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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 specialise in all aspects of immigration related judicial review claimant cases. I have conduct of various high profile judicial review claim concerning issues such as; 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, victims of trafficking and challenges against tagging conditions. I have also worked on various other civil liberties related challenges against decisions made by the Secretary of State for the Home Department.

My instructions are varied. I primarily act for publicly funded clients. Recently I have had conduct of five lead judicial review cases including;
  • Challenges on returns to Hungary under the Dublin Regulations
  • Challenges on returns to Cyprus under the Dublin Regulations
  • A challenge to totally without merit orders being issued by the Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber and High Court where a Lord Justice deemed further guidance on such orders to be necessary
  • A challenge on extensions of time being refused by the Courts further to delays by the Legal Aid Agency in granting funding
  • A challenge against a judgment of the Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber. This matter challenges the Upper Tribunal’s decision deeming that the SSHD does not have power to vary bail conditions further to an order from the First-tier Tribunal.
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 Childcare departments over a period of 18 months and qualified as a solicitor in March 2014.

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
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