Sangeetha Iengar

Sangeetha Iengar

Call: 2009

'Extremely hard-working, highly competent, strongly-motivated and a superb command of the relevant law reflected in written advocacy of the highest quality.’

Legal 500 (2022): Immigration – Leading Junior

‘Sangeetha has a superb style of written advocacy. She provides cogent, powerful and persuasive submissions after considerable research. She is highly-regarded, intelligent, and very focussed to achieve the best results for her clients.'

Legal 500 (2023): Immigration - Leading Junior

Legal 500 (2024): Immigration - Leading Junior

Interested in instructing Ms Iengar?

Please call 020 7353 6802 or complete the form below:

Sangeetha is an award-winning public law practitioner with over 15 years of experience as a specialist in asylum, immigration and international human rights law. She has carved her niche at the Bar by concentrating her practice on representing the most disadvantaged groups.

Sangeetha is ranked in the 2024 edition of the Legal 500 as a ‘leading junior’; she is also winner of the International Pro Bono Barrister of the Year Award 2020 and was a finalist for both Rising Star, Women in the Law Awards 2020 and Barrister of the Year, Inspirational Women in the Law Award 2020.

Sangeetha regularly appears before the First Tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal, High Court and Court of Appeal on asylum, immigration and deportation appeals as well as appearing before the Upper Tribunal and the Administrative Court in substantive judicial review claims. Instructing solicitors particularly recommended her for her technical precision on judicial review matters involving unlawful detention and claims of trafficking which has led to her having a busy Claimant-focused public law practice. Sangeetha’s strength lies in her dedication to working with vulnerable clients – be that representing unaccompanied children, victims of torture or those suffering from complex mental health problems.

As a preferred international human rights expert, Sangeetha has advised individuals, international and non-governmental organisations on a wide range of public international and international human rights law issues.  These cases have concerned matters of arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, and extra-judicial killing.  She has also advised on the use of treaty-based and regional human rights complaint procedures.

She is currently instructed by Hogan Lovells and the Global Survivors Fund to advise on the feasibility of using international sanctions and terrorist financing legislation to fund reparations for Yazidi victims of sexual violence in conflict through a global fund.

As an immigration law expert, Sangeetha spent two years in Brussels working with the European Commission to improve the access to fundamental rights for undocumented children and families. In this role she was commissioned to publish a book, which was instrumental in broadening the discourse on irregular migration within the European institutions and member states.

She has spent several years ‘on the ground’ advising governments of fragile states and parties in conflict zones. This has involved advising Governments on improving access to justice for vulnerable communities, proposing structural improvements to formal criminal justice systems, advising on capital punishment cases, and implementing community-based justice solutions regionally.  All of her work has focused on improving access to legal rights for the most vulnerable of communities.

Sangeetha has published policy papers and reports on a broad range of human rights, rule of law and migration issues.  She has led and facilitated several trainings globally for DFID, the UK Foreign Office, the World Bank, UNDP and the European Commission (DEVCO).

A committed advocate, Sangeetha has had over 30 significant appearances giving expert legal opinion on immigration issues in the radio, TV and print media over the last 12 months alone.  Sangeetha is a TEDx speaker and regularly gives keynote addresses.  Her first TEDx talk entitled ‘Why Stripping Rights from Migrants Strips Rights from Everyone’ has been shortlisted to appear on

Sangeetha is an active Associate Member of Border Criminologies, a department of the Faculty of Law at Oxford University. She sits on the Board of Fenix Humanitarian Legal Aid, an NGO providing legal advice to asylum seekers in Lesvos, Greece and sits on the Global Advisory Panel of SAHR, an NGO striving to end impunity for SGBV.

Sangeetha is qualified to accept instructions via the direct access scheme.



  • Tamil (native)
  • French (fluent)
  • Hindi (conversational)
  • Spanish (conversational)
  • Arabic (written only)


Interested in instructing Ms Iengar?

Please call 020 7353 6802 or complete the form below:

Immigration Barrister

Notable Cases

  • SO and Others – Led by Anthony Metzer QC, Sangeetha was instructed to advise eight prolific Turkish military pilots on the interpretation of the Refugee Convention and whether heavily guarded self-confinement in Greece complies with the socio-economic rights enshrined within the Convention;
  • Shahoud and Shahud v The Hellenic Republic of Greece – successful intervention before the ECtHR involving two Syrian cousin asylum-seekers both suffering from motor disabilities. The case was landmark in setting precedent for the immediate evacuation of vulnerable asylum seekers from Lesvos following the fire which destroyed Camp Moria;
  • Leka, R (on the application of) SSHD JR/4584/2015 – successful substantive JR concerning certification of protection claim involving threat of forced marriage to a minor;
  • Liksenaj, R (on the application of) v SSHD JR/900/2016 – substantive JR certification challenge on a claim involving a longstanding victim of child sexual and physical abuse;
  • Rhouila, R (on the application of) v SSHD JR/3793/2016 – successful substantive JR of a fresh claim in relation to foreign national family carers;
  • Kaur, R (on the application of) v SSHD JR/10374/2016 – successful substantive JR challenge in a matter involving unlawful detention before the Administrative court; and
  • SS (Pakistan) v SSHD C5/2016/2560 – Court of Appeal matter concerning the proper approach to be taken in cases concerning irregular migrants who act as whistleblowers for serious criminal investigations.

Public Law Barrister

Sangeetha is regularly instructed on high profile and complex challenges, including judicial reviews and public law considerations in a variety of cases. She draws upon expertise in several different areas, including immigration, EU law, and other areas of social welfare law.


-Part-time Judge, Immigration and Asylum Chamber

-Research Fellow on Climate Migration, University of Oxford

Education & Qualifications

  • Oxford University – BA(Hons) English Literature (2007)
  • Oxford University – MA English Literature (2011)
  • Harvard University – International Law (2007)
  • City University – Graduate Diploma in Law (2008)
  • BPP Professional Education – Bar Vocational Course (2009)
  • Middle Temple – Diplock Scholar (2009) Major Scholarship


  • International Bar Association
  • Justice
  • Liberty
  • Bar Human Rights Committee


  • Winner “International Pro Bono Barrister of the Year 2020” – Bar Pro Bono Awards 2020
  • Finalist “Rising Star 2020” – Women in the Law Awards 2020
  • Finalist “Barrister of the Year 2020” – Inspirational Women in the Law Awards 2020

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