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Barrister - abid mahmood

Senior Practice Manager
Abdul Hafeez

Practice Group Clerks
Lucas Bennett
Gavin John
Christy Irvine

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]

Abid Mahmood has been referred to within leading directories as an expert in three separate areas of law:

Immigration, Nationality and Asylum Law,
Administrative and Public law; and
Court of Protection

He has over 25 years’ experience as a barrister and has been sitting as a part time Judge since 2006. His other areas of interest include human rights law, commercial law, and contentious probate.

The Legal 500 (2019) refers to him as: “A distinguished advocate”.

Chambers UK  (2019) said, "He is responsive and gives clear advice. He is very courteous and has undeniable knowledge." It also states that he is “Highly Experienced”

Previous directories for 2018 and before have said:

“A forceful and persuasive advocate”

“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”

“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.'

“Abid Mahmood is a genius”

“Personable and user friendly”

“Very responsive and a good team player”

“He represents clients in complex cases at the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court and has been instructed on many national security cases”

“In immigration: he is able to explain a complex legal framework to clients”

“Extremely precise and meticulous”

“An immigration law specialist – he is super-efficient and knows the law inside out.’ ‘A senior junior with experience before the Supreme Court.”

“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 proceeding”'

Immigration, Nationality and Asylum

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.

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. A decision is awaited in 2019 from the Court of Justice of the European Union in respect of adoption with international issues.  He has appeared at senior courts, including at the Court of Appeal in respect of Hague Convention cases.

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.

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.

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:

James v James  [2018] 8 WLUK 96 Court of Appeal
Successful appeal against Committal Orders relating to contempt of court proceedings.  Article 6 EHCR rights of the Appellant when she had been committed to prison without legal representation. Court of Appeal set aside the order of the Circuit Judge and allowed the appeal. Abid Mahmood represented the Appellant.

BH Limited v Secretary of State for the Home Office [2018] E00RG038
Successful appeal against the Home Office in respect of Civil Penalty Notice. The Court granted the relief sought against the Home Office and also ordered that the Home Office pay £10,000 in costs to the Appellant. Abid Mahmood represented the Appellant.

Mandalia v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] 4 ALL ER 189; [2016] INLR 184. Supreme Court
Successful appeal at the Supreme Court. 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. 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 granted by the Supreme Court in respect of the basis upon which the case had been commenced in the High Court.

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)
A 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.

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.

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.


Recorder of the Crown Court (since 2008)

Recorder Civil Courts and Family Court (since 2008)

Deputy Upper Tribunal Judge (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) (since 2015)

First Tier Tribunal Judge (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) (since 2006)

Panel barrister Attorney General's Panel of Special Advocates

Founder of the Immigration Group at No5 Chambers and Head of Group until 2015


Administrative Law Bar Association

Family Law Bar Association

Midlands Business and Property Bar Association

Court of Protection Practitioners Association

Immigration Law Practitioners Association

Administrative Law Bar Association executive committee member

Other Qualifications

Approved by the Bar Council to undertake Public Access work