Hafsah joined Landmark Chambers in November 2019 from 3 Hare Court, where she practised between 2010 and 2019. She specialises in public law, with particular expertise in immigration and asylum, EU law, civil liberties and human rights, and equality and discrimination. She also has a thriving civil practice covering commercial disputes, professional negligence claims and employment law.
Hafsah’s practice has a strong international element. She is regularly instructed in appeals in the Privy Council, and also undertakes work in the Caribbean and the British Overseas Territories, particularly Gibraltar.
In 2019 Hafsah was appointed to the Attorney General’s B Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown. Before this, she spent four years on the Attorney General’s C Panel.
Full details of Hafsah’s areas of expertise and recent cases are set out under the tab ‘Expertise’ on the right hand side of the page.
Immigration and asylum
Hafsah has significant experience in immigration and asylum and regularly appears in the Court of Appeal, Administrative Court and the Tribunals in judicial review claims and appeals. She has expertise in a range of areas including refugee law, trafficking, the Dublin III Regulation, free movement of persons, unlawful detention/false imprisonment, deportation, and cases concerning the points based system. Her civil law expertise means that she is uniquely placed to advise on issues of procedure (including costs), as well as tactics in claims proceeding in the Administrative Court and false imprisonment claims in the County Court/QBD.
Her recent cases include:
- Challenge to regime and conditions at Brook House and Colnbrook IRCs (ongoing) – judicial review challenge to the conditions and ‘lock-in’ regime at Brook House and Colnbrook IRCs, which are alleged to have breached the claimants’ rights to privacy and religious freedom (led by Thomas Roe QC)
- Rauf v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1276 – appeal concerning the scope of the Patel principle of fairness, and whether the Upper Tribunal was right to permit the SSHD to withdraw a concession made at first instance.
- SB (Sri Lanka) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 160 – appeal concerning the First-tier Tribunal’s approach to evidence and assessment of credibility in an asylum appeal
- R (Rahman) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 2952 (Admin) – judicial review concerning the interpretation of art.8ZA of the Immigration (Leave to Enter and Remain) Order 2000, and whether a notice of curtailment had been given where the letter had been sent to an old postal address and returned to the Home Office.
- R (DM (Tanzania) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 2576 (QB) – judicial review claim challenging the lawfulness of detention pending deportation, and delay in provision of s.4 accommodation.
- R (JS and Others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (litigation friend – child)  UKUT 64 – guidance case on the Upper Tribunal’s power to appoint a litigation friend for child litigants in judicial review proceedings.
- R (MS) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (2019) – judicial review claim in the Administrative Court concerning the extent of the state’s duty under the EU trafficking directive to support a victim of human trafficking during criminal proceedings.
- MS (Bangladesh) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1258 – appeal concerning the First-tier Tribunal’s assessment of risk in an asylum claim by a Christian convert.
- R (HA & Others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Dublin III; Articles 9 and 17.2)  UKUT 297 – judicial review claim challenging the UK’s refusal to accept a take charge request made under the humanitarian clause in the Dublin III Regulation, in which the Upper Tribunal considered the scope and proper interpretation of Article 9 of the Dublin III Regulation.
- R (Hussein & Rehman) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 213 (Admin): judicial review challenge to the conditions and smoking policy at Brook House IRC. judicial review claim by detainees about the conditions at Brook House IRC (led by Thomas Roe QC).
- R (Sevak) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  UKUT (IAC) – judicial review claim concerning the evidential flexibility provisions in the Immigration Rules.
- R (MS) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 2797 (Admin) – judicial review claim challenging a certification under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006, unlawful detention, and the failure to provide s.4 bail accommodation to an EEA national.
Privy Council and international work
Hafsah advises and has appeared as both junior and sole counsel in numerous appeals in the Privy Council, including constitutional, public law, human rights and criminal cases. She also undertakes work in a number of Caribbean jurisdictions, including Trinidad and Tobago and the Bahamas, and British Overseas Territories, such as Gibraltar. She is a member of the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association and AIJA.
Her cases include:
- Mauritius Shipping Corporation Ltd v The Employment Relations Tribunal  UKPC 42 (Privy Council) – sole counsel for the respondent Tribunal in an appeal from Mauritius, arising from a judicial review challenge to the Tribunal’s decision in respect of the appellant’s large scale reduction of its workforce.
- Smart & Others v the Judicial and Legal Service Commission  UKPC 35 (Privy Council) – junior counsel for the state in an appeal from Trinidad and Tobago concerning the legality of the process adopted by the respondent Commission in making appointments to the Judicial and Legal Service (led by Howard Stephens QC).
- McLeod v The Queen  UKPC 1 – sole counsel in a criminal appeal from Jamaica alleging a denial of due process by reason of the incompetence of defence counsel.
- Maharaj v Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago  UKPC 37 – junior counsel for the state in an appeal from Trinidad and Tobago by a former judge seeking constitutional damages, having won his judicial review claim challenging Cabinet’s refusal to re-appoint him for a further term because of allegations in relation to his competence (led by Thomas Roe QC).
Employment and discrimination
Hafsah’s employment practice encompasses all aspects of employment law, including discrimination claims, with experience of multi-day hearings for both employers and employees.
In addition to her domestic work, Hafsah acts and advises in employment claims abroad, and has expertise in advising on conflicts of laws and jurisdiction issues arising in the employment context. Recent examples of her international work include:
- Appeal from Mauritius arising from a large scale reduction of workforce by a state owned shipping company (Privy Council, Mauritius).
- Appeal arising from a challenge to the legality of the process for certain public sector appointments (Privy Council, Trinidad and Tobago)
- Acting for a large gaming company in a harassment and bullying claim by a former employee (Gibraltar).
- Advised on potential claims arising from the termination of seafarers’ employment agreements of crew members of at yacht involved in a fatal accident, raising difficult conflict of laws and jurisdiction issues (Gibraltar).
- Judicial review challenge to the legality of central government’s involvement in the procurement process for garbage collection services for municipalities (Trinidad and Tobago).
Hafsah is the co-author of the practitioner text The Protections for Religious Rights: Law and Practice (OUP, 2013) which includes a comprehensive review of the protections for religious rights in the employment context, including an examination of relevant provisions of the Equality Act 2010 and other applicable domestic and international instruments.
The Judicial Committee of the Privy Council: Contribution to Judicial Review and Public Law (2018) Judicial Review 65-82
Co-author of The Protections for Religious Rights: Law and Practice (OUP, 2013)
BA (Law), Worcester College, University of Oxford (2001-2004)
LLM in Public International Law, London School of Economics (2004-2005). Awarded the prestigious Georg Schwarzenger in International Law and the Lauterpacht/Higgins prize for best performance in Public International Law.
Hafsah also speaks Urdu and Punjabi.