Home > Barristers > Barrister CVs > Abid Mahmood - Immigration

Barrister - abid mahmood

Senior Practice Manager
Abdul Hafeez

Practice Group Clerks
Mark Byrne
Lucas Bennett
Gavin John

Chief Executive & Director of Clerking
Tony McDaid

Tel: +44 (0) 845 210 5555
Fax: +44 (0) 121 606 1501
[email protected]


Abid Mahmood - Immigration

Direct Email: [email protected]

Recorder of the Crown Court
Recorder Civil Courts and Family Court
Deputy Upper Tribunal Judge (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
First Tier Tribunal Judge (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
Panel barrister Attorney General's Panel of Special Advocates

Abid Mahmood has over 20 years’ experience as a barrister and has been sitting as a part time Judge since 2006. He is an Administrative Law specialist with considerable experience of human rights issues spanning several jurisdictions of law. He is one of only a few Special Advocates approved by the Attorney General to undertake national security cases and has been involved in several cases concerning national security and issues concerning foreign powers.

In immigration, asylum, nationality law, human rights and European Union free movement law he is highly regarded by his peers and independent legal directories as being in Tier 1. He is genuinely able to appear nationally and internationally with Chambers in four locations and with approvals by legal directories in London, but also other geographical areas.

He has advised numerous businesses and high net worth individuals in respect of immigration, compliance, regulatory, sponsorship and similar matters. He has worked closely with commercial law firms and businesses with the ability to be able to call on his company and commercial law experience. He has assisted numerous Colleges with Sponsorship cases.  He has represented many high net worth individuals to achieve Tier 1 investor and Entrepreneur visas from across the globe, including China, India, Pakistan, Russia and the Middle East.

He has been instructed by numerous well known firms and businesses in respect of civil penalty notices relating to “illegal workers”.  

He is an expert in respect of the Points Based System and has appeared in cases at all levels, including at the Supreme Court.

In respect of European Union law and freedom of movement, he has appeared at all levels of courts and tribunals.

In respect of asylum and nationality issues, he has advised and assisted hundreds of individuals to achieve status over the years.

In respect of family law he is regularly called upon to prepare independent reports for the family courts including for the High Court. These reports have been at the request of the courts, children’s guardians, local authorities and parents. He is able to use his relatively unique experience of being a Recorder in care and private law, his experience as a deputy Judge of the Upper Tribunal and First-tier Tribunal along with his practice in family law and immigration/human rights. He has appeared at all levels of family courts, including at the Court of Appeal in respect of international adoption issues for local authorities and others. He has appeared at senior courts, including at the Court of Appeal in respect of Hague Convention cases. He is able to use his national security expertise to advise and to assist in respect of care proceedings relating to children being taken abroad by their parents to Syria and other places.  

He is regularly instructed in many areas of law in which human rights issues arise, including Court of Protection, Family Law, Civil Penalty Notices, Judicial Review, Civil Liberties, Court of Protection, Local Government, Procurement and Public Law. He is instructed from across the country by firms and local authorities. Including in respect of “age dispute” cases.

He has appeared in some of the most important cases in recent years at the Supreme Court, House of Lords and in hundreds of cases at the Court of Appeal and Administrative Court/ High Court with several appeals pending at the Senior Courts. He is regularly instructed to draft proceedings and to advise on Judicial Review. 

He appears at the Upper Tribunal on cases with complexity or those with Country Guidance considerations. 

He is instructed by individuals (and is approved by the Bar Council to undertake Direct Public Access work),   local authorities, NHS Trusts, public bodies, sports establishments, companies and private solicitors firms on a wide variety of work. His particular interest is those cases concerning human rights, local government and cross border international issues.

He lectures regularly and has provided training for solicitors, counsel, the Home Office and others. He has been invited to and has lectured in other countries such as India and the United Arab Emirates (including the Dubai International Bar Association conference with thousands of delegates). 

He works with leading counsel, leads other juniors and acts alone in cases. 

He is recognised as a leading expert in his chosen areas of work. 

Abid is currently instructed in various cases including tests cases at the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. He is also currently instructed by various children’s guardians, local authorities, and parties to prepare expert opinions and advices in respect of issues transcending both human rights law, immigration issues and family law. He has advised various well known Claimant and Defendant firms in numerous High Court personal injury and clinical negligence cases in respect of persons with leave to remain issues requiring specialist advice concerning multi million pound damages claims. He is regularly instructed by the Office of the Public Guardian in vulnerable adult cases.

He continues to act in other areas of law including commercial law, family law, Court of Protection, Judicial Review, Charity Law, Information Rights and Trusts Law. 


Approved by the Bar Council to undertake Public Access work


Administrative Law Bar Association,
Family Law Bar Association, 
Midland Chancery Bar Association, 
Court of Protection Practitioners Association


Recorder of the Crown Court, Civil Court and Family Courts
Deputy Upper Tribunal Judge (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
First-tier Tribunal Judge (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
Attorney General’s List of Special Advocates. Approved to undertake national security cases requiring a special advocate
Equality and Human Rights Commission Panel of Approved Counsel
Founder of the Immigration Group at No5 Chambers and Head of Group until 2015



"He is responsive and gives clear advice. He is very courteous and has undeniable knowledge."
Chambers UK 2019

'A distinguished advocate.'
Legal 500 2019

He is extremely experienced and knows what to focus on in the higher courts to get you across the line." "He is a respected immigration practitioner working for claimants.'
Chambers UK 2018

'Highly experienced.'
Legal 500 2017

'Recognised for his broad experience of immigration cases, including matters concerning questions of asylum or human rights. Mahmood heads the immigration group at No5 Chambers.'
Chambers UK 2017

‘An immigration law specialist – he is super-efficient and knows the law inside out.’

‘A senior junior with experience before the Supreme Court.’
Legal 500 2016

'A Deputy Upper Tribunal Judge and a Special Advocate, Abid Mahmood covers the full range of immigration matters. He is recognised for his work on judicial reviews and has experience in handling national security proceedings'
Chambers UK 2016

Public and Administrative Law section: ‘Very responsive and a good team player.’
Immigration section:  ‘Able to explain a complex legal framework to clients.’
Legal 500 2015

'A seasoned immigration practitioner who combines an active practice with his roles as a part-time judge and recorder. He represents clients in complex cases at the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and has been instructed on many important national security matters.'
'He is a very hard-working and able barrister.'
Chambers UK 2015

In the Legal 500 2014 Abid Mahmood is described as one of the leaders in his areas of work and that he is:
'Personable and very user friendly.'
'An effective advocate, who argues points formidably.'
Legal 500 2014

In Chambers UK 2014 referring to Abid Mahmood it is said:
"He has a very detailed knowledge of immigration and human rights law. He picks up principles and develops them well." 
Chambers UK 2014

Abid Mahmood ‘a persuasive advocate whose paperwork is immaculate’
Abid Mahmood is referred to within two categories and regions in the prestigious Legal 500 Directory. Additionally for Planning Law, Regulatory Law and Public(Administrative Law) he is described as "An exceptional Advocate".
Legal 500 2013

Abid Mahmood has extensive public law expertise and experience in the higher courts. He acted for a claimant in the recent case of Chapti, Ali & Others, which was an important test of the compatibility of new English language requirements in respect of spousal visa applications with human rights law. He is "great on immigration and human rights," and is praised for the creativity of his arguments and his "robust, tenacious and punchy" advocacy.
Chambers UK 2013

Group head Abid Mahmood draws respect from sources for "his good brain and the consistent work which proves this." Commentators also note his excellent communication with clients. Recent work includes the judicial review of a decision to refuse British citizenship, which concluded that the government should change the law to allow post-flight spouses to join refugees in England.
Chambers UK 2012

Abid Mahmood is "extremely precise and meticulous." He has a broad public law practice and is praised for his "gutsy approach and willingness to tackle complicated and gritty matters." 
Chambers UK 2011

Abid Mahmood "is a genius"
Legal 500 2010

Abid Mahmood has been a feature of the leading directories for several years and has been commended for his highly regarded “client handling skills”.


Abid Mahmood has several cases pending at the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and other courts in diverse areas of law including the Court of Protection, Administrative Court Judicial Reviews in various immigration and non-immigration cases, education law, procurement, commercial issues and family law with foreign element issues.

Some of the more complex recent immigration, asylum, nationality and human rights cases include the following:

Mandalia v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] 4 ALL ER 189; [2016] INLR 184 
This case concerned the Government’s Points Based System and the issue of whether evidential flexibility was to be applied when incomplete applications were submitted. Abid appeared for the Appellant at the Supreme Court in this ground breaking case. He succeeded and the Supreme Court held that instruction process was a matter of law which the court itself had to decide. The previous line of authority that the courts should adopt the Secretary of State’s own interpretation was wrong and should not be followed. The process instruction had stressed the need for flexibility and therefore it should have been allowed. The Supreme Court unanimously allowed the Appellant’s appeal.

Ali v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] INLR 2314
The Government introduced a new immigration rule that there be a pre-entry English language test pass before spouses could enter the United Kingdom. This test case which was commenced in the High Court led to the Supreme Court holding that there would be no breach of Article 8 or Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Although the Appellant’s appeal failed, a declaration is awaited from the Supreme Court in respect of the basis upon which the case had been commenced in the High Court.

Some of Abid Mahmood’s recent cases include:

XX (anonymity granted to the client for safety reasons) v Secretary of State for Defence, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs and Secretary of State for Home Department (2016).

An ongoing human rights case in which an Afghan interpreter and operative has brought proceedings against the United Kingdom government in respect of breaches of policies and agreements in which he had been left behind in Afghanistan when UK forces had left that country.

Recent business Immigration cases include BITE College v Secretary of State for the Home Department. Successfully obtained permission to apply for Judicial Review at the Administrative Court which led to the SSHD withdrawing her decision to refuse a sponsorship licence (2016)

Numerous successful Investor and extension applications, including other Tier 1 Entrepreneur applications in 2016 for clients from the Middle East, China, Turkey, Russia, India and Pakistan. 

R (on the application of Kardi) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA 934 Civ July 2014. Court of Appeal.  Subject: Human Rights. Issue: The new ‘Restricted Leave to Remain’ Policy and its application. To be the subject of a proposed application for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court.

R (on the application of Apata) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2015] EWHC 888 (Admin). High Court. Judicial Review. Subject: Human Rights and Immigration. Issues: Mental Health, deportation orders, sexual orientation.

MI (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department. Court of Appeal. [2014] EWCA Civ 826, [2014] Imm. AR 1043.

The meaning of ‘persecution’ and whether discrimination of an Albino man could lead to him being granted refugee status.

Singh v Secretary of State for the Home Department Court of Appeal (Civil Division), [2014] EWCA Civ 932, [2014] Imm. AR 1141. Deportation concerning a man convicted of ‘historical’ serious offence and whether DP5/96 properly considered in light of section 84(1)(e) NIAA 2002. Historical injustice issues.

Secretary of State for the Home Department v Rodriguez, Mandalia and another. Court of Appeal. [2014] EWCA Civ 2. Evidential Flexibility. Permission to appeal granted to Mandalia.

JW (China) v Secretary of State for the Home Department. Court of Appeal. [2013] EWCA Civ 1526.  Article 8 family life issues.

SS (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department. Court of Appeal [2014] 1 WLR 998. Best interests of children issues arising out the conflict in respect of the public interest arising out of the requirement of deportation of foreign criminals and the duties towards British children of those persons.

R. (on the application of Ali and others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Court of Appeal. [2014] 1 WLR.  Pre Entry English Language requirement. Listed for hearing at the Supreme Court on 25th and 26th February 2015. 

SS (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department. Court of Appeal. [2013] EWCA Civ 237. Whether the regime in Zimbabwe was sufficiently safe to enable there to be a return of the Appellant. Successful appeals at the Court of Appeal with remittals to the Upper Tribunal.

C (A Child) (Practice: Setting Aside Consent Order in Abduction Proceedings), Re. Court of Appeal [2013] 2 FLR 1300. Hague Convention. Abduction of child. 

KM (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Supreme Court [2012] UKSC 38; [2012] 3 W.L.R. 345; [2012] 4 All E.R. 843; [2012] Imm. A.R. 1067; [2012] I.N.L.R. 562; (2012) 156(30) S.J.L.B. 31; Times, August 15, 2012. Successful appeal to the Supreme Court for Zimbabwean citizen who had contended that it was wrong in law for him to have dissemble to ‘pretend’ to support the President Mugabe regime in order to avoid persecution.

R. (on the application of School of Business and Commerce Ltd) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Queen's Bench Division (Administrative Court), [2013] EWHC 126 (Admin)
Subject: Immigration; Education, Planning
Keywords: Educational institutions; Immigration policy; Planning permission; Points-based system; Revocation; Sponsor licences

C (A Child), Re Court of Appeal (Civil Division) [2013] 
Subject: Family law. Hague Convention. International Law 
Keywords: Consent; Consent orders; Duress; International child abduction

R. (on the application of OA (Nigeria)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWHC 3128 (Admin) 
Subject: Immigration 
Keywords: Best interests; Certification; Children; Children's welfare; Illegal entrants; Indefinite leave to remain; Investigations; Removal

R. (on the application of S) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWHC 3370 (Admin)
Subject: Immigration 
Keywords: Asylum seekers; Certification; India

Okafor and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department. [2011] EWCA Civ 499. The Court of Appeal considered an important issue concerning the husband and children of an EU national that had committed suicide and the effect of EU Directive 2004/28 and Articles 12 and 16 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006. This case is currently the subject of an application to the Supreme Court. 

RK (Zimbabwe) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 456. The Court of Appeal considered the risk on return to Zimbabwe of an asylum seeker from Zimbabwe that had been in the United Kingdom for a number of years. The Court of Appeal allowed the Appellant’s appeal and remitted the case to the Upper Tribunal for an assessment to be undertaken. 

DS (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2011] EWCA Civ 305. The Court of Appeal allowed the Appellant’s appeal. He was an unaccompanied asylum seeking child. This is an important case dealing with the Asylum Seekers (Reception Conditions) Regulations in respect of the tracing of the child’s parents. There was a duty on the secretary of state to endeavour to trace a child’s family as soon as possible after the child has made his asylum claim. The Secretary of State has sought permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. 

R (on the application of Daley Murdoch) v Secretary of State for the Home Department. [2011] EWCA Civ 161. A test case at the Court of Appeal in respect of the issue of segregated decisions and rights of appeal. This case is currently the subject of an application to the Supreme Court. 

R (on the application of WJ (China) v Secretary of State for the Home Department. [2011] EWCA Civ 183. The Court of Appeal considered the issues of rights of appeal in respect of s82 of the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 and whether there was a conflict with Supreme Court authority in respect of the decision in BA (Nigeria) v SSHD. 

QJ (Algeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2010] EWCA Civ 1478 (21 December 2010). Acted as a Special Advocate. Issues concerning deportation of an Appellant convicted in the United Kingdom of terrorism related offences. This case is currently the subject of an application to the Supreme Court by the Special Advocates. 

R (on the application of Mansoor) v Secretary of State for the Home Department. [2011] EWHC 832 (March 2011). The Administrative Court considered issues in respect of family life and referred to the judgement of the European Court in C-3409 Zambrano v Onem 8 March 2011 BAILII: [2011] EUECJ C-34/09. 

TM, KM and LZ (Zimbabwe) v SSHD [2010] EWCA Civ 916. Leading case on the risk on return relating to sur place activities on return to Zimbabwe. The high profile nature of the President Mugabe regime which has dominated the media in recent times is currently an issue which continues to be of concern and which Abid has been involved in for some years now in acting for the Appellants.

AN (Pakistan) v SSHD [2010] EWCA Civ 757. The Court of Appeal considered the Appellant’s issues relating to domestic violence and suicide risk in respect of Articles 2 and 3 ECHR. 

WJ (China) v SSHD [2010] EWHC 776 (Admin). This was the first decision of the Administrative Court in respect of the fresh claims jurisdiction as it interplays with s92 NIAA 2002. It also raises issues in respect of Article 8 ECHR. Permission to appeal was granted by the Court itself. 

Re: A local authority and F (children), Ministry of Justice intervening (2010). Acted as a special advocate in respect of issues of a sensitive nature raised by the Ministry of Justice in respect of prisons.

FH (Post flight spouses) Iran [2010] UKUT 27 (IAC). Appeal presided over by Sedley LJ in which UT suggested after a successful appeal that there ought to be a change to the Immigration Rules. 

NB & ZD (Paragraph 59-discretion) Guinea [2010] UKUT 302 (IAC)

PS (working holiday maker-assessment-maintenance) [2010] UKUT 280 (IAC) 

A (Afghanistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWCA Civ 825 (30th July 2009) Court of Appeal. 
First reported Court of Appeal case in respect of issues concerning post flight spouses' rights to enter the United Kingdom. Acted for the Appellant, but Court of Appeal critical of the approach of the SSHD. 

KS (India) & JA (Bangladesh) v ECO [2009] EWCA Civ 762 (Court of Appeal 23rd July 2009). Court of Appeal. 
Working Holiday Makers. Third Party Support. 

QJ v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] SC/84/89. Terrorism issues. Risk on return to Algeria. Acted as a Special Advocate before SIAC. 

MA (Somalia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department. [2009] EWCA Civ 4. Court of Appeal. The lawfulness of removal directions and section 84(1) and section 86 NIAA 2002

NB (Guinea) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2008] EWCA Civ 1229 (13th November 2008). Court of Appeal. Whether the section 103A NIAA 2002 process is ultra vires. Rule 23 of the Procedure Rules 2005

SK (Pakistan) v SSHD September 2008 (hearing date awaited: permission to appeal granted) Court of Appeal. Domestic Violence Rule. 

NS (Sudan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2008] EWCA Civ 318. Court of Appeal. Risk on return to involuntary returnees. 

Secretary of State for the Home Department v AH (Sudan) [2008] UKHL 49 House of Lords: Internal Relocation, Secretary of State’s Appeal. 

AH, IG NM v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] EWCA Civ 297. Court of Appeal: Appellants’ appeals. 

Ahmed v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] EWCA Civ 300. Court of Appeal. Remittal hearings and the AIT Practice Direction of 2005. 

Januzi, Hamid and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2006] UKHL 5. House of Lords. Acted as Junior Counsel for Hamid. 

A (Iraq) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2005] EWCA Civ 1438. Court of Appeal. Article 1F Exclusion: Torture by Saddam Hussein’s soldier. 

Hamid, Gafaar & Mohammed v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2005] EWCA Civ 1219. Court of Appeal. This was the first ever referral by the High Court pursuant to section 103 of the NIAA 2002 

Siddig v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2005] EWCA Civ 1242. Court of Appeal. Expert evidence issues. 

Khalid v Secretary of State for the Home Department. [2005] EWCA Civ 624. Court of Appeal considered issues raised about case law not cited at first instance. 

Tsagaan v Secretary of State for the Home Department. [2005] EWCA Civ 1506. Court of Appeal considered the issue of prison conditions and Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. 

E & R v Secretary of State for the Home Department. [2004] EWCA Civ 49. Court of Appeal. A ground breaking case which supplements Ladd v Marshall principles in respect of the admission of fresh evidence. 

Re D (Intractable Contact Dispute: Publicity) [2004] 1 FLR 1226. High Court. Munby J. 

Director of Public Prosecutions v Birmingham Justices [2003] EWHC 2352 (Admin). Reasonableness of the Magistrates not granting an adjournment in a domestic violence trial. Acted for the Magistrates. 

Ali v Khan [2002] EWCA Civ 974. Court of Appeal. Equity, trusts and constructive trusts. 

Re (S) Foster Placement Regulations [2000] 1 FLR 648. The effect of foster parent’s convictions for indecent assault. Acted for the Local Authority. 

Tribunal reported and Country Guidance cases have been numerous, but include:

AM (Section 88(2):”Immigration Document”) Somalia [2009] UKAIT 00008 (rights of appeal, documentary evidence).

VB (Deportation of EEA national: human rights) Lithunia [2008] UKAIT 0087. Deportation of EEA Citizens Propensity to re-offend, relevant factors to take into account. 

HGMO (Relocation to Khartoum) Country Guidance Sudan [2006] UKAIT 00062. Acted for the first Appellant in this case which ultimately went to the House of Lords.