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Nicola Braganza

  • Call: 1992
Nicola Braganza
"She has great communication skills and is willing to discuss potential arguments in complex cases."

Chambers UK, 2019

"Extremely committed to her clients and a real pleasure to work with." "She is able to develop highly persuasive arguments and get them across in plain language."

Legal 500


Nicola specialises in public law, with an emphasis on human rights, in equality and discrimination law and in immigration and asylum. Throughout her practice she has developed particular expertise in representing highly vulnerable adults and children.

Nicola regularly appears at all levels: in the Employment Tribunal, including at mediations, the Employment Appeal Tribunal, First and Upper Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber), the Administrative Court and the Court of Appeal. She was junior counsel in the House of Lords asylum support case of Nadezda Anufrijeva v SSHD (meaning of determination) [2003] UKHL 36 and more recently in the landmark indirect race and age discrimination case of Essop v UKBA [2017] UKSC 27 in the Supreme Court.

Nicola also acts for clients in a range of other tribunals including the First-tier Tribunal (Mental Health), at inquests and inquiries, internal disciplinary hearings, the Nursing and Midwifery Council and other regulatory bodies.

In her mental health work Nicola has acted for restricted patients at both Ashworth and Rampton High Security Hospitals in a number of judicial review challenges. These have ranged from the closure of the arts activities to the implementation of seclusion policies and the lawfulness of the NHS Safety and Security Directions 2000, including random telephone monitoring.

Nicola is a regular speaker on both domestic and EU equality and discrimination law in the UK and in Europe for the European Academy of Law, Germany.

Registered with the Bar Pro Bono Unit, Nicola acts in discrimination cases.

What Others Say

Chambers UK 2019: Ranked as a leading junior who “has great communication skills and is willing to discuss potential arguments in complex cases.”

Legal 500 2019: Ranked as a leading junior in both employment and immigration law. “She is incredibly sharp and fights for the client to the best of her ability,” and “her empathy to the clients is something to be admired.”

Chambers UK 2018: Ranked as a leading junior “who continues to receive praise for her work with vulnerable appellants and their families“. Her caseload includes complex work regarding trafficking, FGM, domestic abuse cases and asylum-seeking children.  “She is so committed. She’s done a lot of work around the Calais camp and volunteers her services beyond the call of duty.

Legal 500 2017: Ranked as a leading junior in both employment and immigration law, “She has exceptional encyclopedic knowledge of disability discrimination.” “She is extremely warm, calm and approachable, which makes it easier for vulnerable clients to open up.”

Chambers UK 2017: Ranked as a leading junior in immigration law, “Nicola has particular expertise with complex immigration cases.” “She has amazingly in-depth knowledge and is prepared to go the extra mile for clients.”

Legal 500 2016: Ranked as a leading junior in both employment and immigration law, Nicola is “Very bright and very good with clients.” “She has a great commitment to the work she does and always goes the extra mile for clients.” 

Legal 500 2015: Ranked as a leading junior in both employment and immigration law who is “extremely committed to her clients and a real pleasure to work with”  and   “able to develop highly persuasive arguments and get them across in plain language.”

Legal 500 2014: Ranked as a leading junior in both employment and immigration law who is “committed and very accessible” and who “works hard to ensure good preparation.”

Legal 500 2013: Ranked as a leading junior in both employment and immigration law who “pursues every opportunity to resolve a problem”.

Significant Cases

Public Law

R (on the application of Anjum) v Entry Clearance Officer, Islamabad (entrepreneur – business expansion – fairness generally) [2017] UKUT 406 (IAC

R (on the application of Zhang) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 1310 (Admin)
Challenge to Defendant’s immigration policy, delay and decision premised on error of fact.

The Queen (on the application of Prenga, Jaku and Khaled ) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 605 (Admin)
Challenge by the Claimants to the Defendant’s handling of legacy cases, those within the backlog of older unresolved asylum cases.

The Queen (on the application of Omokayode) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWHC 594 (Admin)
Challenge to the SSHD’s decision to grant the Claimant limited discretionary leave to remain instead of indefinite leave to remain following a five-year delay handling her application for leave to remain and when her son had since been granted British citizenship.

IM (Nigeria) v SSHD [2013] EWCA Civ 1561
Challenge to SSHD’s continued detention of hunger striker, whose physical health so deteriorated, an end-of-life plan prepared by the IRC nursing staff.

The Queen ex p S v SSHD [2013] EWHC (Admin)
Challenge to immigration detainee’s unlawful detention and a hunger striker case, in which an interim injunction for detainee’s immediate release was granted.

The Queen ex p Hakemi & Others v SSHD [2012] EWHC 1967 (Admin)
Judicial review concerning the Home Office’s handling of immigration legacy cases, ministerial guidance, minister’s powers and duties, and parliamentary scrutiny.

The Queen ex p G v SSHD [2012]
Judicial review of immigration detainee’s unlawful detention and Article 8 claim, on which the detainee was subsequently successful and granted leave.

Ala Anufrijeva & Others v London Borough of Southwark [2004] 2 WLR 603
Guidance on damages under the Human Rights Act 1998.

R v (1) SSHD (2) SSWP, ex parte Nadezda Anufrijeva [2003] 3 WLR 252 HL
Successful House of Lords case on asylum support and the meaning of a determination.

R v SSHD, ex parte Consuelo Hashmi [2002] LTL 3/5/2002
Successful Court of Appeal challenge on legitimate expectation and the grant of Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR)

R v (1) Ashworth Special Hospital Authority (2) Secretary of State for Health ex parte N [2001] HRLR 46
Challenge to random telephone monitoring in high-security hospitals.

Asylum and Immigration

AJ (Gambia) v SSHD (2016) EWCA 955

Article 3 inhuman or degrading treatment, leave to remain, medical treatment

NA & AA (Iraq) v SSHD [2009] EWHC 420
Home Office policy on Iraqi asylum seekers.

Mbanga v SSHD [2005] EWCA Civ 367, [2005] INLR 377
Successful Court of Appeal case on the consideration of medical evidence in asylum appeals.

SM and Others (Iraq) v SSHD [2005] UKIAT 00111
Country Guidance case on risk of return for Iraqi Kurds.

LW (Cancellation refugee status: UNHCR Note) Ethiopia [2005] UKIAT00042

R (Adam) v SSHD [2004] EWHC LTL

Employment and Discrimination

Essop v Home Office (UK Border Agency) [2017] UKSC 27
Nicola acted as junior counsel in the successful landmark indirect discrimination case on the application of section 19 of the Equality Act 2010 in claims of race and age indirect discrimination.

Downie v Coherent Scotland [2017] ET Successful sex discrimination claim refusal of part-time hours to working mother.

Home Office (UK Border Agency) v Essop & Ors [2015] EWCA Civ 609
Test cases on the meaning of indirect discrimination and the application of section 19 of the Equality Act 2010 in claims of race and age indirect discrimination.

Dean v Home Office [2012] ET
Successful race and age indirect discrimination claim against the Home Office.

Marcus v Astrazeneca Ltd ET [2011]
Successful race direct discrimination claim against global pharmaceutical company.

A v B & C [2010] ET
Successful sexual orientation and disability discrimination claim by the longest suffering man with HIV.

Khoja v Metropolitan Police [2009] ET
Religious discrimination. Muslim caterer required to handle pork.

Hose Express Thurrock v Jacomb [2009] LTL 1/4/09
Disability discrimination post-Malcolm.

Ursell v Manor Bakeries Ltd EAT [2005] WL 21/2/05
Successful Employment Appeal Tribunal challenge on burden of proof post Igen v Wong; guidelines to employment tribunals, pregnancy discrimination, sex discrimination, unfair dismissal.

Parliamentary Comm. for Administration v Fernandez [2004] ICR 123
Indirect discrimination claim.

Jayasuriya v Meat Hygiene Service (2) Lincs Turkeys Ltd [2001] LTL
Liability under the Race Relations Act 1976.

Tchoulla v Netto Foodstores Ltd [1998] LTL
Guidance to employment tribunals in deciding race discrimination cases with litigants in person.

Morse v Future Reality [1996] ET
Successful claim on downloading of sexually explicit images in the workplace – sexual harassment.


In July 2013, Nicola acted as Counsel to the People’s Commission of Inquiry into the Secretary of State’s closure of the emergency and maternity services at Lewisham Hospital, London. This was organised by the ‘Save Lewisham Hospital’ Campaign working together with Tooks Chambers.


Nicola has written on the freemovement blog about the refugee camps in Calais and Dunkirk in January 2016 and also about the Athens Refugee Support Legal Support project in April 2017  https://www.freemovement.org.uk/author/nicolabraganza/ .

She has also written in Legal Action in November 2017 on the Athens Refugee Legal Support Project http://www.lag.org.uk/magazine/2017/11/refugee-legal-support-athens-seven-months-on-and-the-kindness-of-strangers.aspx

Whilst at Tooks Chambers and also at Garden Court, Nicola is a regular contributor to Legal Action both on the immigration law update series as part of the immigration team and on discrimination law.

In 2012 Nicola published an article on the devastating impact of Chris Grayling’s proposed cuts to legal aid on the most vulnerable in our society for Left Foot Forward.

Seminars and Training

Nicola is a regular guest speaker on EU Equality and Anti-discrimination law at the Academy of European Law (ERA) in Trier, Germany, which is funded by the European Commission to provide judicial and legal training to practitioners in Member States. Over the past years she has provided training and run workshops on EU equality and discrimination law for academics, practitioners and the judiciary in Trier, Barcelona, Warsaw and Budapest.  Most recently she spoke on race discrimination at the Discrimination Law Association’s AGM in November 2017.

Nicola also regularly gives seminars and provides in-house training for solicitors, law centres, NGOs, and educational establishments on immigration and asylum, including to lawyers working in Calais, Dunkirk and Budapest with refugees.

Nicola is a co-convenor of the Refugee Working Group of the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA).

Athens Legal Support Project

Nicola is part of the Athens Refugee Legal Support Project (RLS-Athens) a legal clinic which provides legal support to refugees in Athens.

Visit the JustGiving page and read Nicola’s article in the Legal Action Group’s November 2017 edition: Refugee Legal Support Athens: seven months on – and the kindness of strangers.