Antonia BenfieldYear of Call: 2013

Antonia practises in asylum, immigration, extradition and human rights law. She particularly specializes in refugee law and is regularly instructed on behalf of both high-profile individuals and vulnerable clients including those with complex mental illness and former unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. She has a particular interest in cases involving cessation and revocation of refugee status and those that involve those who have acted as witnesses to war crimes in the course of international investigations.

She regularly acts in criminal deportation appeals and appeals against deportation under the EEA Regulations as well as extradition cases.

In addition, Antonia practises in business immigration law including advising on sponsor licences, associated PBS applications and sole representative visas. She advises a range of multi-national and overseas companies in relation to compliance.

She is well-regarded for her clarity of advice, thorough case preparation and for her ability to engage with vulnerable clients in particularly sensitive cases.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Antonia worked for a range of human rights NGOs including the Refugee Council from 2005 to 2010. She sat on the Independent Monitoring Board of Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre for a number of years and has a particular interest in unlawful detention.

She is committed to pro bono work undertaking cases for the AIRE Centre, Camden Community Law Centre, BiD and the Bar Pro Bono Unit.

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Main Areas of Practice

Immigration, Asylum, and Nationality Law

  • Deportation and removal
  • Human rights
  • Public law and judicial review
  • Unlawful detention
  • Business immigration


Notable Cases

MST and Others (national service – risk categories) Eritrea CG [2016] UKUT 00443 (IAC). Country guidance decision reviewing those at risk of persecution in Eritrea.  This case reaffirms that the majority of Eritrean nationals are at risk on return and that those who have left the country illegally and have evaded or deserted from national service are at risk of persecution.  In addition the Tribunal found that those required to undertake national service are likely to face a breach of both Article 3 and Article 4(2) of the ECHR.  Antonia acted for all three appellants with UNHCR acting as intervener.

MST and others (Disclosure – restrictions – implied undertaking) Eritrea [2016] UKUT 00337 (IAC). Preliminary judgment in the Eritrean country guidance case considering disclosure and the use of anonymous evidence, particularly in relation to Fact-finding missions conducted by the UK Government, and the duties upon parties regarding material disclosed in the course of proceedings.

Ayinde and Thinjom (Carers – Reg.15A – Zambrano) [2015] UKUT 560 (IAC). Considering the application of the Zambrano principle to carers of EEA nationals and whether state care, in the alternative care provided by a non-EEA national family member, amounts to effective enjoyment of the substance of the right of residence in the European Union.

TP (Lithuania) v SSHD [2015] FTT (IAC). Successful appeal against deportation under Regulation 19(3) of the EEA Regulations 2006. Particularly considering the significance of the custody thresholds in the Secretary of State’s withdrawn Criminal Casework policy guidance as indicative of when cases are suitable for deportation despite the policy’s withdrawal.

R (on the application of KJ) (Kosovo) v SSHD [2015] IJR UT (IAC). Successful challenge to certification under section 94 and 94B of the 2002 Act of the asylum and human rights claim of a former unaccompanied asylum-seeking child and the Secretary of State’s failure under Article 19(3) of the 2005 Regulations to discharge the duty to undertake family tracing.

CF v SSHD [2015] UT (IAC). Successfully defending a determination of the FTT before Mr Justice Collins allowing the Article 8 ECHR claim of a Jamaican national who had been in the UK for 10 years unlawfully as the carer of her grandmother, a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic. The case involved particular consideration of the public interest factors articulated in section 117B (2) and (3) of the 2002 Act and that such features can amount to positive features on the appellant’s side in an assessment of proportionality.

Publications and Training

Antonia regularly speaks at seminars on developments in Immigration Law, with a particular focus on the points-based system and business immigration law. She also delivers training for organisations including the Sri Lankan Solicitors Network on topics including EU and Refugee Law.

Antonia has acted as an expert witness in Parole Board hearings in relation to cessation of refugee status, particularly in relation to the Secretary of State’s duty to consult with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).


Bar Professional Training Course, University of Law (Very competent)

LLB (Hons) Law, University of Law

Graduate Diploma in Law, University of Law (Commendation)

MA Social Anthropology of International Development, SOAS

BA History of Art and Archaeology (Asia and Africa), SOAS (2:1)

Awards, Scholarships, and Prizes

Levitt Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn 2013

Lord Denning Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn 2012

Lord Bowen Scholarship, Lincoln’s Inn 2011

Hardwicke Entrance Award, Lincoln’s Inn 2011

Professional Memberships

Immigration Law Practitioners Association

Human Rights Lawyers Association

Bar Human Rights Committee


English (Native)

French (Conversational)


News about Antonia Benfield

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