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Shalini Patel , Duncan Lewis , Public Law Solicitor , Harrow

Shalini Patel

Solicitor

Contact Information

Profile / Experience

Every asylum seeker and migrant in the United Kingdom has a right to access to justice. I take my role as a solicitor and supervisor within the Public Law and Immigration department as an opportunity to seek access to justice for those most vulnerable in our society.

I have specialist experience in all aspects of immigration related judicial review claimant cases. I have a broad practice in the area of public law and human rights including conduct of various high profile judicial review claims concerning issues such as; trafficking; unlawful detention; removals to European countries under the Dublin Convention; removals on asylum and human rights grounds, challenges to policy/law relating to vulnerable individuals including victims of torture, pregnant women and victims of trafficking.

I have represented clients in judicial Review proceedings against government departments including the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Secretary of State for Education, Local authorities and the Lord Chancellor.

I have also worked on various other civil liberties related challenges against decisions made by the Secretary of State for the Home Department for false imprisonment cases.

My current interest lies with acting for victims of trafficking and challenging the unlawful policies of the Secretary of State for the Home Department. I act in various class action challenges, including:
  • The process by which detainees are unsafely released from detention into the community without medical records, medication and care plans against the government's own guidance which requires that the above should be provided on release
  • The policy which fails to grant non-asylum seeking pregnant victims of trafficking the same financial support as asylum-seeking pregnant victims of trafficking.
  • The policy which allows the Secretary of State for the Home Department to apply different timescales to victims who receive a positive reasonable grounds decision the first time around compared to those who receive such a decision only upon reconsideration.
I joined Duncan Lewis in November 2011 as a caseworker and within five months of being in the firm I obtained my training contract. I undertook my training in the Immigration, Family, and Child Care departments over a period of 18 months and qualified as a solicitor in March 2014.

I supervise a team of caseworkers and trainee solicitors all dedicated to representing the most vulnerable in society.

I am fluent in Hindi and Gujarati.

Education

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice (LPC)
  • LLB Honours - University of Hertfordshire

Career

  • Solicitor in Public Law Department at Duncan Lewis 2014-present
  • Trainee Solicitor at Duncan Lewis 2012–2014
  • Executive Officer at Treasury Solicitor’s Department 2008-2011

Testimonials

  • "I just want to say thank you for all your help and support you have been the best solicitors I have ever dealt with. Excellent communication, great advice and friendly." - Client, February 2018

Notable Cases

Court of Appeal
  • Wasif –v- The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] EWCA Civ 82: I had the conduct of this matter which concerned the manner in which the Tribunals and Courts certify claims for Judicial Review as “totally without merit”. The Court of Appeal, of its own motion, heard this matter as the test case in relation to “totally without merit” orders and gave further guidance.

  • HK (Sudan) –v- SSHD [2014] EWCA Civ 1481: I had conduct of the test case in the Court of Appeal in relation to removals to Hungary under the Dublin Convention. I undertook a fact finding mission to Hungary in October 2014 to assist in preparation of the oral permission hearing. A vast amount of information was gathered following meetings with various Non-Government organisations including the UNHCR and the Hungarian Helsinki Committee. Despite the acceptance of degrading treatment by the Court of Appeal, permission was refused. I felt very strongly about the case and decided to pursue the matter further. I applied to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. Unfortunately, this application was also refused.

  • Kigen and Another –v- Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWCA Civ 1286: This case concerned an appeal against an order of the Upper Tribunal dismissing the appellants’ application for an extension of time in which to renew their applications for permission to apply for judicial review. The appellants are seeking to establish that they are entitled to leave to remain in the United Kingdom by reason of descent from a maternal grandfather. In light of this judgment, it is likely that extensions of time on the basis of delays in securing legal aid funding will no longer be granted unless there are exceptional grounds to such a request. In the last resort, claimants will be expected to lodge the necessary notices without legal assistance, and apply for fee remission if they are unable to pay Court fees. The Court did suggest that applications to extend time made before the expiry of the relevant deadline may be treated differently (applying Roberts v Momentum Services).

High Court
  • Alvi and Others: I had conduct of three of the seven linked cases which, further to the Detention Action challenges, established the process to set aside asylum appeals decided under the unlawful 2014 procedures.

  • Pour and others –v- SSHD [2015]: I have conduct of the test Cyprus removals case in which a Final Hearing took place in the Administrative Court in June 2015 and the matter was refused.

Membership & Accreditations

  • Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (ILPA)
  • Level 2 Immigration and Asylum scheme accredited Caseworker
  • Level 2 Immigration and Asylum scheme Supervisor

Interests

  • Travelling
  • Reading

Articles

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