“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 UK
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: 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 (meaning of determination) and more recently in the landmark indirect discrimination case of Essop v UKBA  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.
Registered with the Bar Pro Bono Unit, Nicola acts in discrimination cases and is also qualified to take on public access work.
What Others Say
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”.
R (on the application of Zhang) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  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  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  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  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  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  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 
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  2 WLR 603
Guidance on damages under the Human Rights Act 1998.
R v (1) SSHD (2) SSWP, ex parte Nadezda Anufrijeva  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  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  HRLR 46
Challenge to random telephone monitoring in high-security hospitals.
Asylum and Immigration
NA & AA (Iraq) v SSHD  EWHC 420
Home Office policy on Iraqi asylum seekers.
Mbanga v SSHD  EWCA Civ 367,  INLR 377
Successful Court of Appeal case on the consideration of medical evidence in asylum appeals.
SM and Others (Iraq) v SSHD  UKIAT 00111
Country Guidance case on risk of return for Iraqi Kurds.
LW (Cancellation refugee status: UNHCR Note) Ethiopia  UKIAT00042
R (Adam) v SSHD  EWHC LTL
Employment and Discrimination
Essop v Home Office (UK Border Agency)  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.
Home Office (UK Border Agency) v Essop & Ors  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  ET
Successful race and age indirect discrimination claim against the Home Office.
Marcus v Astrazeneca Ltd ET 
Successful race direct discrimination claim against global pharmaceutical company.
A v B & C  ET
Successful sexual orientation and disability discrimination claim by the longest suffering man with HIV.
Khoja v Metropolitan Police  ET
Religious discrimination. Muslim caterer required to handle pork.
Hose Express Thurrock v Jacomb  LTL 1/4/09
Disability discrimination post-Malcolm.
Ursell v Manor Bakeries Ltd EAT  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  ICR 123
Indirect discrimination claim.
Jayasuriya v Meat Hygiene Service (2) Lincs Turkeys Ltd  LTL
Liability under the Race Relations Act 1976.
Tchoulla v Netto Foodstores Ltd  LTL
Guidance to employment tribunals in deciding race discrimination cases with litigants in person.
Morse v Future Reality  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.
Whilst at Tooks Chambers and at Garden Court, Nicola is a regular contributor to Legal Action both on the immigration update series as part of the immigration team and on the Equality Act 2010 and discrimination law update articles by the discrimination team.
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 equality and discrimination 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. She has provided training on EU discrimination law to academics, practitioners and the judiciary in Barcelona, Warsaw and Budapest.
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 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
Most recently, Nicola has been involved in the Athens Legal Support Project which provides legal support and advice to refugees in Athens. https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/athenslegalsupportproject