Profile image

Michelle is a specialist practitioner in immigration, asylum, human rights and public law.

Michelle is regularly instructed in First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal asylum, human rights, deportation, EU law, domestic violence, refugee family reunion, entry clearance, bail and other immigration appeals. She has a particular interest in representing vulnerable clients with mental health problems, children and victims of trafficking. Michelle is experienced in advising in judicial reviews challenging removal, detention, certification, NRM decisions, fresh claim refusals, legacy decision making and other immigration related public law challenges. She also advises in private law actions for false imprisonment and human rights act damages claims.

After working at the Legal Aid Department in Lilongwe in 2006, Michelle established the Malawi Public Interest Case Support Project with the Bar Human Rights Committee and lawyers in Malawi in 2009. She has advised in Malawian cases concerning women's property rights, police brutality, lengthy remands in homicide cases, and the closure of radio stations for “national security” reasons during the July 2011 protests.

Michelle is a trustee of Room to Heal a charity providing community based therapeutic support for refugees and asylum seekers who have suffered human rights violations.

Prior to training as a lawyer, Michelle worked for several international development NGOs. In 2003 she founded a UK registered trust called Nyumba Ya Thanzi which supports community designed and implemented projects in Malawi. Nyumba Ya Thanzi currently supports a centre for children with HIV located in Salima, Malawi.

Immigration Asylum and Personal

Michelle specialises in human rights and asylum cases. She is frequently instructed to represent particularly vulnerable clients including victims of torture, victims of trafficking, children and clients with physical and mental health problems.

She has successfully acted in a number of complex “war crimes unit” exclusion cases, including for clients accused of involvement in international crimes in Iraq and Rwanda.

She frequently represents clients in deportation Article 8 appeals and has a particular interest in cases relating to the best interests of children.

Michelle is currently instructed in a number of complex immigration appeals concerning EU law residence rights under the 2004 “Free Movement” Directive and derived directly from the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU. She has successfully represented many EU citizens in deportation cases.

In R (Atamewan) v SSHD [2013] EWHC 2727 – Michelle was led by Phillippa Kaufmann QC in a successful challenge to the Home Office policy on historical victims of trafficking. Click here to read more.


Michelle frequently acts in detention cases, including detained fast track, bail and public and private law detention challenges. These include a number of cases with mental health aspects to an unlawful detention claim. She provides pro bono representation to immigration detainees through Bail for Immigration Detainees.

Michelle has expertise in immigration related public and private law challenges, including judicial reviews of fresh claim refusals, legacy decision making, NRM decisions, Article 4 breaches in trafficking cases, certification decisions, and delays in decision making.

Before training as a barrister, Michelle worked at Wilson Solicitors LLP as a senior immigration caseworker. Many of her clients suffered from mental health problems, often as a result of their traumatic experiences in their countries of origin and in trying to claim asylum in the UK. Michelle is a Level 2 accredited immigration advisor. She is particularly well placed to advise on case preparation having worked as a caseworker.

Community Care and Health

Michelle represents clients subject to immigration control in asylum support and community care judicial reviews. She frequently advises on duties arising under s.17 Children Act and s.21 National Assistance Act. She regularly represents clients pro bono at the Asylum Support Tribunal as a volunteer with the Asylum Support Appeals Project.

Administrative and Public Law

Michelle is frequently instructed in immigration related public law challenges. She is currently working on a complex challenge to the UKBA guidance on identification of victims of trafficking. Michelle is also representing a number of clients bringing challenges to legacy decision making. She accepts instructions in urgent challenges to removals and is acting in a number of ongoing certification challenges as well as unlawful detention claims.

In R (Atamewan) v SSHD [2013] EWHC 2727 – Michelle was led by Phillippa Kaufmann QC in a successful challenge to the Home Office policy on historical victims of trafficking. Click here to read more.

Actions Against the Police and Public Authorities

Michelle’s practice in this area arises out of her immigration practice. In particular she has expertise in the duties of police and other public authorities towards victims of trafficking, particularly relating to the investigative duties arising under Article 3 and 4 ECHR. She is also involved in a claim against immigration officers for their conduct of a dawn raid.