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Julia Smyth

Call: 1996
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Practice Summary

Julia joined Landmark Chambers in June 2019 following a successful practice at Temple Garden Chambers between 2012 and 2019.

Prior to this Julia had a diverse career as a government lawyer. As a government lawyer, Julia advised the government on EU free movement, medicines and devices regulation, NHS secondary care, as well as prison health and prison judicial reviews. Since returning to chambers, Julia has developed a strong public and EU law practice, particularly in the fields of social security, EU free movement and immigration.

Social Security

Since returning to chambers, Julia has been instructed in some of the leading “right to reside” and EU social security co-ordination cases, as well as ECHR and domestic law challenges. Julia is experienced in all aspects of social security law. Before returning to chambers, Julia was a senior lawyer at DWP leading a team of lawyers which advised Ministers on means-tested benefit entitlement of foreign nationals.


Julia regularly appears in the High Court and Upper Tribunal. She has experience in many areas of immigration law, including Tier 2 cases (sponsorship), Article 8 ECHR claims, fresh claims, unlawful detention and appeal rights cases.


As a government lawyer, Julia gained significant NHS experience. She was one of the Department of Health’s main legal advisers on foundation trusts, and the lead lawyer on the development of the new regime for failing health trusts. Julia’s broader health work included organ donation, NHS fraud, NHS reconfiguration, the private patient cap, prison health and work with special health authorities.

Pharmaceutical and devices regulation

Julia worked for several years as a legal adviser to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, specialising in the regulation of both medicines and medical devices. She was a legal adviser to the Committee on Safety of Medicines.


Julia has recent experience of acting in prison judicial reviews. She also worked on prison and Parole Board judicial reviews as a government lawyer.

EU Law and Free Movement

Described by Legal 500 as a “genuine and outstanding free movement specialist who handles cases beyond her call” and “an effective advocate with an encyclopeadic knowledge of free movement issues,” Julia is experienced in all aspects of EU law. She has been instructed in many recent test cases, often as sole counsel.

As a senior government lawyer, Julia was closely involved in many ground-breaking social security and EU free movement cases in the domestic courts and CJEU and established and chaired a cross-government group on EU free movement issues. She also spent several years as a lawyer advising the government on the regulation of medicines and medical devices.


“She has an eye for detail and is incredibly approachable and responsive.” “She is a truly excellent public law specialist.” (Administrative & Public Law) Chambers & Partners, 2022

“A phenomenally gifted technical barrister.” (Immigration) Chambers & Partners, 2022

“Julia is an excellent public law senior junior. She has an eye for detail and is very thorough. Julia brings experience as counsel for various government departments to claimant work, giving practical insights into how public bodies make decisions on the ground.” (Administrative & Public Law) Legal 500, 2022

“Julia has proven herself to be immensely capable, very thorough, responsive and impresses with a detailed knowledge of the law on EU free movement.” (Immigration) Legal 500, 2022

“She is an EU law expert and is used a lot by the government for all manner of EU-related litigation.” (EU Law; Immigration) Chambers & Partners, 2021

“Julia has proven herself to be immensely capable, very thorough, responsive and impresses with a detailed knowledge of the law on EU free movement.” (Immigration) Legal 500, 2021

“Julia impresses with a strong work ethic, very good knowledge of the law, and her commitment to the case.” (Administrative & Public Law) Legal 500, 2021

“A Home Office barrister of choice for EU-related cases. She’s extremely clever and very effective, and has a really good reputation in EU law.” “An excellent advocate with a very measured approach, and an exceptionally fair opponent.” (Immigration) Chambers & Partners, 2020

“She has a real feel for EU law, and an intuitive feeling for how the law will move.”
(EU Law) Chambers & Partners, 2019

“An outstanding barrister with an encyclopaedic knowledge of EU law. She is a phenomenally hard worker and has outstanding judgement.”
(EU Law) Legal 500, 2019

“A genuine and outstanding free-movement specialist, who handles cases beyond her call.”
(EU Law) Legal 500, 2018

“An effective advocate with an encyclopaedic knowledge of free movement issues.”
(EU Law) Legal 500, 2017


  • ALBA
  • Attorney General Panel: Appointed to B panel


French and German (working knowledge)


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