2018

Dublin returns to Italy give rise to an arguable breach of article 3 ECHR

Greg Ó Ceallaigh acts for the lead claimant in the successful challenge to the lawfulness of removals to Italy.

4 December 2018

Human dignity in a time of austerity: the Rule of Law as a counterpoint to the hostile environment for migrants

Amanda Weston QC delivered the plenary speech at our inaugural Migrant Support Conference with Legal Action Group.

3 December 2018

KV (Sri Lanka) v SSHD (Helen Bamber Foundation, Freedom from Torture, and Medical Justice Intervening) UKSC 2017/0124

Stephanie Harrison QC, Mark Symes and Ali Bandegani are instructed by Freshfields on behalf of all three intervenors.

30 November 2018

Sonali Naik QC announced BSN Lawyer of the Year at UK Diversity Legal Awards 2018

Sonali became a QC in 2018 and is the newly appointed Chair of Liberty.

22 November 2018

Supreme Court gives guidance on the right to private life in immigration removal cases

David Sellwood was junior counsel in the case, representing the appellant, Rhuppiah.

14 November 2018

Garden Court Chambers ranked in Band 1 in Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019

We are delighted to have once again been ranked in Band 1 by Chambers and Partners in the Chambers UK Bar Guide 2019.

5 November 2018

Supreme Court: Parental misconduct irrelevant to 'unduly harsh' test

Garden Court's Ian Macdonald QC, Sonali Naik QC and Helen Foot were counsel for the appellant KO, instructed by Oluwole Osibona of Freemans Solicitors.

24 October 2018

Secretary of State agrees for permission to apply for judicial review to be granted to an ‘extended family member’ asserting a right of appeal under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016

Grace Brown was instructed by Rezart Alia of Duncan Lewis, who was in turn supervised by Shalini Patel.

12 October 2018

Court of Appeal - detention of asylum seekers unlawful under Article 28 Dublin III

In a majority decision, the Court of Appeal (Etherton and Peter Jackson LLJ; Sales LJ dissenting) delivered a significant judgment affecting the lawfulness of detention of asylum seekers subject to the Dublin III Regulation.

8 October 2018

A Father Was Arrested And Pinned To The Ground Naked In His Home By Immigration Officers Acting On A False Tip-Off

This article was written by Emily Dugan for BuzzFeed News. David Jones of the Garden Court Chambers Immigration Team is representing Tapiwa Matukutire.

21 September 2018

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