Brigesa Ujkaj is The City Law School’s first recipient of the Stephen Knafler QC Scholarship

Friday 25 November 2022

Garden Court Chambers is proud to congratulate Brigesa Ujkaj for receiving the Stephen Knafler QC Scholarship.

Stephen was a member of Garden Court for 16 years until 2016, including Joint Head of Chambers (2013-2016).

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This Scholarship has been set up in memory of the late Stephen Knafler QC who was an exceptional barrister known for his work at the forefront of the protection of the rights of migrants and vulnerable asylum seekers in the UK.

Garden Court is a contributor to the scholarship alongside those who worked with Stephen, including Doughty Street Chambers and Landmark Chambers, as well as Anthony Gold Solicitors and lawyers with an interest in access to justice. 

Brigesa Ujkaj, a student on the Bar Vocational Studies course at The City Law School, is the first recipient of the Stephen Knafler QC Scholarship.

Brigesa says it is hard to put into words how grateful she is to have received "this life-changing Scholarship”.

“From a very young age I have aspired to a career in the legal sector. I arrived in the UK in 2017 as an asylum seeker, having left my country out of fear of being a target of human traffickers. From that moment I never thought I’d ever have the chance to get back into education due to my immigration status and language barrier."

"Despite being temporarily detained at Yarl's Wood, I successfully completed a law access course and an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) course. I applied for and was accepted to do a law degree at The City Law School. I was very fortunate to have been granted a Sanctuary Scholarship to begin the course and I completed it with a First Class Honours degree".

Brigesa then applied to be admitted to the Bar Vocational Studies course to continue her studies at City, “even though she had no idea how she was going to fund it.”

"Thankfully, the university informed me about the Stephen Knafler QC Scholarship. I applied for and was granted the scholarship and it felt like a dream come true. This scholarship has made a major impact on my life and is giving me the chance to pursue a career at the Bar. I am very thankful to everyone who made this scholarship possible and who has understood my struggle - I hope one day I can make my own contribution towards this scholarship in helping asylum seekers who aspire to the Bar."

Tim Baldwin, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers, said:

“All those working at Garden Court Chambers were delighted to hear that Brigesa has been awarded the Scholarship which was set up in memory of Stephen Knafler QC whose effective advocacy gave hope to the countless migrants, refugees and disabled people he represented. We are grateful to be part of the collaboration with Doughty Street Chambers, Landmark Chambers, Anthony Gold, LAG, Steve’s family, and all others who funded and developed this Scholarship and we hope will be the first of many.”

This content has been reproduced from a City University of London press release. 

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