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Jenna McKinney, Duncan Lewis

Jenna McKinney

Director & Solicitor

Contact Information

Profile / Experience

Awards and Recommendations for Jenna McKinney
Legal 500

Jenna is a Recommended Lawyer in the 2022 edition of The Legal 500.

Legal 500 2022 Edition.
Administrative and Public Law; Civil Liberties and Human Rights / London

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

Legal 500 2020 Edition.
Immigration: Human Rights, appeals & overstay / London

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

Legal 500 2020 Edition.
Administrative & Public Law / London

Jenna McKinney is a Recommended Lawyer in The Legal 500, 2019 for her work in Immigration: Human Rights and Overstay, London.

Legal 500 2019 Edition.
Immigration / London

Jenna McKinney is a Recommended Lawyer in the 2019 edition of The Legal 500 in Administrative & Public Law, London and shows "...remarkable insight and rigour."

Legal 500 2019 Edition.
Public Law / London

Jenna is ranked and recommended by Legal 500 2017 for her Civil Liberties work representing victims of torture.

Legal 500 2017 Edition.
Civil Liberties & Human Rights / London

"The hardworking and dedicated Jenna McKinney handles asylum, immigration detention and judicial review matters."

Legal 500 2017 Edition.
Immigration: Human Rights, appeals & overstay / London
I am a Director of Immigration at Duncan Lewis Solicitors. I supervise a team of solicitors, trainees and caseworkers. I am a Recommended Individual in the 2019 edition of The Legal 500 for both my work in Public Law and Immigration matters.

I have been working in the Immigration field since 2001 and have extensive experience specialising in all aspects of Immigration, European Economic Area (EEA) law, Asylum, and Human Rights. Over the past 10 years I have led a team that specialises in representing detainees with their immigration and public law matters; specifically, appeals, asylum, general immigration, challenges against removal or deportation and unlawful detention judicial review claimant work in the High Court. I also represent in civil claims in the County Courts and the QBD.

I attend prisons and immigration detention/removal centres throughout England and Wales and regularly assist clients with applying for bail, release and those facing deportation. I conduct my own advocacy representing clients at hearings before the First-tier and Upper Tribunal of the Immigration Asylum Chamber. My instructions have been varied. I represented a client in the Immigration & Asylum Chamber, First-tier Tribunal on a bail application. He was facing deportation following his conviction of killing two individuals by shooting them in the head. I persuaded the Court to grant bail in principle.

I represent clients, both adults and minors, of all nationalities and backgrounds including: minors, victims of domestic violence, victims of rape, victims of torture, victims of trafficking, those with mental health issues and those with medical conditions. I provide training on appeals in the Tribunal. I frequently provide training on challenging immigration detention. I have previously assisted the charity, Detention Action in their litigation challenging the detained fast track by providing expert witness evidence and case studies on behalf of Duncan Lewis. This evidence was extensively referred to by the Court in the judgement declaring the Detained Fast Track Process unlawful in 2014. Sadly I represented a client on the DFT, who died in Immigration detention. I also have represented a client who regrettably killed another detainee in immigration detention, for whom I successfully obtained interested person status from the Coroner dealing with the Inquest into the death. I have substantial experience working quickly at short notice to prevent removal and obtaining out of hours injunctions from the Courts, an example illustrating this is CP V SSHD who instructed me at a DDA surgery in Brook house IRC. He was facing deportation in 48 hours and within that time my team and I managed to peruse all his papers, draft a letter before action, lodge an appeal in the FtTIAC, apply for bail in the FtTIAC, apply for legal aid funding, obtain a high court order preventing his removal, then the following working day lodging his Judicial Review and succeeded in getting him released on bail at the FtTIAC. I later referred him to the CCRC with a view to getting his criminal convictions overturned, considering the Police and CPS did not refer him into the NRM, despite indicators he was a victim of modern slavery and was a child at the time of the offending.

I also have been involved in a number of complex cases that settled out of court including; MO v SSHD in which MO was one of the claimants in the test litigation of Medical Justice V SSHD, Equality and Human Rights Commission intervening [2017] EWHC 2461 (Admin) which held that the Home Office had applied an incorrect definition of torture to immigration detainees and challenged the Adults at Risk Home Office statutory guidance for immigration detainees. MO’s case settled out of Court, she has been awarded damages and is now recognised by the competent authority on conclusive grounds as being a victim of trafficking.

Another case settled out of court is that of DC v SSHD, a Judicial Review involving a challenge to the SSHD’s EEA policy guidance to ban nationals of the EEA from entering the UK for 12 months following removal for failing to exercise their treaty rights. The AIRE centre were granted permission to intervene due to the wide ranging implications to nationals of the EEA.

Another case that settled out of court is EB V SSHD, a Judicial Review that was granted permission to challenge the certification of the appeal right as out of country, against the removal/deportation of an EEA national on EEA grounds and human rights grounds. This was in view of the prison conditions in Romanian and successful High Court proceedings against extradition, following issue of a European arrest warrant. I also challenged the decision to declare his asylum claim as inadmissible and to exclude him from Humanitarian Protection, along with the decision to detain him in Immigration detention.

I have also represented in various civil claims that settled out of court for substantial awards of damages, including EEA rough sleepers detained by the Home Office contrary to unlawful policies, families detained in immigration pre departure accommodation at Cedars and Tinsley House, detainees in prisons and immigration detention centres held under immigration powers, and detainees held unlawfully at police stations.

I have experience handling matters involving human trafficking. I represented VHH in VHH V SSHD, JR/3134/2018 in a judicial review challenging the SSHD's policy to delay consideration of granting a victim of trafficking’s leave to remain in the UK pending the outcome of their asylum claims.

I regularly author articles for the ‘Inside Time’, a national magazine for Prisoners and Detainees. Several of my articles can be foundhere. Since 2010 I have been an accredited Advanced Caseworker (Level 3) of the Law Society’s Immigration & Asylum Accreditation Scheme, this means that I have shown that I have a high level of knowledge and experience in the area of Immigration law. There are only a small number of immigration practitioners throughout England & Wales that hold this quality mark.


  • LLB Law Degree
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice Course (LPC)


  • Duncan Lewis Solicitors 2004-present
  • Qualified as a Solicitor September 2004


  • " "My wife and I are indebted to her and we are certain we would not be alive and able to remain in the UK had it not been for her work in preparing our case and challenging the refusal of our asylum claim all the way to the Court of Appeal. She never gave up on us despite the negative decisions from both the Home Office and Courts, she even challenged our detention at the same time as well. Words cannot express how grateful we are to her"." Client, AH - 2016.

  • "...indeed the work of their legal representative in preparing and conducting Abdul and Rashida’s representation and the various applications for transfer out of the FTT procedure, for an adjournment, for bail and for temporary admission were of exceptionally high standard. This was particularly so given the impossibly short timescales and the exceptionally difficult working conditions governing all of that representatives work...they were fortunate in being able to contact experienced asylum solicitors at short notice who made two sets of written representations. The legal rep who drafted these representations had a good knowledge of the then recently decided Country Guidance case of MN……".
  • - The High Court


  • Recommended Lawyer - The Legal 500, 2022, 2019 and 2017 editions

Notable Cases

Court of Appeal
CI (Nigeria) V SSHD [2019] EWCA Civ 2027 -Successful appeal against the decision of the Upper Tribunal relating to deportation, providing welcome guidance to resisting automatic deportation of foreign criminals on "very compelling grounds" under S 117 (C)(6) and providing clarification to the exceptions to deportation of "social and cultural integration" and "very significant obstacles to integration" in Section 117 C (4). Heard by Senior President of the Tribunals; Sir Ernest Ryder, Leggatt LJ and Hickinbottom LJ. Funded by LAA exceptional case funding.

High Court
  • R (Gudanaviciene and others) v (1) Director of Legal Aid Casework and (2) the Lord Chancellor [2014] EWHC 1840 (Admin) - Successful challenge to legal aid agency’s restrictive policy on awards of exceptional case funding legal aid to immigration cases under LASPO 2012. In 2013 I drafted one of the first applications for exceptional case funding for my client who had a legally complex EEA deportation appeal. That application was refused by the legal aid agency, I drafted an appeal, the appeal was refused, the decision was challenged by way of judicial review successfully in a test case. The client won his deportation appeal also.

  • FA V SSHD and First Tier Tribunal (IAC) CO/4925/2018 - This was a successful grant of permission to apply for judicial review against the Home Office and the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) relating to refusal to accept an in country appeal due to lack of jurisdiction from an EEA national concerning a decision related to an application to revoke of his deportation order. I drafted the letter before action against the FtTIAC.

  • The Queen on the application of Zego V SSHD (2008) EWHC 302 (Admin) Case No: CO/11319/2007 - early challenge to the Dublin II Convention; removal to Italy.

  • The Queen on the application of N V SSHD (2007) EWHC 2577(Admin) Case No: CO/2256/2007 - fresh asylum challenge.

  • The Queen on the application of Y G (Cambodia) V SSHD 2008 EWHC 1735 - unlawful detention, quantum settled for a substantial amount.

  • The Queen on the application of FB V SSHD (2011) EWHC 2044 (Admin) - unlawful detention, quantum settled for a substantial amount.

  • The Queen on the application of AH and RJ (Pakistan) EWHC 2016 1579 - unlawful detention challenge to the Detained Asylum Fast Track process, Judgement declaring that the Detained Fast Track Process was unlawful and the First Tier Tribunal Procedure Rules 2005 were unlawful, affecting 10,000.00 cases heard under those rules the 10 years they were in force.

Civil Court
    MS(British Citizenship; EEA appeals) Belgium [2019] UKUT 356 (IAC)- Judgement of a panel including Upper Tribunal President Lane. Provides guidance on the relevance in human rights appeals (in the instant case appealing against removal by way of deportation) of a previous unexercised entitlement to apply to register for British citizenship and whether EEA nationals who have spent their childhoods in the UK should be considered to be lawfully resident, despite failing to comply with the rules on free movement, through no fault of their own.

  • Smith (appealable decisions; PTA requirements; anonymity : Belgium) [2019] UKUT 216 (IAC) (28 June 2019) - Judgement of a panel including Upper Tribunal President Lane. Provides guidance to practitioners on the correct procedure for raising a cross appeal in the Upper Tribunal, on what constitutes a “decision” for the purposes of S 11 (1) of the TCEA 2007 (consequently whether there is a statutory right of appeal to the Upper Tribunal or whether the appropriate challenge is by way of Judicial Review), jurisdiction in EEA revocation of deportation appeals, and lastly when it is appropriate for the Tribunal to order anonymity. I drafted the cross appeal in the Rule 24 response and requested the Upper Tribunal exercise jurisdiction (directly) to grant permission to appeal out of time relating to a FtTIAC Judge’s (non) findings in respect of Article 8 ECHR. I argued that the judge was seized of jurisdiction in respect of a human rights appeal, it was not open to him just to decide not to deal with it. I argued his (non) finding constituted a “decision” for the purposes of S11 (1) of the TCEA 2007. Additionally I argued if the Article 8 human rights decision under challenge was not in accordance with the law then it could be allowed under the third limb of Razgar.

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  • R (on the application of MMK) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (consent orders – legal effect – enforcement) [2017] UKUT 198 (IAC) - This case involved the legal effect of the Secretary of State failing to comply with a term in a consent order. The matter came before Upper Tribunal President McCloskey, he decided the Upper Tribunal does have the power to punish for contempt of court but that it is a power which is “practically arbitrary and unlimited” and to be exercised with “utmost caution”. He found the proceedings had ended and there was no power to resurrect them. This was because of the final terms of the consent order in question. Further, the exact terms of the consent order did not mandate the Home Office to do anything other than pay costs. The agreement of the Home Office to make a new decision was set out in a recital to the order, not in the body of the order nor in an undertaking to the court.

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  • Andell (foreign criminal – para 398) [2018] UKUT 198 (IAC) - This case provided guidance on whether the immigration rules relating to deportation apply to a person convicted of a criminal offence but not defined as a foreign criminal.It held paragraph 398 of the Rules includes not only foreign criminals as defined in the 2002 Act and the 2007 Act but also other individuals who in the view of the Secretary of State, are liable to deportation because of their criminality and/or their offending behaviour. The appellant has now been granted five years leave to remain in the UK following a successful appeal and I am pursuing a separate claim for false imprisonment for him.

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  • A C v The Home Office HQ15X02232 - Civil claim for damages for unlawful detention approximately 2 months unlawful detention awarded £25,000.00 damages.

Membership & Accreditations

  • In January 2019 I was appointed as a fee paid judge of the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).
  • Member of the Judiciary and sit as a Magistrate.
  • Chair and sit in the Adult and Youth Courts.
  • Provided free legal advice on immigration matters at Hackney Citizens Advice Bureau for two years every Wednesday evening for two hours.
  • Appointed as a member of the Law Society Immigration Law Committee - the Committee identifies areas of immigration and asylum law and procedure that require reform or review and formulates recommendations for consideration by ministers and officials. It also liaises with and makes representations to ministers and officials, and responds to departmental consultations on immigration and asylum matters generally.


  • I have been involved in voluntary organisations working as a mentor; mentoring young and BAME individuals and females who wish to enter the legal profession.
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