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Migration and asylum

Garden Court is consistently recognised as the UK’s leading barristers’ chambers for immigration and asylum law.

We are the only number one ranked set of chambers for immigration law in the Chambers and Partners UK Bar Guide, which describes us as “the foremost set at the London Immigration Bar, with an unsurpassable team of advocates who handle the full gamut of immigration matters. Its practitioners, from top-quality juniors to renowned QCs, appear in the highest courts acting on behalf of vulnerable clients and high net worth private individuals alike”.

Our immigration barristers are involved in influencing and lobbying governments on law and policy, in extensive commentary across all media and in consultancy work internationally. The immigration team writes, edits or co-authors all the authoritative texts on immigration law, asylum and nationality law.

We represent clients at all levels from the First-tier Tribunal, to the Supreme Court, the European Court of Human Rights and the Court of Justice of the European Union. The team regularly act in the most sensitive and controversial cases, often in the national security context before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC).

We provide strategic advice in other countries, working in partnership with local lawyers, and on applications from other countries to international tribunals such as the European Court of Human Rights.

Members of the team also engage in international policy work through a variety of institutions including UNHCR and the Council of Europe.

What we do

  • Asylum and international protection
  • Immigration detention claims and migrant welfare
  • Family and children immigration
  • National security, terrorism and international armed conflicts
  • Human rights claims
  • EU free movement matters
  • Commercial and business immigration (including the Points Based System)
  • Sponsor licences for businesses and colleges
  • Anti-Trafficking cases
  • Deportation, third country removals

Who we work for

We provide advice and representation to:

  • Individuals
  • Companies
  • International institutions
  • NGOs and campaign groups
  • Schools and colleges
  • Members of the public directly


Our barristers have been involved in a wide range of landmark migration and asylum cases. Recent examples include:

General Prosecutor of Austria (for the United States Government) vs Dmitry Firtash (Austrian Court)
Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch, was arrested in Austria on a US extradition request. He has been represented by members of our immigration team. His extradition was rejected on the basis there was insufficient evidence. It was also rejected on the grounds that the US extradition request was politically motivated and therefore barred by article 4(3) of the US-Austria Extradition Treaty. This was widely reported in the international press and is recognised as a landmark decision.

Secretary of State for the Home Department v Vassallo [2016] EWCA Civ 13, Court of Appeal
Leading and widely reported case on whether domestic immigration regulations are incompatible with EU law. The Court of Appeal rejected the Home Secretary’s efforts to deport Mr Vassallo who has been resident in the UK for more than 60 years on the basis it was not justified under EU immigration regulations. Mr Vassallo was represented by members of the immigration team.

R (JM and Ors) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 2331, R (PU and Ors) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (CO/678/2015; CO/747/2015; CO814/2015) High Court
Successful test case litigation challenging the legality of the fast track procedure for detaining asylum seekers whilst their claim is determined, known as the detained fast track (DFT). This resulted in the suspension of the DFT and a wide ranging order concluding that the policy was unfair, the detention unlawful and incompatible with Article 5 ECHR duties to victims of human trafficking and the Equality Act 2010. The DFT was suspended by Ministerial announcement in the House of Commons on 2 July 2015 and was widely reported in the media.

Secretary of State for the Home Department v Special Immigration Appeals Commission,  and AHK and 5 Others [2015] EWHC 681 (Admin) High Court
A test case for approximately 60 cases that were waiting to be heard in SIAC, after being transferred from the England & Wales High Court. The High Court found in our favour by ruling that the Home Secretary was not entitled to defend the refusal of citizenship using closed material without disclosing the underlying material which founded the decision.