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Finnian specialises in public and civil law, with a focus on migrants’ rights, employment and climate justice.

Finnian practises across public and employment law, and is regularly instructed in matters concerning immigration and asylum, discrimination, whistleblowing, community care and climate law. He has appeared unled in the Administrative Court, Employment Tribunal, First-tier Tribunal, the Upper Tribunal and the County Court, and has appeared led in the Court of Appeal.

Before coming to the bar, Finnian worked as a legal caseworker at United Voices of the World, a trade union predominantly representing low-paid and precarious migrant workers. Prior to this, he was the Judicial Assistant to Lord Justice Singh, and spent a summer with Advocates Abroad providing asylum interview preparation support to refugees at the Vial Refugee Camp in Chios, Greece. In addition, Finnian has taught European Union law to undergraduates at the London School of Economics and worked as a research assistant for Professors Jeff King and Laura Hoyano. He has worked for a number of NGOs, including Reprieve, the Women’s Inclusive Team, Amicus, and the South African Legal Resources Centre.

Public and Administrative Law

Finnian is frequently instructed in judicial review matters, with a particular focus on immigration and community care. He has appeared in the Administrative Court and Upper Tribunal, both led and unled, as well as appearing as a led junior in the Court of Appeal.

Recent work includes:

  • Acting in the Court of Appeal for Judge Kate Thomas in her challenge against the Judicial Appointments Commission’s refusal to share or provide a gist of adverse comments used against her in rejecting her application for a judicial role (led by Tony Vaughan), see here.

  • Acting for BSO, a Palestinian teenager, in a linked case challenging the Foreign Office’s refusal to provide diplomatic support to assist his evacuation from Gaza, and challenging the Home Office’s refusal to grant him a visa. Appeared in the Administrative Court before the SSHD and FCDO withdrew their decisions (led by Charlotte Kilroy KC and Michelle Knorr), see here.

  • Acting for RM and others, a Palestinian family seeking to join their daughter/sibling in the UK, in a successful challenge to the Home Office’s refusal of applications for entry clearance because they were unable to give biometrics in Gaza (led by Charlotte Kilroy KC and Michelle Knorr), see here.

  • Obtaining a grant of permission in a judicial review of the SSHD’s failure to grant a disabled applicant a fee waiver in respect of his Article 8 leave to remain application.

  • Acting in a challenge to a negative Conclusive Grounds decision for a Chinese victim of trafficking (SSHD has since conceded).

  • Advising a group of Palestinian refugees about family reunion and entry clearance applications for their family members in Gaza.

  • Obtaining a grant of permission in a judicial review of the SSHD’s refusal of a visit visa where the Applicant sought entrance to visit his brother who had an incurable brain tumour.

  • Acting in a judicial review challenge concerning a disputed age assessment of a Sudanese claimant who has been denied Part III Children Act 1989 support.

  • Acting regularly in immigration detention judicial reviews, including detention that post-dates s.12 Illegal Migration Act 2023.

  • Acting in judicial review proceedings on the provision of support to victims of trafficking.

  • Working alongside other leading counsel on judicial review challenges, including the Manston House and Bibby Stockholm cases.

  • Assisting with a judicial review challenging the government’s application of the Afghan Relocations and Assistance Policy.

Employment and Discrimination

Employment Tribunal litigation

Finnian has experience across the full spectrum of employment and discrimination law. He is regularly instructed to conduct multi-day final hearings in tribunals across the UK, and as well as in closed and open preliminary hearings. He also has a busy advisory practice.

Recent work includes:

  • Successfully securing a full 90-day protective award on behalf of over 700 Unite the Union workers made redundant in the printing industry, see here.

  • Persuading a tribunal that Hackney Council had directly discriminated against a claimant on the grounds of disability after a five-day hearing. Also succeeded in claims for failure to make reasonable adjustments, unfair dismissal, and discrimination arising from disability, securing an award for £98,307.98, see here.

  • Successfully arguing a Section 104A Employment Rights Act national minimum wage-related automatic unfair dismissal claim after a multi-day hearing.

  • Representing a group of over 20 forensic medical examiners in an eight-day employee and worker status preliminary hearing against the Metropolitan Police (led by David Stephenson and Louise Mankau, judgment pending).

  • Appearing in the Employment Appeal Tribunal in a race harassment claim (led by Paras Gorasia).

  • Persuading a Tribunal that a claimant’s depression and anxiety amounted to a disability within the meaning of s.6 Equality Act 2010 after a one-day preliminary hearing.

  • Persuading a Tribunal that a respondent boating club could not rely on its internal articles of association to negative the claimant’s employee status.

International employment law

Finnian has a specialist practice in employment disputes with an international dimension. He advises and litigates claims raising questions of territorial jurisdiction, international jurisdiction and applicable law, and he is comfortable applying the full gamut of domestic, European, and private international legal principles in such cases.

Recent work includes:

  • Advising a trade union on the lawfulness of proposed industrial action against Isle of Man and Guernsey-based employers.

  • Persuading a Tribunal that it had jurisdiction over CNN in respect of a high-profile international correspondent’s claims for discrimination and unfair dismissal in Bhatti v CNN Case Number: 2204637/2018 (11 August 2023) (with Paras Gorasia and Jen Robinson), see here.

  • Advising and representing a captain of a cruise ship in his whistleblowing and unfair dismissal claims.

  • Persuading a tribunal that an organisation wholly owned and operated by the Russian government did not benefit from state immunity.

 

Immigration

Finnian is regularly instructed in matters covering all areas of asylum and immigration law, including in the First-Tier and Upper Tribunals, judicial review proceedings, and damages claims for unlawful detention.

Recent work includes:

  • Obtaining bail for multiple detainees in respect of whom the SSHD had stated an intention to remove them to Rwanda.

  • Successfully persuading the Upper Tribunal that the First-tier Tribunal and SSHD had been applying the wrong test to “particular social group” in AH (Ethiopia) v SSHD Appeal No. UI-2023-004603.

  • Successfully represented an Eritrean national in an asylum claim; First-tier Tribunal praised Finnian’s “admirably comprehensive skeleton” argument.

  • Persuading the Home Office to concede asylum and human rights appeals after appeal skeleton arguments are submitted.

  • Regularly persuading tribunals to grant immigration bail to clients, both in the First-tier Tribunal and in detention centre courtrooms. Finnian has a strong commitment to pro bono work and regularly volunteers for Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID).

  • Appearing unled in an Upper Tribunal asylum appeal relating to material errors of fact under E v SSHD and perversity.

  • Resisting the imposition of immigration bail conditions, including the mandatory electronic tagging condition in deportation cases on human rights grounds.

Civil claims

Finnian recently drafted pleadings on behalf of five claimants who were detained in Manston House by the Home Office. He regularly advises on and acts in other damages claims arising from unlawful immigration detention. He has also conducted infant settlement-related hearings on behalf of children and protected parties.

Environmental and Climate Justice

Finnian accepts instructions in Environmental and Climate Justice.

Recent work includes:

  • Drafting amicus submissions sent to the Inter-American Court on Human Rights as part of its Advisory Opinion on the Climate Emergency and Human Rights, instructed by the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), Global Action Plan, and Kyklos (alongside Ben Cooper KC, Louise Willocx, and Toby Fisher).

  • Acting for an advertising worker in her Employment Tribunal claims against a multinational advertising agency for suspending her after she made allegations of greenwashing about them.

  • Advising a former advertising worker as to whether a settlement agreement could preclude him from undertaking climate activism that would involve highlighting his former employer’s greenwashing practices.

  • Delivering training and webinars on climate-related issues, including on climate whistleblowing.

  • Drafting litigation funding applications in respect of strategic climate cases involving greenwashing and the advertising industry.