Alongside her regular court appearances, Deborah is an accomplished written advocate; she frequently wins cases on the basis of her drafting alone and is regularly praised by judges for the quality of her skeleton arguments, grounds of appeal, and judicial review grounds. She enjoys identifying and advancing novel points of law, and frequently challenges common Home Office and Tribunal assumptions and practices.
Before coming to the Bar, Deborah worked for the Immigration Advisory Service (formerly the UK’s largest provider of legal advice on immigration and asylum), and was accredited by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. She then spent a year as the employee of two direct access immigration barristers. She completed pupillage in a predominantly criminal set and, on accepting tenancy there, chose to work exclusively in immigration law, going on to establish a successful practice in the field almost from scratch before moving to more specialist chambers.
Deborah provides expert advice on immigration law for family court proceedings and is a contributor to Free Movement, the widely read and highly respected immigration law blog.
Some notable cases include:
AK v SSHD: Successful appeal against revocation of protection status for a Gambian national granted refugee status during childhood.
XP v SSHD: Successful asylum appeal for a young Albanian man whose family had been targeted by a criminal gang.
JT v SSHD: Successful asylum appeal for a Georgian victim of domestic violence whose protection claim was made 16 years after her arrival.
DP v SSHD: Long-running asylum proceedings (involving three hearings in the First-tier Tribunal and two in the Upper Tribunal) in respect of a vulnerable Sri Lankan national who was wrongly accused of assisting the LTTE. It was ultimately accepted that, notwithstanding his Sinhalese ethnicity, his lack of political activity, and the passage of nearly 10 years, he would be at risk on return.
R (WD) v SSHD: Judicial review of a decision to grant the Applicant leave to remain under the Partner route after a successful appeal despite her not having applied for leave in that capacity. The Court of Appeal granted permission to appeal and the case was subsequently settled by consent.
SB v SSHD: Human rights appeal in which the First-tier Tribunal accepted that the combination of lengthy absence from country of origin, responsibilities towards an unwell adult daughter, and the best interests of the Appellant’s granddaughter constituted ‘insurmountable obstacles’ to the continuation of family life outside the UK. The SSHD’s appeal to the Upper Tribunal was unsuccessful.