Taimour Lay

Year of Call: 2011

"Taimour's personable style quickly gains the confidence of clients, while his thorough preparation impresses judges"

Clair Hilder, Deighton Pierce Glynn

"Shows a tremendous commitment to clients who are often the most excluded and marginalised, ensuring they get access to justice"

Jackie Peirce, Solicitor

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

IMMIGRATION: ASYLUM AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Overview

Taimour's immigration work covers the full range of tribunal appeals, specialising in asylum and deportation. He is also regularly instructed in judicial reviews in both the High Court and the Upper Tribunal, including urgent challenges to removal, unlawful detention, Dublin III transfers, certifications, trafficking decisions and disputed age-assessments. He has particular expertise in Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Middle East claims.

Taimour is public access accredited and welcomes direct enquiries from members of the public seeking advice or representation. He successfully assists clients with exclusions, PBS challenges and visit visa refusals.

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.

Notable Cases

Afghan fresh claim judicial review succeeds
FS (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department JR/10273/2015
Settled following permission by Court of Appeal against UT judgment.

Successful quashing of age assessment
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. Claim for unlawful detention also later settled.

Challenge to Iraqi migrant's conviction
R v YY [2016] EWCA Crim 18
Recipient of Humanitarian Protection from Iraq prosecuted for document offence. Appeal against conviction heard by Sir Brian Leveson.

War Crimes exclusion
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.

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IMMIGRATION DETENTION CIVIL CLAIMS

Taimour has succeeded in several false imprisonment claims in the last two years, including the unlawful detention of minors, trafficking victims and vulnerable individuals with mental health issues. He continues to bring successful claims on behalf of those held under the old Detained Fast Track. He provides comprehensive advice on merits and quantum at all stages.

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Inquests and Inquiries

Overview

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, including prison and immigration detention as well as patients who have died while detained or under the care of mental health services in the community.

He also brings civil claims arising from breach of duties by the state, including Article 2 ECHR and negligence.

Notable Cases

Jury find neglect in 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.

Inquest exposes Carillion contract failure
The Ministry of Justice policy gap identified during the inquest into death of Sean Plumstead was taken up by the shadow secretary of state for justice.

Met Police subject to criticism in Faisa Ahmed Inquest
The jury returned a narrative conclusion critical of the police and London Ambulance Service. The Coroner issued three Reports to Prevent Future Deaths. Taimour successfully obtained interim relief from the High Court in 2015 to ensure the inquest was Article 2 ECHR compliant. A civil claim against the Metropolitan Police subsequently succeeded. Extended coverage by The Guardian and Sky News.

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Trafficking and Modern Day Slavery

Overview

Taimour represents victims of trafficking in claims for judicial review of NRM decisions, in appeals within the immigration tribunal and through applications to the Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) and Court of Appeal. He has particular expertise in China, Vietnam and West Africa cases.

Notable Cases

Upper Tribunal allows appeal on basis of disputed trafficking definition
JFK v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] UKAITUR PA068542016
Successfully argued that the Convention had been misconstrued.

Court of Appeal considers VoT's historic conviction
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.

Crown Court overturns conviction of cannabis farm victim
R (TT) at Lincoln Crown Court [2014]
A successful application to the Criminal Cases Review Commission led to referral to the Crown Court which quashed the conviction at a hearing in 2014

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International Human Rights

Taimour's current international work includes trial observation for human rights groups in the Middle East and participation in legal advice projects for refugees in Greece since 2016. He has also recently published investigations of human rights abuses in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.

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Pro Bono Work

Taimour 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. He previously volunteered with the Unity Centre in Glasgow and Bail for Immigration Detainees.

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Background

Before coming to the Bar, Taimour spent a decade as a journalist and political analyst. He has worked in the US (2005), Hong Kong (2006), Sri Lanka/Maldives (2006-7), Uganda (2009-10), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) (2010-12) and Somalia (2012). He was a correspondent for Africa Confidential and The Africa Report and has written for BBC Focus on Africa, The Guardian, Private Eye and Corporate Watch, among others.

He also worked for environmental justice group Platform for two years, investigating corruption in the oil and gas industries. He is a member of the Labour Party and the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers.

Publications

"The EU-Turkey refugee deal: a Greek myth", Free Movement, June 2019

"Speak its name", The Blizzard, September 2017

"Bread and Circasses: What Spartak Nalchik says about one of Russia's minorities", The Blizzard, July 2018

"Ahead of the game: Uncovering a massacre in Gabon", 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

"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

"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

Latest News

Inquest concludes death of Leon Evans contributed to by failings of community mental health services

The family of Leon Evans were represented at the inquest by Taimour Lay of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests & Inquiries Team.

20 July 2018

Inquest into death of Sean Plumstead exposes Carillion contract failure

Taimour Lay represented Sean Plumstead’s family at the inquest.

13 February 2018

Latest inquest into prisoner death at HMP Winchester finds more failings

Sean's family is represented by counsel, Taimour Lay of Garden Court Chambers and assisted by the charity INQUEST.

19 October 2017

‘Neglect’ at HMP Winchester contributed to death of 22-year-old prisoner

Taimour Lay represented the family of Daryl Hargrave, who was 22 when he died.

12 April 2017

Garden Court and Stephanie Harrison QC shortlisted for Human Rights and Public Law awards

Garden Court has been shortlisted at the Chambers Bar Awards, whilst Stephanie and our Public Law Team are shortlisted at the Legal 500 Awards.

21 October 2016

Prison failures contributed to death, jury finds

The family of Mr Smith were represented by Taimour Lay of Garden Court Chambers.

1 September 2016

High Court quashes local authority age assessment

Successful judicial review establishes Eritrean national was a child when he claimed asylum.

23 August 2016

Bullying at Shropshire prison creates risk of future deaths, Coroner warns

The family was represented by Taimour Lay of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Hodge Jones & Allen.

29 April 2016

Inquest finds prison failings contributed to death in custody

Taimour Lay represented Colin Chappell, the father of the deceased.

9 September 2015

Victim of trafficking has conviction quashed

Taimour Lay was counsel for the appellant.

22 January 2015

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Education

  • BA Modern history and politics (Oxford)
  • GDL and BPTC (City University) Major Scholarship (Inner Temple)

Professional Membership

  • Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (ILPA)
  • Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers
  • Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL)
  • National Union of Journalists (NUJ)
  • Anti-Trafficking Legal Project (ATLeP)

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