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Lawrence is a public law practitioner, and specialises in UK immigration, asylum and nationality matters. He has a busy practice representing individuals in the First-tier and Upper Tribunal, as well as the High Court and the Court of Appeal. His written and oral presentations are commended by instructing solicitors and Judges. He is developing a reputation as a fearless and tenacious advocate, having won numerous difficult cases with limited prospects of success. As a conscientious and dedicated advocate, Lawrence goes the extra mile and always welcomes a collaborative approach with legal representatives to ensure the highest prospects of success.
Lawrence is ranked in the 2024 edition of the Legal 500 as a ‘leading junior’ (Tier 4). ‘Lawrence has an encyclopaedic knowledge of immigration law. He displays complete dedication to his clients and leaves no stone unturned in ensuring he gets the right result for them.‘
Lawrence is ranked in the 2024 edition of the Chambers & Partners directory in band 4 – Lawrence Youssefian is an established practitioner with notable experience in matters relating to deportation and citizenship. He has appeared in the First-tier and Upper Tribunal;”He is full of creative ideas.”; “His advice is on point and he is always willing to go the extra mile.”; “He is always there to work through problems and provide creative solutions. His commitment to each case is impressive, and he is able to identify the key issues quickly.”
Lawrence has a keen interest in deepening his knowledge of immigration law. He writes on a range of immigration law issues, and is a contributing author for LexisPSL Immigration where he provides case summaries, analyses, and commentaries. He has written on topics including ETS/TOEIC, tax discrepancy cases, human rights, and Common Travel Areas. He is also on the LexisPSL Q&A panel of authors. In addition, Lawrence delivers trainings in immigration law to various organisations, including AstenJ and Law Friends Society; his training has been described as “clear and accurate, simplifying a complex area for the audience” by a former Upper Tribunal Judge in attendance.
Before joining the Bar, Lawrence interned for seven months at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. He was part of the defence team for cases involving Kenya and Sudan. He also assisted in the Kosovar case of The Special Prosecutor v. Fatmir Limaj, where his work contributed to the defendant’s acquittal for war crimes.
Having been born and raised in Japan to British-Iranian parents, Lawrence is fluent in Japanese and Persian. Beyond his legal interests, Lawrence enjoys photography. His work has been displayed at exhibitions, featured in National Geographic, and published in coffee table books.
Lawrence accepts instructions directly from the members of the public without the need to engage a solicitor or a legal representative.
Prior to joining the Bar, Lawrence worked at a boutique immigration and human rights law firm as an in-house advocate. He also spent 2 years at a set of Chambers that focussed on direct access work. His considerable experience in working with members of the public and familiarity with all stages of legal casework therefore gives him an edge when assisting clients on a direct access basis. Lawrence is professional and approachable, making him adept at dealing with difficult cases involving sensitive, and vulnerable clients.
Lawrence frequently accepts pro bono instructions from Advocate (formerly the Bar Pro Bono Unit) and Bail for Immigration Detainees, and he is the head of the immigration practice at Somers Town Legal Advice Corner. In recognition of his diverse pro bono work, Lawrence was nominated for the Young Pro Bono Barrister of the Year Award (2020) by Advocate.
Japanese and Persian (Farsi)
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Lawrence has a keen interest in contentious immigration matters, and is experienced in cases involving human rights, deportation, EEA, asylum, deprivation of citizenship, PBS, and bail hearings. With a growing expertise in technical and complex issues, Lawrence has had notable success in deportation/cessation cases involving criminality, long residence cases with excess absences, and cases involving children (both in-country and entry clearance). Lawrence also has an excellent track record with cases involving an allegation of dishonesty, including deprivation of citizenship, ETS/TOEIC, and sham marriages.
Lawrence is highly experienced in judicial reviews and has secured permissions both on the papers and at permission hearings. He has been instructed on a number of urgent matters, some merely hours before permission hearings. He is also experienced with successfully drafting grounds to the High Court and the Court of Appeal.
SK (Thailand)  EWCA: Permission was granted by the Court of Appeal in an ETS/TOEIC case. Amongst other things, Lawrence had argued that the First-tier Tribunal Judge had acted irrationally in finding that the appellant’s failure to notice anything unusual at the TOEIC test-centre was a factor that persuaded him that she had cheated in her TOEIC test. Shortly before the substantive hearing, the SSHD conceded the case with costs. In an unusual concession, the SSHD agreed to reconsider the case afresh.
Walile (deprivation, self-incrimination, anonymity)  UKUT 17 (IAC): Led by Alasdair Mackenzie of Doughty Street Chambers, Lawrence acted for the appellant in respect of his appeal against the decision to deprive him of his British nationality on account of him concealing material facts, namely his (undetected) offence that was committed after the submission of his naturalisation application but before a decision was taken on it. The Presidential Panel in the Upper Tribunal provided guidance on matters including the privilege against self-incrimination, anonymity, and the effect of the Supreme Court case of Begum in deprivation cases.
EP (Albania) & Ors. (rule 34 decisions, setting aside)  UKUT 233 (IAC): Lawrence acted for three separate Appellants in this test case following the High Court judgment of R (JCWI) v President of UT (IAC)  EWHC 3103 (Admin) which had concluded that the Presidential Guidance of overall paper norm in error of law appeals without a hearing was unlawful. The Upper Tribunal provided guidance on the scope of set aside applications under Rule 43 of the UT Procedure Rules and factors that are relevant and irrelevant in consideration of such applications.
Hydar (s. 120 response, s.85 “new matter”, Birch)  UKUT 176 (IAC): The Presidential Panel in the Upper Tribunal gave guidance on the First-tier Tribunal’s jurisdiction to consider an EEA ground in a human rights appeal. It also held that its earlier decision of Birch (Precariousness and mistake; new matters : Jamaica)  UKUT 86 was decided per incuriam such that s.85 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 also applied to proceedings in the Upper Tribunal.
AA (Turkey)  EWCA: Permission granted by the Court of Appeal to consider the impact of delay by the SSHD in pursuing deportation on the public interest and also the impact on delay on the weight to be given to a person’s rehabilitation. Weeks before the substantive hearing, the SSHD conceded the case with costs. The matter has been remitted to the UT for fresh consideration of issues.
JH (Sierra Leone)  UKUT: The Upper Tribunal, consisting of a panel, accepted the argument that the reported case of RLP (BAH revisited – expeditious justice) Jamaica  UKUT 330, which held that even egregious delay by the SSHD was immaterial to the public interest of deportation, was given per incuriam and should no longer be followed.
NM (Somalia)  UKUT: The Upper Tribunal granted permission for judicial review the SSHD’s decision to certify NM’s human rights claim and to deport him. Lawrence relied on CI (Nigeria) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 2027 to argue that NM, who had lived in the UK since age 9, had a realistic prospect of success in the First-tier Tribunal notwithstanding his multiple convictions.
EE (Nigeria)  UKUT: The Upper Tribunal allowed EE’s appeal, whose entry clearance was refused because it was contended by the SSHD that her enrolling at a university and accessing student loans whilst unlawfully in the UK significantly contrived the intention of the Rules. The Upper Tribunal agreed that the impugned conduct did not fall under para 320(11) of the Rules.
OS (Nigeria)  EWCA: Permission granted by the Court of Appeal to appeal the Upper Tribunal’s decision to refuse permission to judicial review. OA’s indefinite leave to remain application was refused and certified because her absences from the UK were 17 days over the threshold. Lawrence had argued that the SSHD’s decision was unlawful and irrational. The SSHD conceded the appeal after permission to appeal was granted, and agreed to pay costs.
SK (Iran)  UKUT: The Upper Tribunal granted permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal and set aside its own decision which dismissed SK’s asylum claim on the basis of being an Iranian Christian convert. The matter was remitted to the Upper Tribunal which was subsequently allowed on refugee grounds having accepted that SK was a genuine Christian convert who would be at risk of persecution if returned to Iran.
Lawrence accepts instructions on public law matters and judicial review cases, and is developing his expertise in this field. He draws upon his expertise and experience in immigration and EU law to challenge decisions on public law grounds. Lawrence is experienced in written advocacy and has drafted a number of Pre-Action Protocol letters and grounds for judicial review that resulted in decisions being conceded. He is practised at dealing with difficult and complicated public law principles.
Lawrence has a growing practice in unlawful detention claims. Given the factually involved nature of unlawful detention claims, Lawrence’s collaborative and hands-on approach is well-suited to this field. He is happy to accept instructions on a conditional-fee-agreement basis for appropriate cases.
LL.B. (Hons) – University of Liverpool (2008 – 2011)
BPTC – Kaplan Law School (2012 – 2013)
Contributing Author for LexisPSL Immigration
Q&A Panel of Author for LexisPSL Immigration
Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA)
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