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Matthew Ahluwalia

Year of Call: 2015

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Matthew is a social welfare and public law barrister. He has a particular interest in housing, homelessness, public law, welfare benefits, and migrants’ rights. Matthew is looking to build a diverse social welfare and legal aid practice. 

Administrative and Public Law

Overview

Matthew is happy to accept instructions in judicial review cases. His time working as an employed barrister at Public Law Project gave him a strong grounding in public law casework and procedure across a range of different areas of administrative law and public decision-making.

Matthew has a particular interest in the law and procedure around civil legal aid, and on the interplay between public and administrative law and social welfare law, having worked on these issues during his time at Public Law Project. 

Matthew has been a volunteer advocate with the Asylum Support Appeals Project since 2018, representing applicants who have been refused support under s4 or s95 Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. Matthew is happy to accept instructions in public law matters arising from asylum support issues. 

Notable Cases

RF v Secretary of State for Work And Pensions [2017] EWHC 3375 (Admin) (as a pupil)
Judicial review case successfully quashing amendments to the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013, which were held to be discriminatory towards claimants with mental health impairments. Press release here.

FB (Afghanistan) & Anor, R (On the Application Of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 1338 (as a caseworker)
Successfully challenging Home Office’s policy on removal notice windows. Press release here.

JCWI v SSHD (as junior counsel)
Acting for JCWI in a challenge to the suitability criteria for the EU Settlement Scheme. Case settled. Press release here

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Housing Law

Matthew is happy to accept instructions in housing cases including defending possession proceedings, homelessness, and social security issues. 

Matthew’s experience in welfare benefits, public law, asylum support, and migrants’ rights enables him to provide a holistic approach. 

As part of his pupillage, Matthew spent six weeks on secondment in the housing team at Doughty Street Chambers, under the supervision of Dominic Preston and Zia Nabi. 

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Welfare Benefits Law

Overview

Matthew is happy to accept instructions in welfare benefits cases. He is an experienced tribunal advocate with particular expertise in Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment and Employment and Support Allowance, as well as cases concerning right to reside and eligibility. 

Matthew is also happy to advise on the use of exceptional case funding for welfare benefits cases that are out of scope for legal aid, having worked to promote the use of ECF during his time at Public Law Project. 

Notable Cases

B v SSWP [2020] First-tier Tribunal – successfully overturning six sanctions decisions imposed on the appellant’s Universal Credit claim. Twitter thread here.

H v SSWP [2019] First-tier Tribunal – successfully overturning seven sanctions decisions imposed on the appellant’s Universal Credit claim. Twitter thread here

RF v Secretary of State for Work And Pensions [2017] EWHC 3375 (Admin) (as a pupil)
Judicial review case successfully quashing amendments to the Social Security (Personal Independence Payment) Regulations 2013, which were held to be discriminatory towards claimants with mental health impairments. Press release here.

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Immigration Law

Matthew is looking to develop his practice in immigration law. He has a particular interest in cases involving trafficking, asylum, and EEA nationals. 

Prior to starting pupillage Matthew worked as a project manager at the AIRE Centre, heading up the organisation’s work on EEA Women in Prison and Migrant Homelessness.

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Immigration Detention

Overview

Matthew is looking to develop his practice in immigration detention civil claims. Matthew worked on a number of these cases at Public Law Project and assisted in achieving successful outcomes for clients. Matthew has experience of costs and case management hearings and his happy to advise on costs budgets. 

Notable Cases

K v SSHD – as an in-house caseworker. Assisted in achieving £35,000 settlement for a client detained for over a year. 

MLF v SSHD – as an in-house caseworker. Assisted in achieving £25,000 settlement for a client unlawfully detained and removed from the UK for six months. 

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Background

Prior to joining Chambers, Matthew worked as an employed barrister at Public Law Project, where he completed his pupillage as part of the Justice First Fellowship scheme, under the supervision of Alison Pickup. This experience gave Matthew a strong insight into the daily practice and demands of the work of a legal aid solicitor.

Matthew previously worked as a caseworker at the welfare rights charity Z2K, and as a project manager at the AIRE Centre. 

Outside of work Matthew enjoys running, playing football, cooking and travelling.

Publications

Training and Seminars

Matthew is regularly asked to speak at conferences and events on social welfare law and related issues, and is happy to be contacted about delivering training. 

Matthew is a freelance trainer with Shelter. 

Education

Human Rights LLM, Birkbeck, University of London
BPTC, University of Law
GDL, University of Law
History BA, University of Sheffield

 

Professional Membership

  • HLPA
  • ALBA

 

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