As a direct access immigration barrister who has been practising in this field on both sides since 1999 there is nothing more rewarding than the Court allowing an appeal outright, i.e. no more appeals or hearings, in Court.
This is what happened yesterday, in a case that reminded me of a case I did in 2010 before the Court of Appeal, unrepresented clients appeared before LJ Sedley who saw they had a point, rather than refuse permission he adjourned the case and told them to get legal representation. After a lot of work we had the substantive appeal before 3 judges of the Court of Appeal. The appeal started at 1030 – by 1055 they had given judgment in my clients favour and they have been allowed to remain since.
In echoes of this, I had a case which came to me after the UT Judge had set aside the FTTJ decision but wanted the client to be represented.
The issue turned on whether he had a contact order and whether he played a role in his children’s life. There were two choices, one to call him and tend him for cross examination or secondly to ask the questions myself.
I chose to ask the questions and went through the 100s of photos he had produced along with the contact order, he was so nervous I was concerned for him if he had been subject to cross examination. Not that he was not 100% truthful but that he might panic and had trouble understanding even simple questions, none of which meant that he was not an excellent father and loved by his children.
After asking the questions myself and showing the documents to the Judge the SOPO chose not to answer questions and conceded the appeal. The appeal being conceded lead to the Judge telling the client he had won. It still took me some 20 minutes afterwards to explain that it was all over.
Paul Turner is an experienced and highly regarded direct access immigration barrister also licensed to practice litigation and has a team of 4 to help make any problem appear its true size. He is the head of Imperium Chambers, a boutique, possibly the first, set designed to help direct clients who do not want a solicitor and who want direct access with a barrister who was called in 1998 and has been practising immigration since 1999. I am also a member of the excellent set of Tony Metzer QC, Goldsmith Chambers, based in the Temple. He can be contacted on 0207 242 3488.