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Eleanor Mitchell
MEET:

Eleanor Mitchell

"A brilliant junior always recommended by senior KCs."
Chambers & Partners 2023

Called: 2015

Eleanor joined Matrix in 2016. Her practice focuses on public law, human rights and equality law.

She regularly provides advice and representation across areas including immigration (specialising in judicial review and appellate work); education (including judicial review and appeals relating to all aspects of Education Health and Care Plans); equality and discrimination (under both the ECHR and the Equality Act); community care; and prison law.

Eleanor has been instructed in matters at all levels up to the Supreme Court, and appears regularly in the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the Tribunals. She is regularly involved in cutting-edge claims with wider public importance.

Eleanor also has specialist knowledge and experience of international human rights and humanitarian law. She advises non-government organisations on legal aspects of their advocacy and policy work, assists with strategic litigation and interventions, and has been involved in applications and interventions before the European Court of Human Rights and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

  • An intervention on behalf of Justice in the Court of Appeal in the significant case of R (IAB) v SSHD [2024] EWCA Civ 66, concerning the routine redaction of the names of junior civil servants (led by Guy Vassall-Adams KC).
  • R (FMA) v SSHD [2023] EWHC 1579 (Admin) – a challenge to the Secretary of State’s refusal of entry clearance to a former patrol interpreter under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Programme (led by Chris Buttler KC). Raised important issues regarding the interpretation of the “conducive to the public good” test. Permission to appeal was granted; the appeal was withdrawn by consent when the Secretary of State agreed to grant the Appellant and his family visas.
  • A Joint Opinion, commissioned by Freedom from Torture, on the compliance of the Illegal Migration Bill with the UK’s international legal obligations (led by Raza Husain KC and Jason Pobjoy).
  • R (All the Citizens) v Supply Chain Coordination Ltd – an innovative challenge to the award of a framework agreement to a particular supplier of medical gloves to the NHS, on the basis of failure to verify the responses to tender criteria relating to labour standards and modern slavery (led by Jason Coppel KC). Settled when the Defendant agreed to run a fresh procurement process.
  • R (SC (Jamaica)) v SSHD [2022] 1 WLR 3190 – a successful appeal to the Supreme Court against the Appellant’s deportation (led by Raza Husain KC and Simon Cox). Raised important issues regarding the internal relocation alternative in the context of Article 3 ECHR.
  • R (PCSU) v SSHD [2022] EWCA Civ 840 – interim relief proceedings in the long-running Rwanda litigation.
  • R (Vanriel) and R (Tumi) v SSHD [2021] EWHC 3415 (Admin) – a successful Thlimmenos challenge to the Secretary of State’s refusal of citizenship to members of the Windrush generation who were unable to satisfy the relevant requirements due to past failures by the State (led by Chris Buttler KC).  Raised important issues regarding the availability of declarations of incompatibility in individual cases.

Public law is Eleanor’s primary area of practice. She has particular experience in the fields of immigration, education, equality, and community care; further detail is provided under separate headings below.

Eleanor is also instructed in cutting-edge cases outside of any particular specialist area which raise issues of human rights  and/or access to justice. Notable examples include:

  • R (C15) v SSHD – a challenge, successfully resolved pre-hearing, to the Secretary of State’s refusal to provide consular assistance to a British citizen detained in North-East Syria. Eleanor, led by Sarah Hannett KC, acted for the Claimant’s children as Interested Parties, raising discrete legal arguments (in respect of which permission was granted) based on Article 3 ECHR.
  • Advice in a regulatory context regarding compliance with the Human Rights Act 1998 (led by Jessica Simor KC).
  • R (A) v SSHD [2022] EWHC 360 – an application for judicial review of the Secretary of State’s consultation on the “New Plan for Immigration”, raising complex issues of Parliamentary privilege.
  • R (SM) v Lord Chancellor [2021] 1 WLR 3815 – an intervention on behalf of Bail for Immigration Detainees in a successful challenge to the Legal Aid Agency’s discriminatory arrangements for the provision of publicly funded advice and representation to immigration detainees in the prison estate.
  • R (CRA & ors) v Lord Chancellor– a challenge to hasty changes to the Legal Aid scheme governing statutory immigration appeals to the First-tier Tribunal, resulting (in September 2020) in an acknowledgement that the changes had been unlawfully made and the introduction of hourly rates pending further consultation.
  • R (Duncan Lewis (Solicitors) Ltd) v Director of Legal Aid Casework– a challenge to the lawfulness of the LAA’s refusal to backdate grants of funding, which prompted the introduction of new backdating powers from February 2019.

Eleanor provides advice and representation in a wide range of immigration-related matters, and is regularly instructed in legally complex cases at the cutting edge of domestic and international law.  Notable examples of her work and cases:

Recent cases include:

  • R (FMA) v SSHD [2023] EWHC 1579 (Admin) – a challenge to the Secretary of State’s refusal of entry clearance to a former patrol interpreter under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Programme (led by Chris Buttler KC). Raised important issues regarding the interpretation of the “conducive to the public good” test. Permission to appeal was granted; the appeal was withdrawn by consent when the Secretary of State agreed to grant the Appellant and his family visas.
  • R (DM) v SSHD [2023] EWHC 740 (Admin) – an ongoing challenge to the Secretary of State’s policy on family reunion for refugee children.
  • R (PCSU) v SSHD [2022] EWCA Civ 840 – Eleanor was part of the team which obtained interim relief against removal for individuals the Secretary of State was seeking to remove to Rwanda.
  • R (All the Citizens) v Supply Chain Coordination Ltd – an innovative challenge to the award of a framework agreement to a supplier of medical gloves to the NHS, based on failure to verify the responses to tender criteria relating to labour standards and modern slavery (led by Jason Coppel KC). Settled when the Defendant agreed to run a fresh procurement process.

Recent cases include:

  • JS (Uganda) v SSHD – successfully resisting the Secretary of State’s appeal against a favourable decision of the First-tier Tribunal in a complex Article 3 case.
  • R (SC (Jamaica)) v SSHD [2022] 1 WLR 3190 – a successful appeal to the Supreme Court against deportation, raising wider issues concerning internal relocation on the context of Article 3 ECHR.
  • NB and AB v SSHD (Case C-349/20, ECLI:EU:C:2022:151) – a CJEU case concerning the rights of Palestinian refugees under the Qualification Directive and the Refugee Convention.
  • R (Hussein) v SSHD [2021] 12 WLUK 664 – a Supreme Court appeal conceded by the Secretary of State concerning the deportation of EU nationals.

Eleanor also provides representation in the First-tier and Upper Tribunals, and has significant experience with complex cases for both legally aided and high-profile private clients.

Eleanor regularly represents reputable organisations intervening in significant cases. Recent examples include:

  • Court of Appeal intervention in R (Kaitey) v SSHD [2022] QB 695, for Bail for Immigration Detainees, on the scope of the Secretary of State’s bail powers under the Immigration Act 2016.
  • Supreme Court intervention in DN (Rwanda) v SSHD[2020] AC 698, for Bail for Immigration Detainees, on the application of the Lumbatest for unlawful detention to cases involving sequential decision-making.
  • Supreme Court intervention in MS (Pakistan) v SSHD[2020] 1 WLR 1373, for ECPAT UK, on the significance of Article 4 ECHR to appeals in the Immigration Tribunals.

Eleanor frequently advises expert non-government organisations in relation to the legal aspects of their work. She provides internal advice in the context of prospective strategic litigation; public-facing opinions on matters of legal significance; assistance with interventions in significant cases (see above); and assistance with consultation responses.

Recent examples in the public domain include:

  • A widely publicised joint opinion commissioned by Freedom from Torture regarding the compliance of the Government’s “New Plan for Immigration” with the UK’s international legal obligations, and a follow-up opinion on the Illegal Migration Bill.
  • A joint opinion for the Good Law Project on issues arising from clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill, in relation to deprivation of British citizenship without notice.
  • Unlawful detention, particularly on behalf of vulnerable detainees and in cases raising wider systemic issues.

Eleanor has significant experience seeking and obtaining interim and final relief in unlawful detention cases.

For example, Eleanor was instructed in R (HY) v SSHD [2021] EWHC 2404 (Admin) on behalf of asylum-seekers accommodated in hotels who had been subjected to unlawful restrictions on their movements during the Covid lockdowns. After successfully securing interim relief which caused the restrictions to be lifted, the claims were transferred to the QBD for consideration of the resulting allegations of false imprisonment and breaches of human rights.

Eleanor has been instructed on several significant cases concerning refugee family reunion:

  • R (DM) v SSHD [2023] EWHC 740 (Admin) – an ongoing challenge to the Secretary of State’s policy on family reunion for refugee children.
  • SSHD v JS (Uganda) [2020] 1 WLR 43 – an important appeal concerning the UK’s international legal obligations to “family reunion” refugees.

She has also acted in successful Tribunal proceedings challenging the refusal of family reunion applications outside the Immigration Rules.

Eleanor represents legally aided and private clients in relation to applications, particularly in unusual or complex cases, and challenges to adverse decisions.

For example, she was instructed in the important case of R (Vanriel) v SSHD [2022] QB 737, establishing the existence of additional discretion in granting citizenship in Windrush cases and the availability of individual declarations of incompatibility.

Eleanor has also acted in a number of cases concerning British citizens or long-term residents detained in North-East Syria and their young children, and has appeared unled before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

Eleanor regularly advises on challenges to Home Office delays and failures in these areas, and has successfully obtained suitable accommodation and work rights for clients in a variety of situations.

At the systemic level Eleanor acted in R (Humnynstkyi) v SSHD [2021] 1 WLR 320 – a successful challenge to the Secretary of State’s policy framework for allocating Schedule 10 bail accommodation to Foreign National Offenders.

Eleanor has experience challenging segregation in individual cases as well as ventilating wider issues of policy and principle. For example she acted in TM (Kenya) v SSHD [2019] 4 WLR 109, concerning the lawfulness of the Secretary of State’s policy on segregation.

Eleanor’s experience enables her to advise strategically on the content of pre-action correspondence and the timing of proceedings challenging unlawful delays, including in complex cases, often resulting in a defendant authority agreeing a timetable for a decision.

Eleanor advises and represents clients in matters concerning educational provision, school exclusions, discrimination, admissions, and special educational needs. Her work includes applications for judicial review, civil claims, and hearings before Governing Bodies and Independent Review Panels.

Recent matters have involved issues such as:

  • Failure to provide suitable education under s 19 of the Education Act 1996;
  • Failure to secure special educational provision under s 42 of the Children and Families Act 2014;
  • Provision for special educational needs in detention;
  • The in-year admissions process, particularly for looked-after children;
  • Breach of the right to education;
  • The relationship between fixed-term and permanent exclusion; and
  • Unlawful progression policies.

Eleanor regularly represents clients in appeals concerning all aspects of Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), and has particular experience working with parents and families to challenge decisions concerning provision and placement.

In the higher and further education sectors, Eleanor has acted for Higher Education Institutions in relation to discrimination claims and judicial review proceedings, and conducted internal investigations in response to student complaints. She has also been instructed by both Ofsted and the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.

Reported cases include:

  • R (Bloomsbury Institute Ltd) v Office for Students [2020] ELR 653 – a successful challenge to the Office for Students’ approach to the regulation of higher education institutions (led by Jessica Simor KC and Chris Buttler KC).
  • R (S) v London Borough of Camden [2018] EWHC 2954 (a successful challenge to a local authority’s decision to unilaterally amend the Claimant’s ECHP).

Eleanor provides advice and representation in relation to discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 and Article 14 ECHR, and compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty, across a range of contexts including primary and higher education, immigration and education policy, service provision, and provision in the prison estate.

Eleanor has been instructed, on both a led and an unled basis, by individuals and families, non-government organisations, Higher Education Institutions, statutory bodies, and government departments.

Recent cases include:

  • R (Donald) v SSHD – an ongoing claim challenging the Secretary of State’s decision to abandon her commitment to key recommendations from the Windrush Lessons Learned Review. Eleanor, led by Karon Monaghan KC, acts for UNISON, intervening with a particular focus on compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty.
  • R (A) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] EWHC 360 – an application for judicial review of the Secretary of State’s consultation on the “New Plan for Immigration”, including on the basis of breaches of the Equality Act 2010.
  • R (Vanriel) and R (Tumi) v SSHD [2021] EWHC 3415 (Admin) – a successful Thlimmenos challenge to the Secretary of State’s refusal of citizenship to members of the Windrush generation who were unable to satisfy the relevant requirements due to past failures by the State.
  • R (SM) v Lord Chancellor [2021] 1 WLR 3815 – an intervention on behalf of Bail for Immigration Detainees in a successful challenge to the Legal Aid Agency’s discriminatory arrangements for the provision of legally aided advice and representation to immigration detainees in the prison estate.

Eleanor has worked on a range of issues including:

  • Support under s 17 of the Children Act 1989;
  • Support and accommodation under the Care Act 2014;
  • Transfer of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children; and
  • After-care services under s 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Eleanor also acted for the claimants in several Upper Tribunal appeals selected as lead cases for the determination of issues concerning the exportability of benefits arising from the judgment of the CJEU in Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Tolley (C-430/15), and in the subsequent appeal to the Court of Appeal (led by Tim Buley KC): Konevod v SSWP [2020] 1 WLR 5234.

Eleanor acts in and advises on challenges, by way of judicial review or civil claims, on a range of matters including:

  • Prisoners’ rights under the Human Rights Act 1998, including religious rights and the right to education;
  • Educational provision in the prison estate;
  • Challenges to classification and categorisation decisions; and
  • Challenges to Parole Board decisions.

Eleanor has a strong background in PIL and human rights, having completed her MPhil thesis at Oxford in refugee and human rights law and worked for a year with the Legal Division of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Eleanor’s recent work has included:

  • Acting in leading cases raising contested issues of international refugee law, including in relation to safe third countries (R (PCSU) v SSHD [2022] EWCA Civ 840), internal relocation (SC (Jamaica) v SSHD [2022] 1 WLR 3190), Palestinian refugees (NB and AB v SSHD (Case C-349/20)), and refugee family reunion (R (DM) v SSHD [2023] EWHC 740 (Admin)).
  • Contributing to an amicus brief for the Colombian Constitutional Court in a case raising important issues around the scope of complementary protection at international law.
  • Co-authoring a joint opinion, commissioned by Freedom from Torture, on the compliance of the Illegal Migration Bill with the UK’s international legal obligations.
  • Co-authoring a joint opinion for the Good Law Project on issues arising from clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill, in relation to deprivation of British citizenship without notice.

She has also been involved in:

  • Advising on legal concerns arising from the Ministry of Defence’s consultation on immunity for armed services personnel (led by Richard Hermer KC).
  • Acting for the former Speaker of the Catalan Parliament in an application to the European Court of Human Rights challenging the lawfulness of her pre-trial detention (led by Jessica Simor KC);
  • Written interventions in ECtHR proceedings on issues including discriminatory ill-treatment on the basis of sex/sexual orientation (assisting the Equal Rights Trust and ILGA- Europe) and the application of Article 5(4) in the context of the preventive detention of those with a mental illness (on behalf of Liberty, led by Chris Buttler KC);
  • A complaint to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women in relation to State responses to domestic violence (led by Helen Mountfield KC);
  • Advising on issues relating to compliance with international humanitarian law in the conduct of military operations abroad;
  • Advising on the human rights implications of extending the definition of combat immunity.

Eleanor has experience in the areas of media and information law relating to human rights and open justice. She regularly assists in the preparation of anonymity applications across a range of public law claims. Her experience also includes:

  • An intervention on behalf of Justice in the Court of Appeal in the significant case of R (IAB) v SSHD [2024] EWCA Civ 66, concerning the routine redaction of the names of junior civil servants (lead by Guy Vassall-Adams KC).
  • A novel and successful anonymity application on behalf of witnesses from Sierra Leone who feared reprisals for giving evidence in English proceedings: Kalma v African Minerals Ltd[2018] EWHC 120 (QB).

Eleanor is the author, with Aidan Wills, of the publication Restrictions on Open Justice: A guide for public law practitioners. This first-of-its-kind guide is as an accessible and user-friendly practical resource, tailored to the public law context. It covers the types of restrictions that can be sought; the practicalities of making these applications; and the rules and principles courts will apply in determining them.

Before joining Matrix Eleanor spent a year with the Legal Division of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, where she worked on cutting-edge issues in the interpretation and application of international humanitarian law. She was admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor in Australia in 2011, and developed her litigation experience as a solicitor at Ashurst Australia and as a judicial assistant at the Federal Court of Australia. She has also interned with the Legal Division of the World Food Programme in Rome, where she provided advice on discrimination and employment issues, and at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

Eleanor holds a BCL and an MPhil in Law from the University of Oxford, where her thesis focused on the relationship between human rights and refugee law in the protection of people fleeing armed conflict. Alongside her studies Eleanor served on the Executive Committee of Oxford Pro Bono Publico, coordinating an extensive comparative law project which was later drawn on by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. She speaks fluent French.

MPhil in Law, Magdalen College, Oxford (Dist.)

Bachelor of Civil Law, Magdalen College, Oxford (Dist.)

Bachelor of Laws (Hons.), Bachelor of Arts (Politics) and Diploma in Languages (French), University of Adelaide

Selected prizes

University of Oxford Law Faculty Prize for International Law and Armed Conflict (2013)

Law Foundation of South Australia Fellowship (2013)

Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Scholarship in Law (2012)

University of Adelaide Medal for outstanding academic achievement (2010)

Angus Parsons Prize for the most meritorious student qualifying for the LLB (Hons.) (2010)

University of Adelaide subject prizes including: Public International Law, Labour Law, Comparative Law, Corporate Law, Constitutional Law, Intellectual Property Law, Law of Crime, Law of Tort (2006-2009)

“The 2016-2017 Legal Year in Overview: Equality Law” (2017) 8 UK Supreme Court Yearbook (with Helen Mountfield QC)

“Law and War in the UK Supreme Court” (2016) 7 UK Supreme Court Yearbook (with Richard Hermer QC)

“The human costs and legal consequences of nuclear weapons under international law” (2016) 899 International Review of the Red Cross (with Louis Maresca)

“Nuclear weapons under international law” (Book Review) (2016) 899 International Review of the Red Cross

Eleanor is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to her clients, including advice and representation services, Eleanor needs to collect and hold personal data. This includes her clients’ personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the matters in respect of which she is instructed. To read Eleanor’s privacy notice in full, please see here.

Eleanor is regulated by the Bar Standards Board and accepts instructions under Standard Contractual Terms. To find out more information on this and the way we work at Matrix, including our fee transparency statement, please see our see our service standards

DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS

"Extremely knowledgeable and astute." "I've seen Eleanor's name in a number of interesting judgments - she's definitely one to watch."

Chambers & Partners, 2024, Administrative & Public Law

"She is absolutely exceptional when it comes to drafting. She has a super legal mind and her knowledge of case law is also just exceptional." "She has really impressive knowledge relating to immigration and asylum. She provides very clear advice in complex areas."

Chambers & Partners, 2024, Immigration

"Eleanor is exceptionally hard working and diligent. She has impressive knowledge and expertise in relation to immigration and asylum law and provides impressively clear advice on often complex issues."

Legal 500, 2024, Immigration (Including Business Immigration)

"A brilliant junior always recommended by senior KCs." "A rising star in the field of immigration." "The best junior I have worked with. She is in a category of her own, operating at an extremely high level."

Chambers & Partners, 2023, Immigration

"She is a really impressive junior who is working on some of the most important public law judicial reviews on behalf of asylum seekers and victims of trafficking."

Legal 500, 2023, Immigration

"Brilliant junior counsel - and comes highly recommended by heavyweight QCs."

Chambers & Partners, 2022, Immigration

"Eleanor is the most talented junior counsel I have ever come across. That is a view widely shared among all who have led her. She is brilliant at legal analysis, evidential analysis and drafting. That is an extraordinary combination."

Legal 500, 2022, Immigration (Including Business Immigration)
Matrix Chambers
24 HOUR ASSISTANCE
+44 (0)20 7404 3447
Eleanor Mitchell
Called: 2015

"A brilliant junior always recommended by senior KCs." Chambers & Partners 2023

MAIN AREAS OF PRACTICE

  • Education Law
  • Employment Law
  • Civil Liberties and Human Rights
  • Immigration, Asylum and Free Movement
  • Investigations
  • Public International Law
  • Public Law
  • Public Law: Information, Data and Privacy
  • Police, Inquests and Prison
  • Health and Social Care (including welfare benefits)
  • Commercial Public Law
  • Private International Law
  • Equality and Discrimination Law

Eleanor Mitchell

Contact Eleanor: eleanormitchell@matrixlaw.co.uk | +44 (0)20 7404 3447

Contact Eleanor's Practice Team (Team X): TeamX@matrixlaw.co.uk


Eleanor joined Matrix in 2016. Her practice focuses on public law, human rights and equality law.

She regularly provides advice and representation across areas including immigration (specialising in judicial review and appellate work); education (including judicial review and appeals relating to all aspects of Education Health and Care Plans); equality and discrimination (under both the ECHR and the Equality Act); community care; and prison law.

Eleanor has been instructed in matters at all levels up to the Supreme Court, and appears regularly in the Court of Appeal, the High Court and the Tribunals. She is regularly involved in cutting-edge claims with wider public importance.

Eleanor also has specialist knowledge and experience of international human rights and humanitarian law. She advises non-government organisations on legal aspects of their advocacy and policy work, assists with strategic litigation and interventions, and has been involved in applications and interventions before the European Court of Human Rights and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

Eleanor’s recent work includes:

  • An intervention on behalf of Justice in the Court of Appeal in the significant case of R (IAB) v SSHD [2024] EWCA Civ 66, concerning the routine redaction of the names of junior civil servants (led by Guy Vassall-Adams KC).
  • R (FMA) v SSHD [2023] EWHC 1579 (Admin) – a challenge to the Secretary of State’s refusal of entry clearance to a former patrol interpreter under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Programme (led by Chris Buttler KC). Raised important issues regarding the interpretation of the “conducive to the public good” test. Permission to appeal was granted; the appeal was withdrawn by consent when the Secretary of State agreed to grant the Appellant and his family visas.
  • A Joint Opinion, commissioned by Freedom from Torture, on the compliance of the Illegal Migration Bill with the UK’s international legal obligations (led by Raza Husain KC and Jason Pobjoy).
  • R (All the Citizens) v Supply Chain Coordination Ltd – an innovative challenge to the award of a framework agreement to a particular supplier of medical gloves to the NHS, on the basis of failure to verify the responses to tender criteria relating to labour standards and modern slavery (led by Jason Coppel KC). Settled when the Defendant agreed to run a fresh procurement process.
  • R (SC (Jamaica)) v SSHD [2022] 1 WLR 3190 – a successful appeal to the Supreme Court against the Appellant’s deportation (led by Raza Husain KC and Simon Cox). Raised important issues regarding the internal relocation alternative in the context of Article 3 ECHR.
  • R (PCSU) v SSHD [2022] EWCA Civ 840 – interim relief proceedings in the long-running Rwanda litigation.
  • R (Vanriel) and R (Tumi) v SSHD [2021] EWHC 3415 (Admin) – a successful Thlimmenos challenge to the Secretary of State’s refusal of citizenship to members of the Windrush generation who were unable to satisfy the relevant requirements due to past failures by the State (led by Chris Buttler KC).  Raised important issues regarding the availability of declarations of incompatibility in individual cases.

Public Law

Public law is Eleanor’s primary area of practice. She has particular experience in the fields of immigration, education, equality, and community care; further detail is provided under separate headings below.

Eleanor is also instructed in cutting-edge cases outside of any particular specialist area which raise issues of human rights  and/or access to justice. Notable examples include:

  • R (C15) v SSHD – a challenge, successfully resolved pre-hearing, to the Secretary of State’s refusal to provide consular assistance to a British citizen detained in North-East Syria. Eleanor, led by Sarah Hannett KC, acted for the Claimant’s children as Interested Parties, raising discrete legal arguments (in respect of which permission was granted) based on Article 3 ECHR.
  • Advice in a regulatory context regarding compliance with the Human Rights Act 1998 (led by Jessica Simor KC).
  • R (A) v SSHD [2022] EWHC 360 – an application for judicial review of the Secretary of State’s consultation on the “New Plan for Immigration”, raising complex issues of Parliamentary privilege.
  • R (SM) v Lord Chancellor [2021] 1 WLR 3815 – an intervention on behalf of Bail for Immigration Detainees in a successful challenge to the Legal Aid Agency’s discriminatory arrangements for the provision of publicly funded advice and representation to immigration detainees in the prison estate.
  • R (CRA & ors) v Lord Chancellor– a challenge to hasty changes to the Legal Aid scheme governing statutory immigration appeals to the First-tier Tribunal, resulting (in September 2020) in an acknowledgement that the changes had been unlawfully made and the introduction of hourly rates pending further consultation.
  • R (Duncan Lewis (Solicitors) Ltd) v Director of Legal Aid Casework– a challenge to the lawfulness of the LAA’s refusal to backdate grants of funding, which prompted the introduction of new backdating powers from February 2019.

Immigration

Eleanor provides advice and representation in a wide range of immigration-related matters, and is regularly instructed in legally complex cases at the cutting edge of domestic and international law.  Notable examples of her work and cases:

Recent cases include:

  • R (FMA) v SSHD [2023] EWHC 1579 (Admin) – a challenge to the Secretary of State’s refusal of entry clearance to a former patrol interpreter under the Afghan Relocation and Assistance Programme (led by Chris Buttler KC). Raised important issues regarding the interpretation of the “conducive to the public good” test. Permission to appeal was granted; the appeal was withdrawn by consent when the Secretary of State agreed to grant the Appellant and his family visas.
  • R (DM) v SSHD [2023] EWHC 740 (Admin) – an ongoing challenge to the Secretary of State’s policy on family reunion for refugee children.
  • R (PCSU) v SSHD [2022] EWCA Civ 840 – Eleanor was part of the team which obtained interim relief against removal for individuals the Secretary of State was seeking to remove to Rwanda.
  • R (All the Citizens) v Supply Chain Coordination Ltd – an innovative challenge to the award of a framework agreement to a supplier of medical gloves to the NHS, based on failure to verify the responses to tender criteria relating to labour standards and modern slavery (led by Jason Coppel KC). Settled when the Defendant agreed to run a fresh procurement process.

Recent cases include:

  • JS (Uganda) v SSHD – successfully resisting the Secretary of State’s appeal against a favourable decision of the First-tier Tribunal in a complex Article 3 case.
  • R (SC (Jamaica)) v SSHD [2022] 1 WLR 3190 – a successful appeal to the Supreme Court against deportation, raising wider issues concerning internal relocation on the context of Article 3 ECHR.
  • NB and AB v SSHD (Case C-349/20, ECLI:EU:C:2022:151) – a CJEU case concerning the rights of Palestinian refugees under the Qualification Directive and the Refugee Convention.
  • R (Hussein) v SSHD [2021] 12 WLUK 664 – a Supreme Court appeal conceded by the Secretary of State concerning the deportation of EU nationals.

Eleanor also provides representation in the First-tier and Upper Tribunals, and has significant experience with complex cases for both legally aided and high-profile private clients.

Eleanor regularly represents reputable organisations intervening in significant cases. Recent examples include:

  • Court of Appeal intervention in R (Kaitey) v SSHD [2022] QB 695, for Bail for Immigration Detainees, on the scope of the Secretary of State’s bail powers under the Immigration Act 2016.
  • Supreme Court intervention in DN (Rwanda) v SSHD[2020] AC 698, for Bail for Immigration Detainees, on the application of the Lumbatest for unlawful detention to cases involving sequential decision-making.
  • Supreme Court intervention in MS (Pakistan) v SSHD[2020] 1 WLR 1373, for ECPAT UK, on the significance of Article 4 ECHR to appeals in the Immigration Tribunals.

Eleanor frequently advises expert non-government organisations in relation to the legal aspects of their work. She provides internal advice in the context of prospective strategic litigation; public-facing opinions on matters of legal significance; assistance with interventions in significant cases (see above); and assistance with consultation responses.

Recent examples in the public domain include:

  • A widely publicised joint opinion commissioned by Freedom from Torture regarding the compliance of the Government’s “New Plan for Immigration” with the UK’s international legal obligations, and a follow-up opinion on the Illegal Migration Bill.
  • A joint opinion for the Good Law Project on issues arising from clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill, in relation to deprivation of British citizenship without notice.
  • Unlawful detention, particularly on behalf of vulnerable detainees and in cases raising wider systemic issues.

Eleanor has significant experience seeking and obtaining interim and final relief in unlawful detention cases.

For example, Eleanor was instructed in R (HY) v SSHD [2021] EWHC 2404 (Admin) on behalf of asylum-seekers accommodated in hotels who had been subjected to unlawful restrictions on their movements during the Covid lockdowns. After successfully securing interim relief which caused the restrictions to be lifted, the claims were transferred to the QBD for consideration of the resulting allegations of false imprisonment and breaches of human rights.

Eleanor has been instructed on several significant cases concerning refugee family reunion:

  • R (DM) v SSHD [2023] EWHC 740 (Admin) – an ongoing challenge to the Secretary of State’s policy on family reunion for refugee children.
  • SSHD v JS (Uganda) [2020] 1 WLR 43 – an important appeal concerning the UK’s international legal obligations to “family reunion” refugees.

She has also acted in successful Tribunal proceedings challenging the refusal of family reunion applications outside the Immigration Rules.

Eleanor represents legally aided and private clients in relation to applications, particularly in unusual or complex cases, and challenges to adverse decisions.

For example, she was instructed in the important case of R (Vanriel) v SSHD [2022] QB 737, establishing the existence of additional discretion in granting citizenship in Windrush cases and the availability of individual declarations of incompatibility.

Eleanor has also acted in a number of cases concerning British citizens or long-term residents detained in North-East Syria and their young children, and has appeared unled before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission.

Eleanor regularly advises on challenges to Home Office delays and failures in these areas, and has successfully obtained suitable accommodation and work rights for clients in a variety of situations.

At the systemic level Eleanor acted in R (Humnynstkyi) v SSHD [2021] 1 WLR 320 – a successful challenge to the Secretary of State’s policy framework for allocating Schedule 10 bail accommodation to Foreign National Offenders.

Eleanor has experience challenging segregation in individual cases as well as ventilating wider issues of policy and principle. For example she acted in TM (Kenya) v SSHD [2019] 4 WLR 109, concerning the lawfulness of the Secretary of State’s policy on segregation.

Eleanor’s experience enables her to advise strategically on the content of pre-action correspondence and the timing of proceedings challenging unlawful delays, including in complex cases, often resulting in a defendant authority agreeing a timetable for a decision.

Education

Eleanor advises and represents clients in matters concerning educational provision, school exclusions, discrimination, admissions, and special educational needs. Her work includes applications for judicial review, civil claims, and hearings before Governing Bodies and Independent Review Panels.

Recent matters have involved issues such as:

  • Failure to provide suitable education under s 19 of the Education Act 1996;
  • Failure to secure special educational provision under s 42 of the Children and Families Act 2014;
  • Provision for special educational needs in detention;
  • The in-year admissions process, particularly for looked-after children;
  • Breach of the right to education;
  • The relationship between fixed-term and permanent exclusion; and
  • Unlawful progression policies.

Eleanor regularly represents clients in appeals concerning all aspects of Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs), and has particular experience working with parents and families to challenge decisions concerning provision and placement.

In the higher and further education sectors, Eleanor has acted for Higher Education Institutions in relation to discrimination claims and judicial review proceedings, and conducted internal investigations in response to student complaints. She has also been instructed by both Ofsted and the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.

Reported cases include:

  • R (Bloomsbury Institute Ltd) v Office for Students [2020] ELR 653 – a successful challenge to the Office for Students’ approach to the regulation of higher education institutions (led by Jessica Simor KC and Chris Buttler KC).
  • R (S) v London Borough of Camden [2018] EWHC 2954 (a successful challenge to a local authority’s decision to unilaterally amend the Claimant’s ECHP).

Equality and Discrimination

Eleanor provides advice and representation in relation to discrimination under the Equality Act 2010 and Article 14 ECHR, and compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty, across a range of contexts including primary and higher education, immigration and education policy, service provision, and provision in the prison estate.

Eleanor has been instructed, on both a led and an unled basis, by individuals and families, non-government organisations, Higher Education Institutions, statutory bodies, and government departments.

Recent cases include:

  • R (Donald) v SSHD – an ongoing claim challenging the Secretary of State’s decision to abandon her commitment to key recommendations from the Windrush Lessons Learned Review. Eleanor, led by Karon Monaghan KC, acts for UNISON, intervening with a particular focus on compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty.
  • R (A) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] EWHC 360 – an application for judicial review of the Secretary of State’s consultation on the “New Plan for Immigration”, including on the basis of breaches of the Equality Act 2010.
  • R (Vanriel) and R (Tumi) v SSHD [2021] EWHC 3415 (Admin) – a successful Thlimmenos challenge to the Secretary of State’s refusal of citizenship to members of the Windrush generation who were unable to satisfy the relevant requirements due to past failures by the State.
  • R (SM) v Lord Chancellor [2021] 1 WLR 3815 – an intervention on behalf of Bail for Immigration Detainees in a successful challenge to the Legal Aid Agency’s discriminatory arrangements for the provision of legally aided advice and representation to immigration detainees in the prison estate.

Community Care and Social Welfare

Eleanor has worked on a range of issues including:

  • Support under s 17 of the Children Act 1989;
  • Support and accommodation under the Care Act 2014;
  • Transfer of unaccompanied asylum-seeking children; and
  • After-care services under s 117 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

Eleanor also acted for the claimants in several Upper Tribunal appeals selected as lead cases for the determination of issues concerning the exportability of benefits arising from the judgment of the CJEU in Secretary of State for Work and Pensions v Tolley (C-430/15), and in the subsequent appeal to the Court of Appeal (led by Tim Buley KC): Konevod v SSWP [2020] 1 WLR 5234.

Prison Law

Eleanor acts in and advises on challenges, by way of judicial review or civil claims, on a range of matters including:

  • Prisoners’ rights under the Human Rights Act 1998, including religious rights and the right to education;
  • Educational provision in the prison estate;
  • Challenges to classification and categorisation decisions; and
  • Challenges to Parole Board decisions.

Public International Law and Human Rights

Eleanor has a strong background in PIL and human rights, having completed her MPhil thesis at Oxford in refugee and human rights law and worked for a year with the Legal Division of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Eleanor’s recent work has included:

  • Acting in leading cases raising contested issues of international refugee law, including in relation to safe third countries (R (PCSU) v SSHD [2022] EWCA Civ 840), internal relocation (SC (Jamaica) v SSHD [2022] 1 WLR 3190), Palestinian refugees (NB and AB v SSHD (Case C-349/20)), and refugee family reunion (R (DM) v SSHD [2023] EWHC 740 (Admin)).
  • Contributing to an amicus brief for the Colombian Constitutional Court in a case raising important issues around the scope of complementary protection at international law.
  • Co-authoring a joint opinion, commissioned by Freedom from Torture, on the compliance of the Illegal Migration Bill with the UK’s international legal obligations.
  • Co-authoring a joint opinion for the Good Law Project on issues arising from clause 9 of the Nationality and Borders Bill, in relation to deprivation of British citizenship without notice.

She has also been involved in:

  • Advising on legal concerns arising from the Ministry of Defence’s consultation on immunity for armed services personnel (led by Richard Hermer KC).
  • Acting for the former Speaker of the Catalan Parliament in an application to the European Court of Human Rights challenging the lawfulness of her pre-trial detention (led by Jessica Simor KC);
  • Written interventions in ECtHR proceedings on issues including discriminatory ill-treatment on the basis of sex/sexual orientation (assisting the Equal Rights Trust and ILGA- Europe) and the application of Article 5(4) in the context of the preventive detention of those with a mental illness (on behalf of Liberty, led by Chris Buttler KC);
  • A complaint to the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women in relation to State responses to domestic violence (led by Helen Mountfield KC);
  • Advising on issues relating to compliance with international humanitarian law in the conduct of military operations abroad;
  • Advising on the human rights implications of extending the definition of combat immunity.

Media and Information

Eleanor has experience in the areas of media and information law relating to human rights and open justice. She regularly assists in the preparation of anonymity applications across a range of public law claims. Her experience also includes:

  • An intervention on behalf of Justice in the Court of Appeal in the significant case of R (IAB) v SSHD [2024] EWCA Civ 66, concerning the routine redaction of the names of junior civil servants (lead by Guy Vassall-Adams KC).
  • A novel and successful anonymity application on behalf of witnesses from Sierra Leone who feared reprisals for giving evidence in English proceedings: Kalma v African Minerals Ltd[2018] EWHC 120 (QB).

Eleanor is the author, with Aidan Wills, of the publication Restrictions on Open Justice: A guide for public law practitioners. This first-of-its-kind guide is as an accessible and user-friendly practical resource, tailored to the public law context. It covers the types of restrictions that can be sought; the practicalities of making these applications; and the rules and principles courts will apply in determining them.

Previous Experience

Before joining Matrix Eleanor spent a year with the Legal Division of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, where she worked on cutting-edge issues in the interpretation and application of international humanitarian law. She was admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor in Australia in 2011, and developed her litigation experience as a solicitor at Ashurst Australia and as a judicial assistant at the Federal Court of Australia. She has also interned with the Legal Division of the World Food Programme in Rome, where she provided advice on discrimination and employment issues, and at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague.

Eleanor holds a BCL and an MPhil in Law from the University of Oxford, where her thesis focused on the relationship between human rights and refugee law in the protection of people fleeing armed conflict. Alongside her studies Eleanor served on the Executive Committee of Oxford Pro Bono Publico, coordinating an extensive comparative law project which was later drawn on by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. She speaks fluent French.

Education

MPhil in Law, Magdalen College, Oxford (Dist.)

Bachelor of Civil Law, Magdalen College, Oxford (Dist.)

Bachelor of Laws (Hons.), Bachelor of Arts (Politics) and Diploma in Languages (French), University of Adelaide

Selected prizes

University of Oxford Law Faculty Prize for International Law and Armed Conflict (2013)

Law Foundation of South Australia Fellowship (2013)

Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Scholarship in Law (2012)

University of Adelaide Medal for outstanding academic achievement (2010)

Angus Parsons Prize for the most meritorious student qualifying for the LLB (Hons.) (2010)

University of Adelaide subject prizes including: Public International Law, Labour Law, Comparative Law, Corporate Law, Constitutional Law, Intellectual Property Law, Law of Crime, Law of Tort (2006-2009)

Publications

“The 2016-2017 Legal Year in Overview: Equality Law” (2017) 8 UK Supreme Court Yearbook (with Helen Mountfield QC)

“Law and War in the UK Supreme Court” (2016) 7 UK Supreme Court Yearbook (with Richard Hermer QC)

“The human costs and legal consequences of nuclear weapons under international law” (2016) 899 International Review of the Red Cross (with Louis Maresca)

“Nuclear weapons under international law” (Book Review) (2016) 899 International Review of the Red Cross


Eleanor's Privacy Notice

Eleanor is committed to protecting and respecting your privacy. In order to provide legal services to her clients, including advice and representation services, Eleanor needs to collect and hold personal data. This includes her clients’ personal data and the personal data of others who feature in the matters in respect of which she is instructed. To read Eleanor’s privacy notice in full, please see here.


DIRECTORY RECOMMENDATIONS

"Extremely knowledgeable and astute." "I've seen Eleanor's name in a number of interesting judgments - she's definitely one to watch."

Chambers & Partners, 2024, Administrative & Public Law

"She is absolutely exceptional when it comes to drafting. She has a super legal mind and her knowledge of case law is also just exceptional." "She has really impressive knowledge relating to immigration and asylum. She provides very clear advice in complex areas."

Chambers & Partners, 2024, Immigration

"Eleanor is exceptionally hard working and diligent. She has impressive knowledge and expertise in relation to immigration and asylum law and provides impressively clear advice on often complex issues."

Legal 500, 2024, Immigration (Including Business Immigration)

"A brilliant junior always recommended by senior KCs." "A rising star in the field of immigration." "The best junior I have worked with. She is in a category of her own, operating at an extremely high level."

Chambers & Partners, 2023, Immigration

"She is a really impressive junior who is working on some of the most important public law judicial reviews on behalf of asylum seekers and victims of trafficking."

Legal 500, 2023, Immigration

"Brilliant junior counsel - and comes highly recommended by heavyweight QCs."

Chambers & Partners, 2022, Immigration

"Eleanor is the most talented junior counsel I have ever come across. That is a view widely shared among all who have led her. She is brilliant at legal analysis, evidential analysis and drafting. That is an extraordinary combination."

Legal 500, 2022, Immigration (Including Business Immigration)