Deborah Revill


Year of Call: 2009

Practice Group(s): Immigration

Portrait of Deborah Revill

BA (Hons) (Oxon) Philosophy and Theology - 2:1 (University of Oxford, 2007)
Graduate Diploma in Law - Distinction (BPP Law School, Leeds, 2008)
Bar Vocational Course - Outstanding (BPP Law School, Leeds, 2009)

Practice Profile:
Deborah practises exclusively in immigration law. Prior to coming to the Bar, she worked for the Immigration Advisory Service, formerly the UK's largest provider of legal advice on immigration and asylum, and was accredited by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner. She then spent a year as the employee of two direct access immigration barristers. She therefore has experience of preparing applications, running case files and dealing with lay clients; this informs her practice at the Bar in that she understands Home Office procedure and the realities faced by her professional clients.

Deborah completed pupillage in a predominantly criminal set and, on accepting tenancy there, chose to specialise in immigration law, going on to establish a successful practice in the field almost from scratch. She moved to Lamb Building in 2015 to expand and strengthen this practice.

Deborah's work covers all areas of immigration law. She is particularly interested in paragraph 398(c) of the Immigration Rules ('serious harm' and 'persistent offenders'), the proper interpretation of Appendix FM, and the 'reasonableness' test under s117B(6) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.

Notable Cases:
LT (Kosovo) and DC (Jamaica) v SSHD [2016] EWCA Civ 1246: appeal addressing the meaning of 'serious harm' in paragraph 398(c) of the Immigration Rules.

ECO v MW (United States of America) [2016] EWCA Civ 1273: appeal by the ECO concerning the correct approach to overseas criminality in entry clearance applications.

BH (Ethiopia) v SSHD: appeal to the Court of Appeal concerning the interaction between s117D(2)(c)(ii) NIAA 2002 and paragraph 398(c) of the Immigration Rules, as well as whether mere possession of a false passport justified an inference that serious harm had been caused. The Respondent conceded the appeal before the hearing, accepting that the Appellant was not a 'foreign criminal' and subsequently granting him leave to remain.

R (PBA) v SSHD: judicial review addressing the application of res judicata to immigration appeals and the applicability of the presumption against retrospective legislation to Part 5A NIAA 2002.

R (SM) v SSHD: judicial review of certification decision and immigration detention on the basis that the Claimant had had s3C leave for several years following the Defendant's failure to re-serve notice of decision in a case with restricted right of appeal under the pre-Immigration Act 2014 appeal provisions. The Defendant, having initially described the Claimant's argument as 'bizarre and far-fetched', ultimately conceded that it was correct and withdrew the decision on the eve of the hearing.

R (AZ) v SSHD: judicial review of a refusal to consider exercising discretion in favour of a would-be Tier 2 (General) Migrant who had overstayed her leave. The delay in applying arose because the Respondent had inadvertently misled the Applicant as to her immigration status. Permission was granted at an oral hearing, following which the Respondent withdrew the decision.

R (WD) v SSHD: judicial review of a decision to grant the Applicant leave to remain under the partner route after a successful appeal, notwithstanding that she had never applied for leave in that capacity.

Omenma (Conditional discharge – not a conviction of an offence) [2014] UKUT 00314 (IAC): successful appeal to the Upper Tribunal on the basis that a conditional discharge did not amount to a conviction, so that the Appellant did not make false representations when she stated in her application form that she had no convictions.

VG v SSHD: successful asylum appeal in which the Upper Tribunal accepted evidence of ongoing risk to a Sri Lankan Tamil woman with past LTTE associations, notwithstanding the 2015 change of government. Reliance was placed on the Respondent's own country information concerning the detection on return of those who had absconded from detention.

HE and others v ECO: successful appeal against refusal of EEA family permits to the mother and adult siblings of a self-sufficient EEA national child living in the UK with her father. The Tribunal accepted that the Chen principle and Article 24(3) of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights meant the Appellants should be permitted to join the child notwithstanding that their presence was not strictly necessary for her to be able exercise her Treaty rights.

ZA v ECO: long-running but ultimately successful appeal for a child seeking entry clearance for the purposes of adoption. The Upper Tribunal found that the Respondent and two successive First-tier Tribunal judges had erred in their interpretation of paragraph 316A(vi), (vii), and (viii) of the Immigration Rules.

SB v SSHD: human rights appeal in which the First-tier Tribunal accepted that the combination of lengthy absence from country of origin, responsibilities towards an unwell adult daughter, and the best interests of the Appellant's granddaughter constituted 'insurmountable obstacles' to the continuation of family life outside the UK under paragraph EX.1(b) of Appendix FM. The Respondent's appeal to the Upper Tribunal was unsuccessful.

Further Professional Information:
Direct access accredited

French (basic)

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