Areas of Specialisation / Areas / Immigration and nationality

Immigration and nationality

"Garden Court North provides expert advice across the full range of immigration law, from human rights and asylum claims to nationality and EEA matters. The set has particular expertise in bringing Judicial Review proceedings."

Chambers and Partners 2016

"Garden Court North is one of the best immigration sets on the Northern Circuit. The individuals at the set have a broad knowledge base and are able to advise on a range of immigration, asylum and nationality law matters." 

Chambers and Partners 2014

"...Instructing solicitors are confident in referring human rights claims and difficult appeals to them."

Chambers and  Partners 2013

members of the immigration team

Chambers is recognised as one of the leading sets in the country for its provision of specialist advice on all aspects of asylum, immigration and nationality law. There has been a specialist Immigration team in Chambers from the outset. Ian Macdonald QC is an acknowledged leader in the field and the co-author of Macdonald's 'Immigration Law & Practice' to which other members of the team also contribute.

Practitioners regularly appear before the Upper-Tier Tribunal , the Administrative Court and the Court of Appeal .

The list which follows, while not exhaustive, gives an indication of the areas of the team's expertise : Asylum; welfare support and benefits; detention and bail; extradition; human rights applications and appeals; judicial review; entry clearance; family reunion; work permits; business applications; immigration-related family and child matters (including care, inter-country adoption and abduction); illegal entry; association agreements; European Union rights of free movement; deportation and removal; marriage applications; dependant relatives; students and working holiday-makers; visitor appeals; immigration-related criminal matters; discretionary/exceptional cases; bail and prisoners who are subject to immigration control.

Notable cases

Sponsorship licences under the Points Based System

  • San Michael College Ltd v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 1336 (18 November 2011) (Court of Appeal overturns UKBA "unfair" and "obscure" decision-making) news story / judgment
  • NA & Others (Cambridge College of Learning) Pakistan [2009] UKAIT 00031 11/08/09 (Refusal under the Points Based System) judgment
  • OO v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2008] EWCA Civ 747; [2008] Imm AR 747 which overruled an earlier line of AIT decisions on consequences of students failing an exam or changing their courses judgment

Immigration detention

  • Anam v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWCA Civ 1140 (Immigration Detention for mentally ill) judgment / news story

Entry clearance / third party support

  • Ahmed Mahed & others (Appellants) v SSHD [2009] UKSC 16. (Third party support and/or joint sponsorship are permissible for entry clearance applications under Rules 281, 297 and 317) news story/ judgment

Click here to see full details of reported cases conducted by the immigration team .

Specialist immigration team

Individual members of the team are able to combine their specialist immigration knowledge with other areas in order to be better placed to provide comprehensive advice and representation. Individual members also specialise in judicial review, employment and discrimination law, housing and local government law, prison law, mental health law and civil actions against the police and other detaining authorities.


"Garden Court North is one of the best immigration sets on the Northern Circuit. The individuals at the set have a broad knowledge base and are able to advise on a range of immigration, asylum and nationality law matters."  (Chambers & Partners 2014)

"Garden Court North is  a leading regional immigration presence, and maintains a large team of practitioners with experience in the area . Instructing solicitors are confident in referring human rights claims and difficult appeals to them." (Chambers & Partners 2013)

" Garden Court North is lauded for its public law work, especially in relation to immigration and asylum. With an attractive range of call and experience available, the barristers offer a broad spectrum of expertise , including on matters relating to deportation and the ECHR. Areas of specialism include discriminatory breaches, the points-based system, EEA family reunion, refusal of sponsorship licences, and sovereign immunity." (Chambers & Partners 2012)

"...this set remains a public law powerhouse in the North of England , and is capable of handling a broad range of immigration and asylum matters." (Chambers & Partners 2011)

" sources bestow much praise upon its immigration practitioners ." (Chambers & Partners 2010)

"...still the pre-eminent public law set in the North, drawing plaudits for its expertise across immigration , housing and prison law." (Chambers & Partners 2009)

"Lawyers laud the 'breadth of experience evidenced by a number of practitioners who are all committed experts in this field' . " (Chambers & Partners 2008)

" ' There are no rivals to this set for immigration prowess in the North,' interviewees confidently asserted. A host of ' talented barristers' handle all aspects of immigration, asylum and nationality law. These barristers ' do not merely acquiesce with accepted principles, they are always challenging the norm,' said one source. This makes the set popular for complex immigration cases. " (Chambers & Partners 2007)

"This set stands out in the Northern Circuit for its work on all aspects of asylum, immigration and nationality law." (Chambers & Partners 2006)

"The members of this set, which rules the Northern circuit for immigration, are praised for their ability to 'analyse critically' and to 'make independent judgments' ." (Chambers and Partners 2005)


Members of the team regularly provide specialist training to practitioners including training on behalf of HJT Training and the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA).

Public Access

Following changes in the rules, members of the public seeking legal advice or representation can now instruct a barrister directly without the need to instruct a solicitor first. 

Several members of Chambers are able to provide advice and representation directly to instructing clients in immigration matters. 

Before a barrister can be instructed via Public Access we will need certain information from you to ensure that we are able to assist. Please see our Public Access Policy and Public Access Enquiry Form for further details.

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