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Laurie Fransman QC

  • Call: 1979
  • Silk: 2000
Laurie Fransman QC
"A star in immigration law." "The leading light on nationality." "Politically very astute."

Chambers UK, 2019

"The guru of nationality law." "One of the greatest minds in the immigration law field."

Chambers UK

What the Legal Directories Say

Chambers UK Bar Guide

Laurie has “Star individual” ranking in the ‘Immigration Silks’ category.

The 2019 edition reports:
A celebrated silk with market-leading knowledge of nationality and asylum law. He enjoys a glowing reputation, both domestically and internationally, thanks in part to his significant contribution to leading literature in the area. His areas of expertise within asylum law include complex protection and exclusion cases. He is well versed at representing private clients, particularly from Eastern Europe. He is the founder of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association. “A star in immigration law.” “The leading light on nationality.” “Politically very astute.”

The 2018 edition reports:
A celebrated silk with market-leading knowledge of nationality and asylum law. He enjoys a glowing reputation, both domestically and internationally, thanks in part to his significant contribution to leading literature in the area. His areas of expertise within asylum law include complex protection and exclusion cases. He is well versed at representing private clients, particularly from Eastern Europe.”The leading light in citizenship applications. An amazing QC at the top of his field.”

The 2017 edition reports:
A celebrated silk with market-leading knowledge of nationality and asylum law. He enjoys a glowing reputation, both domestically and internationally, thanks in part to his significant contribution to leading literature in the area. His areas of expertise within asylum law include complex protection and exclusion cases. “The guru of nationality law.” “The authority on immigration law who deftly handles the most challenging points.”

The 2016 edition reports:
One of the luminaries of nationality law, having both practised in this area from 1979 and written extensively on the subject. His wider practice sees him undertake extradition and asylum proceedings that often feature extremely sensitive diplomatic and national security issues. “He is the pre-eminent lawyer and is very good at the high-profile cases.” “He is phenomenal. He is so clear, so inventive and persuasive.”

The 2015 edition reports:
Laurie Fransman QC “draws effusive praise for his dedication to nationality and asylum work, and has produced major textbooks on these topics. In terms of asylum work, he focuses on complex protection and exclusion matters, often concerning several parties and different countries. “One of the greatest minds in the immigration law field – he is particularly good on nationality matters and is the go-to person for this. He does lots of general ground refusals and his technical knowledge is second to none.” 

Laurie was listed in the Chambers and Partners ‘Top 100 QCs’ list in 2014, which reports:
Laurie Fransman QC is regarded as “a treasure trove of knowledge relating to immigration, asylum and nationality law.” Sources note that “his ability to understand and comprehend very complex issues is complemented by his ability to advise accordingly.” He recently assisted the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in the formulation of global policies to reduce statelessness.

The 2014 edition reports:
Laurie Fransman QC is highly rated by barristers and solicitors alike, he is the “guru on nationality issues” and has “unmatched knowledge,” making him the first port of call for many. “He’s an absolute joy to work with and a very impressive advocate.” “We seek opinions on highly sensitive matters from Laurie, based on his pre-eminence and depth of experience.”

The 2013 edition reports:
Laurie Fransman QC “invented nationality law as a modern academic subject.” Solicitors look to him for advice on”highly complex citizenship issues – what he doesn’t know about British citizenship law isn’t worth knowing,” they say. He works across jurisdictions, drawing together immigration and human rights law to protect individuals who are subject to political persecution.

This assessment has been consistent over the years. For example, the Chambers UK 2009 Directory gave him ‘Star’ ranking and reported:
Sources describe Fransman as a “veritable font of knowledge,” variously labelling him “the guru” or “the god of nationality law.” He is primarily celebrated for his expertise in nationality issues, although this forms just one thread of a practice that takes in all manner of complex immigration and asylum cases in both the UK and European courts. As one source explained, “he remains a truly brilliant and well-recognised expert across the board – he’s first choice for anything relating to immigration.”

The Legal 500

Laurie is ranked in Tier 1 in the category “Immigration – Leading Silks”.

The 2019 edition reports, “He has commitment and absolute knowledge and is generous with his time.”

The 2017 edition reports, “His advocacy is calm and convincing, and he is clearly well respected by immigration judges.”

The 2016 edition reports, “He can get to grips with the most factually complex situations.”

The 2015 edition describes Laurie as “A leading expert.”

The 2014 edition describes Laurie as “the go-to barrister for nationality law.”

The 2013 edition reports:
“Garden Court Chambers commands respect for its applicant work, and has a number of authorities on immigration law, including … the ‘pre-eminent Laurie Fransman QC, who has ‘unmatched knowledge of nationality law’.”

See also Who’s Who and Debrett’s People of Today

Casework

All aspects of immigration, nationality and asylum but with an emphasis on high-level protection cases, often involving situations generating multiple clients spanning more than one country. Confidentiality prevents Laurie identifying the individuals for whom he has won refugee status or subsidiary protection.

Laurie also specialises in complex nationality issues at national and international levels (such as the case of the Chagos Islanders).

The courts and tribunals in which he appears include SIAC (partly ‘closed’ tribunal dealing with national security cases. See for example T6 v SSHD [2011] UKSIAC 95/2010; S1, T1, U1 and V1 v SSHD [2011] 27 October, UKSIAC SC/106-109/2011).

Policy work

Laurie participates in policy development at NGO, governmental and inter-governmental levels (Council of Europe; UNHCR) and has also participated in the UK and elsewhere in the drafting of constitutions and legislation. Particularly, he has drafted nationality Bills (private) or nationality amendments to Bills in passage and was partly responsible for provisions such as the British Nationality (Hong Kong) Act 1997 (British citizenship for ethnic minorities in Hong Kong), s.6 of the British Overseas Territories Act 2002 (British citizenship for the Ilois, or Chagos Islanders) and s.13 of the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (British citizenship for certain pre-1983 children of British mothers). He also participated in the process resulting in the European Convention on Nationality 1997.

Publications

Most notably, Laurie is

  • the lead external lawyer responsible for both the ‘Immigration and Asylum’ and ‘British Nationality’ titles in Halsbury’s Laws of England, the definitive statement of English law
  • founder and principal author of the leading work on British nationality law.

Details of these and other publications:

  • Halsbury’s Laws of England (LexisNexis 5th ed, vol. 4 (2011) and vol. 57 (2012)), Coordinating editor and principal contributor to the “British Nationality” and “Immigration and Asylum” titles
  • Fransman’s British Nationality Law, 3rd ed (Bloomsbury, 2011)
  • Blackstone’s Guide to the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 (OUP, 2009), co-author
  • Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice (Butterworths 7th ed, 2008), contributor
  • “Commonwealth, Subjects and Nationality Rules”, Max Planck Encyclopaedia of Public International Law (OUP)
  • Jackson & Warr’s Immigration Law and Practice (Sweet & Maxwell, 2001), contributor
  • Immigration, Nationality and Asylum under the Human Rights Act 1998 (Butterworths/Two Garden Court Chambers, 1999), contributor and co-editor with Nicholas Blake QC
  • Citizenship and Nationality Status in the New Europe (Sweet & Maxwell/IPPR, 1998), contributor
  • Strangers and Citizens (Rivers Oram Press, 1994), contributor
  • The Constitution of the United Kingdom (IPPR, 1991), contributor
  • Immigration Emergency Procedures (LAG, 1986), jointly
  • Tribunals Practice and Procedure (Hemstal Press, 1985), jointly
  • British Nationality Law and the 1981 Act (Fourmat, 1982)

Professional memberships and editorial boards

Laurie is the founder and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) and a member of a number of other specialist Bar associations.

He is on the editorial board of Journal of Immigration, Asylum & Nationality Law (Bloomsbury Professional, 1987 to date) and was previously on the editorial board of Immigration and International Employment Law (IRS/Eclipse, 1999 – 2001), and UK contributing editor to Immigration Law and Practice Reporter, New York (1985).

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