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Sadat Sayeed

  • Call: 2001
Sadat Sayeed
"Routinely handles politically sensitive cases on behalf of high-profile individuals within the political, business and sporting worlds."

"He is particularly noted for his deep knowledge of human rights and refugee law."

"An excellent barrister who takes on very complicated cases and accumulates understanding of the cases quickly."

"So bright and brilliant at the law. Clients and judges love him."

Chambers UK, 2019

Recent recommendations

Chambers UK 2019 reports that Sadat Sayeed “Routinely handles politically sensitive cases on behalf of high-profile individuals within the political, business and sporting worlds. He is particularly noted for his deep knowledge of human rights and refugee law, regularly advising clients from Eastern European countries. He is adept at handling cases concerning deportation, extradition and international protection.” “An excellent barrister who takes on complicated cases and accumulates understanding of the cases quickly.” “So bright and brilliant at the law. Clients and judges love him. He is incredibly thorough and prompt in his preparation and doesn’t leave things to the last minute.” 

Legal 500 2019 says that Sadat Sayeed is “tenacious, creative, thinks well on his feet and is highly respected by judges.”

Practice

Sadat Sayeed joined Garden Court Chambers in April 2002 as a second six pupil, under the supervision of Frances Webber. He completed his first six at Matrix Chambers as the pupil of Raza Husain (now QC). He became a tenant at Garden Court in October 2002.

Sadat is a practitioner specialising in advice, representation and advocacy in all areas of immigration, asylum, nationality, deportation, detention, national security, EU free movement and human rights law.

Sadat’s practice particularly focuses on advice and representation in politically sensitive cases involving high profile and senior figures from the worlds of politics, business and sport. The outcomes in these cases regularly impact upon the UK’s relations with other countries. Confidentiality prevents Sadat from identifying these individuals.

Sadat has acted for such clients from countries including Egypt, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia and India. In these cases Sadat provides initial strategic advice, he assists with the preparation of legally and evidentially complex applications (whether for asylum/human rights protection or for an immigration status) and provides representation before the immigration tribunals, the higher courts and the European Court of Human Rights. Within the context of these cases, he has a specific interest in the interplay between extradition and asylum proceedings, with many of his clients simultaneously facing extradition and seeking asylum.

Sadat’s practice also has an international dimension and his expertise in formulating political motivation arguments within extradition and international protection contexts is sought out across Europe. In 2015 he acted for Dmytro Firtash in his historic victory against an attempt by the USA to extradite him from Austria. In a landmark decision, the Regional Court in Vienna refused to order Firtash’s extradition on the ground that the US request was politically motivated.

Sadat also has a flourishing practice in commercial immigration and provides advice and representation for the full range of cases arising from the ‘Points Based System’. He has particular expertise in the law, policy and practice relating to Tier 1 (Investor) and (Entrepreneur) Migrants.

Sadat has a particular interest in the law relating to Article 8 ECHR and is able to deploy creative arguments to assist clients, both in the UK and abroad, seeking legal solutions based on their private and family life. Sadat’s approach to such litigation is strategic and robust.

What Others Say

Chambers UK 2018 reports that Sadat Sayeed “Routinely handles politically sensitive cases on behalf of high-profile individuals within the political, business and sporting worlds. He is particularly noted for his deep knowledge of human rights and refugee law, regularly advising clients from Eastern European countries. He is adept at handling cases concerning deportation, extradition and international protection.” “He combines a first-class mind with an approachable personality.” “His pleadings are superb – he’s a really formidable opponent.”

The Legal 500 2017 says that Sadat Sayeed is very smart, and tenacious in his preparation.”

Chambers UK 2017 reports that Sadat Sayeed “Routinely handles politically sensitive cases on behalf of high-profile individuals within the political, business and sporting worlds. He is particularly noted for his deep knowledge of human rights and refugee law, regularly advising clients from Eastern European countries. “He is absolutely committed to each and every case.” “His written pleading is top-notch. He sets out arguments extremely clearly and persuasively.”

The Legal 500 2016 says that Sadat Sayeed “has all the attributes of a barrister of the highest quality.”

Chambers UK 2016 reports that Sadat Sayeed “Earns significant praise from his peers and solicitors for a practice that sees him instructed in complex and highly sensitive human rights and asylum proceedings. He also provides advice on EU free movement law.” “He is brilliant. His written work is short but punchy and precise.” “He is approachable, has immense attention to detail and knows how to influence the judges he’s appearing before.”

Legal 500 2015 said that Sadat is “Very committed to each and every client and will not rest until he has the best possible appeal prepared.”

Chambers UK 2015 said that Sadat Sayeed is “A very successful junior with a wide-ranging practice that deals with various types of inter-country transfer from countries such as India, the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Ukraine. He advises a host of individuals, ranging from those who seek protection for political reasons to those in the top echelons of international sport. “He will not rest until an appeal is prepared as best as it can be. He has an excellent legal mind, and is pragmatic, approachable and able to explain things in a very understandable way.”

Chambers UK 2014 said that Sadat Sayeed “handles the full range of immigration law but is especially experienced in politically sensitive asylum and human rights matters for high-profile businesspeople. He has further expertise in detention cases and is said to be “incredibly dedicated” to this work. “Clients love him and he doesn’t stop until his case is as good as it can be.” “He’s really good with vulnerable clients.”

Notable Cases

R (on the application of Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association) v (1) Tribunal Procedure Committee, (2) Lord Chancellor [2016] EWHC 218 (Admin), [2016] WLR 3519
Public interest challenge brought on behalf of the professional body of immigration lawyers challenging the legality of Rule 13 of the Tribunal Procedure (First-Tier Tribunal) (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Rules 2014 which on its face gave the Tribunal the power to hold a closed material procedure in which evidence not disclosed to a party could be taken into account in the determination of an appeal.

R (Anam) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWCA Civ 1140, [2011] ACD 14
Appeal from the Administrative Court on the question of the legality of detention under Immigration Act 1971, with particular reference to the failure of the Secretary of State to apply his own policy on the detention of the mentally ill. The court considered the Hardial Singh principles as interpreted in SK(Zimbabwe) and the causation test as interpreted in WL(Congo), and their impact upon the legality of the appellant’s detention.

YD (Togo) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWCA Civ 214 [2010] Imm AR 446
Concerned with the impact of recent ECHR case law on the settled test for relocation within Article 8 ECHR, as clarified by the House of Lords in Huang, EB (Kosovo) and Chikwamba.

JA (Ivory Coast) v Secretary of State for the Home Department; ES (Tanzania) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWCA Civ 1353, [2010] Imm AR 381
Lead test cases on the issue of what meaning and weight should the courts give, within the proportionality balance under Article 8 ECHR, to former grants of leave to HIV sufferers on the basis that the UK had ‘assumed responsibility’ for their HIV treatment.

AM & AM (armed conflict: risk categories) Somalia CG [2008] UKAIT 00091
Country Guidance case on risk for Somali returnees, route and method of return, internal armed conflict, international humanitarian law and Article 15(c) Qualification Directive.

R (Warren) v Her Majesty’s Assistant Coroner for Northamptonshire [2008] EWHC 966 (Admin), [2008] Inquest L.R. 65
Requirement for expert psychiatric evidence to be heard at an inquest in the context of the investigate obligation under Article 2 ECHR)

R (Parmaksiz) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] EWHC 2235 (Admin)
Contempt of court against the Home Office for removal in breach of injunction.

O’Driscoll v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2002] EWHC 2477 Admin (Divisional Court), [2003] A.C.D. 35
Compatibility of s.16 of Terrorism Act 2000 with Articles 10 and 11 of ECHR.

Publications

Sadat was a regular contributor to the Administrative Court Digest (formerly Crown Office Digest) and has written numerous articles in Socialist Lawyer. Sadat has contributed to the 6th, 7th, 8th and 9th (current) editions of Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice.

Sadat is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Law.

Sadat has also published the following articles:

Beyond the Language of Deference” [2005] JR Vol 10 Issue 2

Guantánamo Bay – Five Years On” [2007] JIANL Vol 21 Number 2, pp.109-129

Immigration and Asylum Case Law since 2016 – A Complex Picture: Part 1″ [2017] JR Vol 22 Issue 3

Honours

  • CPE Bursary (1999), Major Scholar (2000) and Duke of Edinburgh Scholar (2000) (all from Inner Temple)
  • Pegasus Scholar (2006 – Inns of Court, Pegasus Trust)

Sabbaticals

In 2006, Sadat undertook a fellowship at the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, having been awarded a Pegasus Scholarship by the Inns of Court. Sadat went to New York to specifically work on behalf of the detainees being held at Guantánamo Bay. His focus was on the international law aspects of the Guantánamo litigation, and he was involved in the drafting of the Center’s submissions to the United Nations Committee Against Torture (on the USA’s compliance with the Convention Against Torture) and to the United Nations Human Rights Committee (on the USA’s compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights). He also worked on the Guantánamo refugee issues.

From May 2009 to March 2010, Sadat was seconded to a firm of solicitors to work as in-house counsel on a set of high level political asylum and human rights cases. At the end of his secondment Sadat then spent three months travelling in Australia, New Zealand and Thailand.

Activities and Interests

Sadat was formerly a volunteer at Tower Hamlets Law Centre, working for the Immigration Group.

Sadat has an equal love of music, cricket and football. He is a long-standing Liverpool FC supporter, although he sometimes wonders why.

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