Rehana PopalYear of Call: 2013

Rehana read International Politics at City University before attaining her GDL and BPTC qualifications. Following completion of her GDL, Rehana set up an NGO to raise awareness of the challenges faced by internally-displaced people. During her BPTC year Rehana worked as an analyst on the United Nations Drone Inquiry, evaluating allegations that the use of drones in lethal, extraterritorial, counter-terrorism operations has resulted in disproportionate levels of civilian casualties. Rehana was called to the Bar in 2013 and is the first Afghan national to be called to the bar by the Honourable Society of Inner Temple and the only female Afghan Barrister practicing in England and Wales.

Before pupillage Rehana worked as a paralegal in the International Group Claims department at Leigh Day. She assisted in civil claims involving claimants from Afghanistan alleging human rights abuses at the hands of British forces. Rehana also served a four-year term as a Director for the School Exclusion Project, jointly run by Matrix Chambers and City Law School. She was part of a small team who developed and pioneered the project. During her time she represented clients with Special Education Needs at Governors Hearing, Independent Review Panels and First–Tier Tribunals.

Rehana completed pupillage on the North-Eastern Circuit before coming to Mansfield Chambers. Rehana is currently accepting instructions in all areas of Chambers work.

Areas of Practice




Notable Cases


R v D. Defence of a man accused of cultivating £160,000 worth of Cannabis on an industrial scale. Defendant’s role was attributed to a gardener. Following a skilled plea in mitigation the defendant was given a suspended sentence and community service.

L v E. Acting for a Defendant in a case involving two claimants where there were neck and back injuries, pleaded in excess of £20,000. The Claimant only obtained judgement for £6000.

R v H.  Defence of a man accused of selling £10,000 worth of illegal tobacco. Following a skilled plea in mitigation  the defendant was given a suspended sentence and community order.


R v F.  Representing mother in a 4 day trial, LA application for a care order and placement order, grounds of neglect.


Mau Mau.  Instructed on behalf of Kenyan claimants alleging historic human rights abuses. Drafting and finalising papers and bundles for trial.


Bar Professional Training Course, City University, 2013

Graduate Diploma in Law, City University, 2012

BSc (Honours) International Politics, City University, 2011

Awards, Scholarships, and Prizes

Sir Geoffrey Nice Scholarship Apr 2015

Law Works & Attorney General Pro Bono Awards Mar 2015, Runners up in the "Best Contribution by a Team of Students" category

Winner - Bar Pro Bono Award Nov 2013, School Exclusion Project

Inner Temple Major Exhibition Scholarship, Mar 2012

Inner Temple Duke of Edinburgh Scholarship, Mar 2012

RIBA Young Architect Award, May 2016

Professional Memberships

Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers

Criminal Bar Association


  • English (native)
  • Pashto (native)