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Philip Armitage, Duncan Lewis

Philip Armitage


Contact Information

Profile / Experience

I am a Trainee Solicitor within the Public Law/ Immigration Department of Duncan Lewis Solicitors. I am motivated by holding the Home Office to account for the way they treat vulnerable immigration applicants. I work on a variety of cases which includes wider challenges to Home Office policy, asylum applications, unlawful detention claims and appeals to the First tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal.

Whilst I enjoy working on systemic challenges to Home Office policy, particularly within immigration detention, there is also no greater reward than being able to tell a client that their asylum/ immigration claim has finally been accepted. The immigration system can be confusing and distressing for many of the vulnerable clients that I work with and I will do everything that I can to help my clients navigate their way through the hostile environment.

Since becoming a trainee solicitor, I have worked on claims for victims of trafficking, asylum-seeking minors, domestic violence victims and out-of-country deportation appeals. The majority of my work is carried out under legal aid and I am motivated to help those with less financial means achieve their legal objectives. Access to justice is not just a flowery legal concept but must be fought for through determined legal aid representation every single day.

I also work on systemic challenges against the practices of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, hoping to improve the system for hundreds of people in the future. During my years as a trainee, I have worked on Judicial Review challenges to paying immigration detainees £1 per hour, the lack of safeguards for vulnerable immigration detainees in prison and challenging the out-of-country appeal process.

I am accredited as a Level 2 Senior Caseworker under the Law Society’s Immigration and Asylum Scheme which means that I have specialist knowledge and experience in this area of law and can advise and assist publicly funded clients under Duncan Lewis’ legal aid contract.


  • Legal Practice Course, BPP University
  • Bar Professional Training Course, BPP University
  • Graduate Diploma in Law, University of Sheffield
  • BA Politics and Philosophy, University of Sheffield


  • Trainee Solicitor at Duncan Lewis Solicitors, January 2018-present
  • Caseworker at Duncan Lewis Solicitors, April 2017-January 2018
  • Criminal Paralegal at Leslie Franks Solicitors, October 2015-April 2017
  • Intern at the Bar Pro Bono Unit, June 2015
  • Legal adviser at the leading human rights charity Liberty, October 2014-March 2015
  • Asylum caseworker at South Yorkshire Refugee Law & Justice, June 2014-September 2014

Notable Cases

High Court
  • R (on the application of Morita & Others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 758 (Admin) - Lead challenge to the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s decision to pay immigration detainees £1 per hour for work in detention. Represented five claimants who had been working in detention as cleaners, welfare assistants and hairdressers. Whilst this claim was dismissed by Mr Justice Murray, we are currently pursuing an ongoing appeal to the Court of Appeal.

  • R (on the application of MR (Pakistan) and AO (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for Justice and Secretary of State for the Home Department [CO/2701/2018] - Permission to bring Judicial Review proceedings has been granted in this ongoing challenge to the failure of the SSJ and SSHD to provide equivalent safeguards to the Detention Centre Rules for vulnerable immigration detainees in prison. The Claimants argue that the lack of Rule 34 and Rule 35 protections (which identify and review detention for those who are vulnerable, e.g. have mental health problems or are victims of torture) is inherently unfair, is unlawful discrimination under Art 14 ECHR and a breach of the Equality Act 2010. Substantive hearing to be heard later this year.

  • R (on the application of Ibidokun) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWHC 3178 - High Court ruled that the Claimant’s detention was unlawful for a period of nearly three months because of the Home Office’s delay in serving his asylum decision upon him.

Civil Court
  • R (on the application of Watson) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and First tier Tribunal (extant appeal: s94B challenge: forum) [2018] UKUT 165 (IAC) - Ongoing challenge to SSHD’s decisions maintaining Applicant’s Section 94B certification and refusing our client’s return to the United Kingdom despite the Supreme Court decision in Kiarie and Byndloss. Upper Tribunal, in the statutory appeal, have recently ordered the Home Office to return our client after concluding that he could not have an effective out-of-country appeal from Jamaica.

Membership & Accreditations

  • Law Society Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Level 2


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