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Taimour Lay

  • Call: 2011
Taimour Lay
Taimour does wonderfully well explaining complex issues… He has great knowledge and is always ready to share ideas… he shows a tremendous commitment to clients, who are often the most excluded and marginalised, ensuring they get access to justice” 
Jackie Peirce, Solicitor


Taimour practises in immigration, public law, inquests and human rights.

Immigration and refugee law

His immigration work focuses on complex asylum, deportation and Article 8 appeals. He is also regularly instructed in judicial reviews, including urgent challenges to removal, unlawful detention, Dublin III transfers, certifications, trafficking decisions and disputed age-assessments.

He uses his experience and contacts as a former journalist to source new expert reports and offers solicitors training on evidence in human rights appeals.

Taimour represents victims of trafficking, both in the immigration tribunal and through applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) and Court of Appeal.

Taimour is public access accredited and welcomes direct enquiries from people seeking advice or representation.

He was a volunteer on the duty scheme at the Asylum Support Appeals Project and also provides regular pro bono advice to individuals at Haringey Migrant Support Centre, with an emphasis on regularisation of status and EU residence rights. His current international work includes trial observation for human rights groups in the Middle East and participation in legal advice projects for refugees in Greece.


Taimour is a member of the INQUEST Lawyers Group and Garden Court Inquests Team. He represents bereaved families at Coroner’s inquests involving state authorities, in particular deaths in prison and immigration detention as well as patients who have died while detained or under the care of mental health, hospital and care home services. He advises on civil claims arising from breach of duties by the state, including Article 2 ECHR and negligence.

Notable cases

Daryl Hargrave Inquest

Jury found that “neglect” had contributed to the death of a 22-year-old prisoner suffering from psychosis at HMP Winchester. Coverage by the BBC and The Guardian.

R(Q) v Leicestershire County Council & Anor [2016] EWHC 2087 

Successful judicial review establishing that an Eritrean asylum-seeker was a child upon arrival in the UK.

R v YY [2016] EWCA Crim 18

Court of Appeal. Recipient of Humanitarian Protection from Iraq prosecuted for document offence. Appeal against conviction heard by Sir Brian Leveson.

Faisa Ahmed Inquest

Represented the family of Ms Ahmed in January 2016. The jury returned a narrative conclusion critical of the police, London Ambulance Service and local job centre. The Coroner issued three Reports to Prevent Future Deaths. Successfully obtained interim relief from the High Court in 2015 to ensure the inquest was Article 2 ECHR compliant. Extended coverage by The Guardian and Sky News.

AA (Rwanda) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] UKAITUR

Upper Tribunal appeal involving attempted refugee exclusion of Rwandan national accused of war crimes. Three-day hearing before panel. Junior Counsel to Duran Seddon.

R v Okedare & Ors [2014] EWCA Crim 228
Application for appeal against conviction of a victim of trafficking. Heard by special panel of the Court of Appeal.

Recent publications and articles

“Speak its name”, The Blizzard, September 2017

“Uncovering a massacre”, Delayed Gratification, Issue 26, February 2017

“Gabon, politics and Afcon 2017”, Royal African Society, February 2017

“Lost in transit – Football and trafficking”, When Saturday Comes, February 2016

Fresh claims for asylum – a DIY guide, Free Movement, 8 January 2016

Are £1-an-hour jobs legal?Corporate Watch, 22 April 2015

“Human rights and the Africa Cup of Nations”, Royal African Society, 9 February 2015

“Why Scotland’s independence would be good for migrants” Garden Court Blog, 27 August 2014

“Somalia: safe for returns?” Free Movement blog (with Ronan Toal) 15 October 2013

“Challenging immigration decisions and enforcement: Analysis: The Crime and Courts Act 2013” (with Michelle Brewer), July 2013, Lexis Nexis

“Syria’s legal fight amid the gunfire” February 2013,Socialist Lawyer, No. 63

“Limits of the law: Review of Borderline Justice by Frances Webber”, Feb 2013, Socialist Lawyer, No 63

“Egypt: Defending the Revolution” July 2012, Socialist Lawyer 61

“Employment Law Isn’t Working: A discussion with David Renton”, June 2012, New Left Project

“The Optimism Industry: how private equity rips off Africa”, May 2012, BBC Focus on Africa

“Death on the lake: British oil company’s role in Congo killings exposed”, May 2012, Corporate Watch

“East Africa’s rush for oil and gas”, 29 May 2012, Africa Arguments

“Trouble in paradise: the real Maldives coup”, 7 April 2012, The Commune

“Shabaab’s Waiting Game”, 30 March 2012, Africa Confidential, Vol 53 No 7

“On the African Union offensive: the frontline against Shabaab”, April 2012, The Africa Report, No 39

“Simon Mann: A gun for hire, with conditions”, April 2012, The Africa Report No 39

“Death by a thousand paper cuts”, 14 Jan 2012, The Commune

“Revealed: How the World Bank fails on racial discrimination”, October 2011, The Africa Report, No 41

“Get out of town: Ledbury residents resist Tesco development”, 6 September 2011, Corporate Watch

“Lake of Oil: Congo’s contracts escalate conflict, pollution and poverty”, May 2010, Platform London. Also translated into French. Published and distributed in Democratic Republic of Congo by CENCO and the UN as “Pétrole au Lac Albert: révélation des contrats congolais contestés”

“Cursed Contracts: Uganda’s oil agreements put profit before people”, Feb 2010, Platform London.

“Uganda’s contracts give little cause for optimism”, 17 Feb 2010; The Guardian

BBC interview: “Taimour Lay is an Oil analyst for Platform and spoke to the BBC from Kampala”


Taimour became a tenant in October 2013 after completing 12 months’ pupillage at Garden Court under the supervision of Ronan Toal.

Before coming to the Bar, he spent a decade as a journalist covering political-economy, social movements and conflict. He has reported from the United States (2005), Hong Kong (2006), Sri Lanka/Maldives (2006-7), Uganda (2009-10), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (2010-12) and Somalia (2012). He has written for Africa Confidential, The Africa Report, BBC Focus on Africa, The Guardian and Corporate Watch, among others. He most recently published articles following fieldwork in Equatorial Guinea (2015) and Gabon (2017). He also spent four years on the sports desks of The Guardian and The Independent.

He worked for environmental justice group Platform, investigating corruption in the oil and gas industries. He gave evidence to the UN Expert Panel on DRC in 2012 and was a regular analyst live on BBC radio to discuss political developments in East Africa. He is the co-author of two reports leaking confidential oil contracts and has given training in investigative journalism to Friends of the Earth and other NGOs.

Community Work

Taimour worked with the Unity Centre in Glasgow, as a caseworker with Bail for Immigration Detainees, was a supporter of the London Coalition Against Poverty and the International Solidarity Movement in Palestine. He is a member of the Labour Party and the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers. He is a programme editor at Kingstonian FC.