Sangeetha Iengar

Sangeetha Iengar

Call: 2009

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Sangeetha is a specialist in asylum, immigration and international human rights law with over ten years’ experience of practice in these areas. She has carved her niche at the Bar by concentrating her practice on representing the most disadvantaged groups.

Sangeetha regularly appears before the First Tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal 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 prolific journalists, activists and staff members of charities who have faced harassment, arbitrary detention, ill-treatment and torture at the hands of the State regimes they have stood up against. Through this work she has been able to secure the release or right to a fair trial for individuals in the Sudan, Gaza and Egypt.

Sangeetha undertakes a significant amount of international pro bono work. This has involved spending several weeks every year providing legal advice in situ to asylum seekers in Greece, as well as undertaking desk-based advisory work for organisations such as the Marie Colvin Journalists’ Network. She is currently instructed pro bono by Hogan Lovells 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). She regularly lectures on a variety of rule of law and human rights issues.

Sangeetha is frequently asked to speak at CPD-accredited seminars and appears on the radio, TV and print media as a ‘refugee law expert.’ She is an Associate of Border Criminologies, a department of the Faculty of Law at Oxford University and sits on the Board of Fenix Humanitarian Legal Aid, an NGO operating in Lesvos. Sangeetha has been nominated as a Rising Star for the Women in Law Awards 2020 – awards supported by the Bar Council.

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:

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Immigration Barrister

Notable Cases

  • 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 ongoing 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.

Education & Qualifications

Oxford University – BA(Hons) English Literature (2007)

Oxford University – MA English Literature (2011)

Harvard University – International Law, summer fellowship (summer 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 (Member of the Access to Justice and Legal Aid Committee and Member of the Asia Pacific Regional Forum)

Bar Human Rights Committee

Goldsmith Chambers and its barristers are
regulated by the Bar Standards Board

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