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We cover cases from the very beginning, with initial advice on how to make an application, to the end including representation at court. Our cases range from the simple, to complex cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and European Court of Human Rights.


If you or your family are at risk of persecution in your own country, and hence cannot return, you may apply to be recognised as a refugee. Claiming ‘asylum’ essentially means applying for the protection of the UK Government and permission to remain in the UK. You will have to show that your case is eligible for refugee recognition under the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention.

You may also argue that you fear a breach of your human rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). These cover the prohibition on the death penalty, prohibition on torture and slavery and the right to respect for private life, freedom of expression and religion.

Under current UK law, it is unlawful for the Government or any public authority, or anyone working for them, to act in a way that is inconsistent with the ECHR. Most commonly, this is when requiring you to leave would expose you to a real risk of death, torture or ill-treatment.

Sutovic & Hartigan have been involved in asylum work since 1994. We have been involved in many significant cases which have helped shape the law, from the establishment of the country guidance case system, to cases concerning the proper interpretation of legislation and the lawfulness of government policy.

We cover cases from the very beginning, with initial advice on how to make an application, to the end including representation at court. Our cases range from the simple, to complex cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and European Court of Human Rights.

We offer advice and assistance with the following areas:

  • Pre-asylum advice

We can advise you prior to lodging your claim for asylum with the Home Office so that you know what to expect when you attend the initial interview. We can provide you with an initial assessment of the merits of your case.

  • Claiming asylum


We can advise and assist you to lodge your asylum application with the Home Office. This includes arranging the appointment on your behalf, advising you on the procedure and what to expect and attending the Initial Interview with you.

  • Interview process


Usually there will be two interviews as part of the asylum process – an initial interview at which your basic identity details will be taken along with details of your journey to the UK and your main reason for claiming asylum – and a main interview, known as a Substantive Interview, at which the Home Office will ask you lots of questions about your case, what has happened to you and why you fear returning to your country of origin.


We will assist you to document your account in a detailed statement for the Home Office and discuss the merits of your case with you in light of both subjective and objective evidence that is available.

We will assist you to make any clarifications or further representations to the Home Office following your interviews and advise you regarding possible supporting evidence.

  • Inadmissibility


The Home Office has introduced new rules on which cases may be considered in the UK and which will be considered inadmissible so that the Applicant is required to leave the UK and for their claim to be processed in a third country. We can advise you on whether this applies in your case and whether a decision may be challenged.

  • Considering decisions


We will advise you regarding any decision made by the Home Office, whether this is positive or negative and explain the implications of this to you. Where you are granted permission to stay in the UK, we will ensure that you are fully aware of your rights and entitlements as a consequence of that leave. If your application is refused we will advise you regarding the right of appeal and the appeal process.

  • Appeals before the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court


We have significant experience in representing clients before the Tribunal and the Higher Courts in immigration matters. We work closely with experienced Barristers and will present your case in the strongest possible way. We will advise you regarding the court procedure and what will happen at each hearing.

  • Family reunion


Those granted Refugee Status or Humanitarian Protection may apply for their pre-existing family members (spouse/ partner and minor children) to join them in the UK. Other family members would be required to apply under other Immigration Rules.

  • Victims of trafficking and modern slavery


Individuals who have been recognised as victims of modern slavery may apply to remain in the UK either as refugees if they fear return to their country of origin for a UN Convention reason or they may apply to remain if they are assisting the police, claiming compensation from their trafficking, if their personal circumstances require it or if they were working as a domestic worker in the UK at the time they were first identified as potential victim of trafficking. Our lawyers can assist with your referral to the Single Competent Authority for recognition as a victim of modern slavery and with your application for leave to remain.

  • Apply for Immigration bail


If you have been detained under Immigration powers for 8 days or more, you may apply for Immigration bail. The first stage is to apply for bail from the Secretary of State for the Home Department. If this is refused, you may apply to the First tier Tribunal for bail. The Tribunal will consider whether you have accommodation available to you and whether you are likely to comply with the conditions of bail, which will include some or all of the following: reporting and residence, financial conditions, electronic monitoring. You may have friends or relative who are willing to provide accommodation for you or be your financial condition supporters. Contact us for advice on your bail application.

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