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Nicholas Hughes, Duncan Lewis

Nicholas Hughes


Profile / Experience

I am a Caseworker in the Public Law and Immigration department at Duncan Lewis, having joined in September 2015. I completed my training contract in January 2020 and now I work full-time as the lead Caseworker on the Brook House Inquiry.

This Inquiry is the first of its kind in the UK, following from a lengthy Judicial Review to investigate abuses exposed as part of a BBC Panorama documentary. I represent several individuals who are Core Participants and Witnesses to the Brook House Inquiry. Having jointly built the case which led to this Inquiry, I now work closely with Counsel, Solicitors to the Inquiry and our clients to ensure that justice is brought following the extensive abuse which took place at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre.

I am experienced in a wide variety of Judicial Review claimant and asylum matters and I have several years of experience in challenging removals from the UK to European countries under the Dublin III Regulation, challenges to decisions of the Secretary of State for the Home Department to unlawfully detain and remove clients, cases involving victims of political persecution and torture, challenging the unlawful detention of LGBTI persons, abuse within detention centres and statelessness cases.

I have represented clients from all backgrounds, from privately funded clients to vulnerable victims of trafficking, and often have had to handle cases at the last minute to tight deadlines such as is the case with deportation/removal matters. I have conducted a varied caseload with cases being heard before the Upper Tribunal, Special Immigration Appeals Commission, the High Court and Court of Appeal.


  • LLB (Honours) Law with American Law – University of Nottingham
  • E.MA in Human Rights and Democratisation – European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation


  • Caseworker at Duncan Lewis Solicitors 2021-present
  • Trainee Solicitor at Duncan Lewis Solicitors 2018-2020
  • Caseworker at Duncan Lewis Solicitors 2015-2018
  • Proof-reader – Review of East and Central European Law - 2015
  • Caseworker – SGI Legal LLP – 2014
  • Research Assistant – Human Rights Clinic, The University of Texas at Austin – 2011

Notable Cases

Court of Appeal
  • ZA v SSHD (2018/0360) - Lead case concerning the unlawful detention of LGBTI asylum seekers.

High Court
  • MA & BB v SSHD (CO/2710/2017; CO/382/2018) - case concerning the culture of abuse at Brook House IRC as exposed in the BBC Panorama Documentary Undercover: Britain's Immigration Secrets
  • Abdulkadir & Anwar v SSHD (CO/4711/2015; CO/5115/2015) – Lead case concerning Dublin III returns to Austria.

  • ZA v SSHD (CO/1003/2016) - Lead case concerning the unlawful detention of LGBTI asylum seekers.

Membership & Accreditations

  • Amnesty International
  • ILPA


  • American Football
  • Basketball
  • Playing music
  • I occasionally record voiceovers for radio stations around Europe.
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