Immigration, Asylum and Free Movement
Members of our immigration, asylum, and free movement team are regularly instructed in ground-breaking cases before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court as well as the Court of Justice of the European Union and European Court of Human Rights. We have particular expertise in complex and sensitive claims, including those involving national security evidence before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC). We provide expertise in the full range of disputes including refugee protection, all areas of immigration including business, students and other categories, deportation, immigration detention, and EU free movement rights. We work with UK based firms, international firms, NGOs and in-house legal teams in other organisations. We are regularly instructed to act for UNHCR in interventions on strategic cases before the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Our members have worked on cases in many jurisdictions including the US, Turks & Caicos, BVI, Northern Ireland and Russia.
Significant cases include:
- Challenges to returns under the Dublin Regulation before the Grand Chambers of both the CJEU and ECtHR (NS & Ors v UK (C-411/10 & C‑493/10), and Tarakhel v Switzerland (App No. 29217/12)),
- Test cases in the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court relating to the exclusion provisions of the Refugee Convention (AH (Algeria) v SSHD  EWCA Civ 395 and Al-Sirri v SSHD; DD (Afghanistan) v SSHD  UKSC 54),
- Refusal and deprivation of nationality cases (SSHD v Pham  UKSC 19 and SSHD v Al Jedda  UKSC 62),
- Test cases relating to ECHR, art 8 and the immigration rules (HA (Iraq) v SSHD  UKSC 60; R v SSHD, ex p Razgar  UKHL 27; R v SSHD, ex p Ullah  UKHL 26),
- Challenges in the context of immigration detention (R (O) v SSHD  UKSC 19; R (Lumba & Anor) v SSHD  UKSC 12; Kambadzi (previously SK (Zimbabwe)) v SSHD  UKSC 23),
- Discrimination claims (R (Johnson) v SSHD  UKSC 56), and
- Numerous issues relating to EU law (SSHD v FV (Italy)  UKSC 49; ZZ v UK (C-300/11)).
For a full and up to date list of cases please go to members’ individual CVs.
As part of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) has significantly expanded a number of aspects of its digital reform process. Under the resulting scheme, appellants are being routinely required to file all evidence in their appeal and a full Appeal Skeleton Argument at a very early stage in the proceedings. This effectively requires both barristers and solicitors to prepare the appeal in full, even where it is unlikely to be heard for some time.
The Civil Legal Aid (Remuneration) (Amendment) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 come into force on 8 June 2020. These set new fixed rates which will apply to appeals to the FtT (IAC) made using the new digital process.
Members of the Matrix immigration team are deeply committed to access to justice and to giving their best to their clients’ cases. Having considered the new fixed rates, each of them has reached the view that these will not adequately or sustainably remunerate the preparation of an appeal and full ASA. As reflected in the statement below, each has decided that, other than in exceptional circumstances, they will not accept instructions under the new procedure to prepare an Appeal Skeleton Argument unless specific provision is made for that work to be adequately remunerated. Members will reach individual decisions about whether there are exceptional reasons to accept instructions in a particular case.
You can read more about concerns raised in relation to the new fixed rates here: