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Louise Hooper

  • Call: 1997
Louise Hooper
"She has standout knowledge of unaccompanied minors." "She's fantastic - when you have her on side you're instantly more confident." "Committed, driven, a pleasure to work with and thoroughly effective in the High Court." 
Chambers UK Bar Guide


Louise is a specialist asylum, human rights and immigration lawyer appearing before Courts and Tribunals at all levels in the UK. She has a broad range of experience of both clients and case types on all aspects of immigration, citizenship and asylum work and is very familiar with the domestic and international jurisprudence on the Refugee Convention and other Human Rights conventions. She has strong knowledge of UK citizenship law and EU residence and free movement rights. She also does a significant amount of unlawful detention work and is a volunteer for Asylum Support Appeal Project.

Louise has an particular expertise in sex and gender-based violence claims including domestic violence, sexual and gender-based violence, sexual orientation and gender identity (S/GBV) as persecution and trafficking cases. This includes challenges to reasonable grounds and conclusive grounds decisions, refusals of residence permits, detention of victims of trafficking and breaches of the duty to investigate arising under policy and Article 4 ECHR.

What others say

“She is hard-working and generous and extremely responsive. Easy to work with collaboratively and always puts the client’s interests first.”
Chambers UK 2019

“She is excellent and is doing a lot of good work.”
Legal 500 2019

“Louise has dealt with a number of very complex matters and is always up for fighting a cause.” “She has lots of knowledge and experience.”
Chambers UK 2018

“She has strong knowledge of asylum law and is very approachable”
Legal 500 2017

“She has standout knowledge of unaccompanied minors.” “She’s fantastic – when you have her on side you’re instantly more confident. She gets straight to the point and has an amazing analytical brain.” “Committed, driven, a pleasure to work with and thoroughly effective in the High Court.”
Chambers UK 2017

“Really strong on asylum laws and appeals.”
Legal 500 2016

“Able to find a tactical angle.”
Legal 500 2015

“An asylum-focused immigration practitioner. Hooper represents clients from initial application to judicial review in the higher courts.”
Chambers UK 2013

TN(Vietnam) and US(Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and Lord Chancellor [2017] EWHC 59 (Admin)
Established 2005 Fast Track Procedure Rules were ultra vires.

Mutesi v SSHD [2015] EWHC 2467 (Admin)
No requirement of corroboration to establish whether or not a person was a victim of trafficking.

HJ(Iran) v SSHD [2009] EWCA Civ 172
Relating to gay men in Iran. One of the groundbreaking refugee law cases of recent times establishing that where “discretion” or “hiding” – here of sexuality – was necessary to avoid serious harm. Persecution under the Refugee Convention was established. Louise successfully obtained permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal prior to going on sabbatical.

HB(Ethiopia) v SSHD [2006] EWCA Civ 1713
Concerning delay in human rights cases (linked to EB(Kosovo) v SSHD which proceeded to the House of Lords see [2008] UKHL 41.

Rahman v SSHD [2005] EWCA Civ 1826
In which the Court of Appeal held there was a public law duty on the SSHD in a human rights case to ensure the court could determine the issue at hand by the provision of relevant information;

HM(Somalia) [2005] UKIAT 00040
The UKAIT recognised that women in Somalia formed a particular social group.

R (L) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2003] EWCA Civ 25, [2003] 1 WLR 1230
On the introduction of the clearly unfounded certification regime and the failure to publish the relevant legislation.

Founder member of this NGO set up in 2006 to educate other professionals in best practice in trafficking cases, provide publicly-accessible legal and training materials free of charge, respond to proposed legislative changes at domestic and European level and develop a network of lawyers and other professionals across the UK.

Refugee Status Claims Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: A Practitioners’ Guide
Louise Hooper and Livio Zilli (International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) 2016)

Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice
Chapters on family (2005) deportation (2007), human rights (2010) and trafficking in human beings (2013) in the UK practitioner text on asylum and immigration law (LexisNexis)

‘Representing Trafficked Women and Children: An Unreported Nigerian Trafficking Case – FI (Nigeria)
Women’s Asylum News (Asylum Aid, Issue 72, February 2008)

Louise has extensive experience of developing, preparing and providing training in the fields of immigration, asylum and human rights law both domestically and internationally. Over 2016 this included:

  • ‘Concealment’ and asylum – for the International Commission of Jurists at launch of the Practitioners Guide in both Geneva and London
  • Best Practice – LGBTI asylum claims for the Immigration Law Practitioners Association
  • Garden Court Chambers training on the Immigration Act 2016
  • Bespoke training for The Children’s Society
  • The International Protection of Vulnerable Asylum Seekers – Gender, LGBTI and disability for the Council of Europe, UNHCR and Georgian Ministry for Refugees
  • Anti-Slavery Day Conference – jointly held with the Human Trafficking Foundation and Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group, co-organiser with others in chambers
  • Trans Equality Legal Initiative – November 2016

Louise is a recognised expert on LGBTI, gender and domestic violence. She formed part of the GREVIO mission to investigate and report on the compliance of Austria with the Council of Europe Convention on Prevention and Combatting Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (the Istanbul Convention) and is currently engaged by the Council of Europe to work on developing e-training materials.

Louise has travelled extensively around South and Central America and has a (reasonable) working knowledge of Spanish. In 2008 she engaged in a misguided attempt to become a ski instructor, forgot to land a jump and decided maybe paperwork was actually more fun after all.