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Eleri Haf Davies , Duncan Lewis , Immigration Solicitor , Cardiff

Eleri Haf Davies

Solicitor

Contact Information

Profile / Experience

Awards Recommendation for Eleri Haf Davies
Legal 500 215.jpg

Eleri Haf Davies has a flourishing reputation for handling Latin American asylum claims and human trafficking.

Legal 500 Individual 2020 Edition.
Human Resources: Immigration / Wales: Cardiff & Swansea

Eleri is a Recommended Lawyer in the 2020 edition of The Legal 500.

Legal 500 2020 Edition.
Immigration / Wales: Cardiff & Swansea

"Hardworking, dedicated and thorough solicitor Eleri Haf Davies has a flourishing reputation in the market, particularly in relation to Latin American asylum claims and human trafficking."

Legal 500 2019 Edition.
Immigration / Wales: Cardiff and Swansea
I am a Solicitor in the Public Law Department at Duncan Lewis. I am accredited as a Level 2 Senior Caseworker under the Law Society’s Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme. I joined Duncan Lewis Solicitors in May 2014.

I specialise in Latin American asylum claims and human trafficking and my clients include Colombian, Nicaraguan, El Salvadorian, Cuban, Albanian and Kosovar nationals. In September 2016, I succeeded before the Upper Tribunal in a Colombian asylum claim concerning a former DEA informant fearing reprisals from FARC and Mexican-Colombian cartels. This case was significant as the current country guidance case law does not recognise informants as forming a 'particular social group' for the purposes of the Refugee Convention. Furthermore, the Upper Tribunal upheld the decision of the First-tier Tribunal to find that there is insufficient state protection on return to Colombia for individuals who fear the insurgency group FARC. This, again, was a decision which departs from the current country guidance case law.

A notable case in 2015 involved acting for a national of Cameroon who was detained under the DFT regulations. I had supported an application for my client to be recognised as a victim of trafficking based on a new and emerging form of human exploitation where young African footballers are coerced into slavery in Europe. I was able to secure the client’s release from detention and ultimately, he was recognised as a victim of trafficking and afforded refugee status.

In May 2016, I successfully appealed five linked Kosovar asylum and trafficking claims before the First-tier Tribunal and hope that the case will have a lasting impact on the way that gender-based claims from Kosova are determined in future.

I am a Recommended Individual in the 2019 edition of The Legal 500 for my work in Immigration/Wales.

Between 2009 and 2010 I undertook human rights work in Medellín, Colombia working with displaced families and children affected by gang violence in the city. During my time in Medellin, I conducted ethnographic research into the socio-economic, political and human rights climate of the city for a study entitled “Medellín: From Murder Capital to Model City?”. I have written and published articles on the human rights crisis in Colombia for The Guardian and have written an article entitled, ‘Looking Beneath the Surface: Identifying the Victims of Modern Slavery’ in 2015.

I am a first language Welsh speaker and speak fluent Spanish. In 2007, I was granted a bursary for linguistic excellence from Swansea University.

Education

  • University of Swansea: Legal Practice Course (Distinction)
  • University of Swansea: Joint Honours LLB Spanish and Law (First Class)

Career

  • Solicitor at Duncan Lewis: February 2017-present
  • Trainee Solicitor at Duncan Lewis: February 2015–February 2017
  • Caseworker at Duncan Lewis: May 2014–February 2015

Testimonials

  • "I meet a lot of lawyers in the course of my work as a Sudan Country Expert - a spectrum ranging from those I'd rather forget to those who have inspired me. Eleri is one of the inspirations. Her tenacity, diligence and expertise in her profession is coupled with the sensitive interpersonal skills that immigration and asylum requires. Eleri creates an ad hoc partnership to address a case. She puts her clients at ease and enables them to feel supported and heard. This is particularly important in human rights work. In a sense, she does the same with me as the country expert with specialist knowledge but no legal background. Working with her is always a pleasure because she has the qualities that bridge the gap." - Peter Verney, Editor, Sudan Update

  • "I recently worked with Eleri Haf Davies on a very complicated immigration appeal involving complex questions of international, European, and UK asylum and human rights law. The case required Eleri to go beyond the call of duty in obtaining voluminous evidence relating to the main appellant and his family, and all within the constrictions imposed by a legal aid budget. Further, the case required a sophisticated understanding of the complex internal machinations of Sri Lanka and its military and political institutions, at a time when those institutions were in a state of flux.

    "Eleri had to work strenuously to ensure that the Tribunal granted adjournments in order that the appellant receive a fair hearing, and was able to achieve this in order that the necessary evidence could be provided. I have not seen a better, more thoroughly prepared case, and would describe Eleri as a pleasure to work with.
    " - Gary Dolan, Drystone Chambers

  • "I am an immigration barrister called to the bar in 2006. I have had the pleasure of being instructed by Eleri on a number of cases. These clients have invariably come from minority backgrounds and present as vulnerable by virtue of their circumstances and/or for reasons of health or disability. These clients have included victims of sexual exploitation, victims of torture, victims of human trafficking, and those with significant mental health diagnosis. Eleri has always dealt with such cases in an entirely appropriate and expert way. She is sensitive, thorough and has the ability to take extensive and complicated instructions and convey them in a clear and concise way. She shows great determination and persistence to act in the client’s best interest. Her approach has greatly assisted in many successful appeals before the immigration and asylum tribunal." - Hoa Dieu, 30 Park Place

  • "I have experienced first-hand Eleri’s outstanding professionalism through two recent cases we’ve worked together on. Her knowledge of immigration law is astounding. Eleri’s approach to her cases embodies intelligence, strong work ethic, dedication plus heart. She is articulate and thorough. Not only does she make her clients feel at ease but when I acted as a witness in court, she encouraged me and confidently offered her guidance without patronising or lauding over. The expert, the witnesses, the client and Eleri; we were a team. This helped me, as a novice to the courtroom, feel more at ease and better able to provide support and assurance to our mutual client. The ability to manage the complexities of her work is another skill Eleri possesses. She appears to effortlessly take charge while ‘holding space’ for all to rise to the situation while calmly keeping her focus on her delivery in the courtroom. The client whose case I am referring to, after ten years of refusal after refusal and bounced from legal aid solicitor to legal aid solicitor was finally granted his leave to remain status." - Sonja Miley, Waging Peace

  • "I first met Eleri in 2017 when she had been approached by a young woman who was an asylum seeker from Albania to support her with her asylum case. Eleri had been recommended to the service users by the Welsh Refugee Council as “…the best solicitor in Cardiff to represent asylum seekers.” As soon as I met her I could clearly understand why. From the onset she was determined and diligent in approaching the individuals case; she clearly showed her passion and sheer commitment to helping with the case in any way she could to enable her client the right to remain in this country.We are extremely grateful to Eleri for all that she has done for this lady. She has given this young woman her life back and is for the first time able to make her own decisions and choices. Eleri clearly demonstrated her passion for supporting the rights of asylum seekers, and did all within her power to help them get justice. I have a great respect for Eleri and hold her in high esteem as someone who really does champion the rights of marginalised and vulnerable people in society." - Outreach Service Manager

Awards

  • Recommended Individual - The Legal 500, 2019 edition - Immigration/Wales
  • Nominated - Rising Star award -Solicitors' Journal Awards 2017

Membership & Accreditations


In August 2016, I was selected by the International Jurists Commission, Colombia Caravana, to take part in this years delegation to Colombia. Assassinations, death threats, unlawful detention and other abuses of lawyers continue unchecked in Colombia despite the current peace negotiations in the country and so the work of the delegation is more important than ever.


The Colombia Caravana was founded in 2008 after the National Colombian Association of Human Rights Lawyers (ACADEHUM) asked the international legal community to develop and implement an international programme of support for human rights lawyers working in Colombia. The Colombia Caravana UK Lawyers’ Group is now at the centre of an international network of jurists offering support to lawyers and other legal professionals in Colombia.


The Caravana’s work is essential to show concrete support for at-risk Colombian human rights lawyers and other defenders. A total of 55 lawyers from more than 10 countries took part in this year’s Caravana and were sent to report on seven different regions of the country, interviewing activists, government officials, victims and community leaders.


I was elected to accompany a small group of lawyers to report on one of the most challenging regions in Colombia, the small port town of Tumaco on the Pacific coast bordering Ecuador. Tumaco is a registered FCO ‘red zone’ with the highest homicide rate in Colombia and the most dense rate of cocaine production in the world.


Interests

  • I have sold and exhibited my artwork for several years in galleries in Brecon and Crickhowell.
  • I was also a member of the Royal Ballet School and I am currently an aerial performer for the Nofit State Circus.
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