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Christopher Simmonds , Duncan Lewis , Housing Solicitor , Cardiff

Christopher Simmonds

Solicitor

Contact Information

Profile / Experience

I am a Solicitor in the Housing and Public Law team at Duncan Lewis. I litigate across a broad range of areas concerning issues such as:

  • Possession proceedings;
  • Anti-social behaviour injunctions;
  • Applications for committal; and
  • Judicial Reviews against public bodies such as Social Services, the DWP and the Home Office.


I have extensive experience of cases which have been decided in the Administrative Court and the Upper Tribunal.


I am also accredited as a Level 2 Senior Caseworker under the Law Society’s Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme.


Education

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice (LPC)- BPP
  • Bar Professional Training Course- Very Competent - Cardiff University.
  • LLB Honours – University of Glamorgan

Career

  • Admitted as a Solicitor: January 2017
  • Duncan Lewis: 2014-present
  • Albany Solicitors: 2011-2014

Testimonials

"I realise that I have not thanked you properly for your help and guidance with Sajith’s sponsorship licence. I had doubts when we first spoke about the value of having a firm of solicitors involved in the process, but as time went on I became more and more convinced that you help was essential in getting to the successful outcome that we achieved. I am really most grateful for your patient and professional approach, which I very much appreciate, Thank you." - Client.


"Christopher’s commitment and dedication to the field of asylum and public law is self-evident and applauded across the refugee support community of South Wales. His work has no doubt cemented Duncan Lewis’ reputation for excellence within a tight-knit community of migrants in Wales’ capital. Not only does Christopher share his time generously with his colleagues but he also undertakes a significant amount of pro bono and voluntary work. Christopher’s involvement in setting up the Asylum Justice project has been invaluable to ensure that the charity thrives in its infancy. Christopher has also set up a successful legal clinic in the local church that has become a vital outlet to the asylum-seeking community. In addition to his many voluntary projects, Christopher founded a successful immigration law blog in 2014; a highly valued resource geared towards aiding immigration advisers of all levels to stay afloat of the ever-shifting legal landscape."


"Christopher’s exceptionality is derived not only from an academic command of the Law that few practitioners can rival but is born of a rare intuition that enables him to navigate a notoriously fast-paced field of law with apparent ease. Christopher is a born advocate and a pioneer in the campaign to ensure that public bodies are held accountable." - Ruth Brown (Asylum Justice)


"Dealing in particular with the range of Judicial Review matters in which I have been involved the issues are complex, claims and applications must be issued urgently, and in most cases there is a substantial amount at risk for the client. I have been involved in a number of urgent last minute applications heard by the designated out of hours Judge at the High Court: in most cases Christopher received his instructions that same day. His ability to draw together all of the relevant parts of the case, to reassure the client and get all of the information he needs from them and to package it all in a persuasive and accessible manner makes it that much easier for Judges to know what is before them. His ability to present complex arguments, and lay out the groundwork for the same in witness statements, has been crucial in a number of such applications.

In considering the broader range of work which I have been involved with Christopher, the quality of his advice and ability to tease out the arguments from difficult cases is always evident. The range of Judicial Review work within his practice is impressive: it is clear that he understands how to succeed in bringing difficult claims on behalf of some of the most vulnerable in society against, invariably, poor decisions of the State. I have also seen his tactical nous and understanding that a claim is not the end of the matter. He regularly pursues different avenues, be it Freedom of Information Requests or Subject Access Requests, in order to ensure that his clients are in the best possible position to succeed.

Having praised his litigation skills I feel it important to note that his real skill is in getting the result required. In all of the cases in which I have been involved I have never found him to be headstrong and, where there are sensible and proper opportunities to reach a settled agreement, he explores those to ensure that his client gets the result required. It is an impressive quality for a young lawyer to have such confidence, and rightly so given his ability, in negotiating with large arms of the State. Importantly, the faith which his clients put in him bear fruit when the risks and delay of a full hearing are avoided by sensible negotiation.

Though I have not worked with Christopher directly on his Pro Bono work I am aware that through Asylum Justice he offers assistance on a regular basis to those in need of help. Turning his skills and making his knowledge available to those people is an invaluable tool which gives those with little hope an opportunity of getting proper, accurate and clear advice.

Christopher has impressed me at all times when I have worked with him. His approach is proactive and knowledgeable: it is a pleasure to receive instructions from him. As a trainee solicitor at one of the largest immigration firms in the country I have no doubt that his skills will be tested and his knowledge developed over the coming years. Given the quality (and difficulty) of the cases which he has dealt with to date I am certain that the complexity of his cases will continue to develop and his practice will grow into an impressive portfolio." - Owain Rhys James (Counsel- Civitas Law Barristers).

Notable Cases

Civil Court

R (on the application of MG) v First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) ('fresh claim'; para 353: no appeal) IJR [2016] UKUT 00283 (IAC) - Whether, following the introduction of the Immigration Act 2014, whether it was the duty of the First-tier Tribunal to consider 353 of the Immigration Rules. This case is currently awaiting a decision on Permission to Appeal to the Court of Appeal.



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