We are delighted to announce that public law solicitor Sulaiha Ali has won the Rising Star – Private Practice award at this year’s British Legal Awards.
The British Legal Awards are the leading awards for the UK’s business law community and celebrate excellence, achievement, and innovation in the legal profession.
The Rising Star Award looks to recognise and celebrate the future legal stars that demonstrate significant leadership, strategic vision, and have contributed to both the wider community and to the success of their firm.
Specialising in immigration related judicial review (JR) cases, focussing on modern slavery claims, gender based violence, refugee law and immigration detention, Sulaiha is dedicated to representing those in need and her entire caseload is carried out under legal aid.
She has earned a reputation for conducting high-profile challenges to unlawful practices and policies affecting vulnerable and marginalised individuals, and has been involved in cases that generate widespread interest including her challenge to the SSHD’s refusal to return a deported individual to the UK in the wake of their ‘deport now, appeal later’ policy. The case R (on the application of Watson) v SSHD was the first successful one of its kind and her work on the matter resulted in her being named The Times’ Lawyer of the Week.
Sulaiha also successfully challenged the SSHD’s failure to protect a trafficking victim who was unlawfully detained and unreasonably delayed in determining whether he had been trafficked (CP (Vietnam) v SSDH ). In allowing the claim, the High Court provided guidance to the application of public order grounds used to justify the detention of victims of trafficking.
Sulaiha continues to work on numerous challenges that raise issues of wider significant importance. She has recently issued judicial review proceedings challenging the exclusion of refugee minors from benefitting from family reunion with their parents and siblings. Sulaiha has also been granted permission by the Administrative Court in a judicial review that challenges the legality of the SSHD’s rules and policy regarding the ability of asylum seekers to work in the UK whilst their asylum claims are pending. If successful, the challenge is likely to impact thousands of asylum seekers in the UK.
It is clear to see that Sulaiha is thoroughly deserving of being named Rising Star of the year at the British Legal Awards and we offer her many congratulations.