[photo] Vyaj Lovejoy (2011)Vyaj Lovejoy (2011)

Teams

Immigration, Public Law, Housing and Community Care.

Profile

Vyaj has a multi disciplined human rights practice with a focus on immigration and housing. Committed to representing those in society who most need it, and fighting against injustice and inequality, Vyaj is regularly commended for her exceptional client care skills, representation of vulnerable clients and dedication.

Immigration

Vyaj's immigration practice includes all aspects of immigration and asylum work. She is specifically interested in Asylum cases and working with vulnerable individuals, especially women and children. She regularly appears in the First-tier and Upper Tribunals in asylum, Article 8, family reunion, bail, deportation and PBS appeals. She also regularly receives instructions in judicial reviews, including against the refusal of appeal rights.

Her previous experience as a senior immigration and asylum caseworker means she is especially well placed and experienced in advising on all aspects of case preparation and often works with solicitors during the early stages of the case to advise on evidence and approach.

Vyaj provides pro bono representation to the University of Law Legal Advice Centre and Bail for Immigration Detainees (BID) representing clients in bail applications as well as substantive appeals. She also provides pro bono advice to clients at Hackney Winter Night Shelter and Shelter from the Storm clinic during evening sessions where she assists clients dealing with immigration and housing issues.

Housing

Vyaj accepts instructions in all areas of housing law and is particularly interested in homelessness matters. She is regularly instructed in County Court cases representing tenants in possession proceedings and applications to suspend warrants for eviction.  Having a multi disciplined practice, Vyaj is particularly experienced and interested in advising on cases that have a crossover with other areas, specifically immigration.

Vyaj has volunteered with Greenwich Housing Rights since 2012, providing Duty Advice and representation for clients facing possession proceedings, often representing up to seven clients in one day. When providing pro bono advice at Hackney Winter Night Shelter during evening sessions, she assists clients dealing with all aspects of housing law.  

Public law

Vyaj is developing her public law practice within Immigration and Housing as well as accepting instructions in public law challenges outside of these areas. For example, Vyaj has recently represented a client challenging a Local Authority's refusal of a disability related benefit.

Pro Bono

Vyaj has a strong commitment to pro bono work and works for the following organisations:

  • Bail for Immigration Detainees – represents clients pro bono in immigration bail applications.
  • The University of Law Bail Project and Article 8 Deportation Advice Project (ADAP) - receives pro bono instructions in bail applications and substantive immigration matters.
  • Greenwich Housing Rights - providing Duty Advice at Woolwich County Court,  representing clients facing possession proceedings.
  • Hackney Winter Night Shelter - advises clients from the local community on  immigration and housing issues during evening sessions.
  • Shelter from the Storm clinic - advises clients from the local community on  immigration issues during evening sessions.
  • Colombian Caravana – a group of international lawyers that monitor the human rights abuses faced by legal professionals in Colombia.

Memberships

  • Immigration Law Practitioners' Association
  • Housing Law Practitioners' Association
  • Young Legal Aid Lawyers

Background

Before coming to the bar, Vyaj worked at Wilson Solicitors LLP as a senior immigration and asylum case worker, covering cases from initial application and throughout all levels of the appeal process.

Vyaj volunteered for a number of years with Citizens Advice Bureau where she provided advice to clients and represented them before the Tribunal in respect of Social Security and Employment matters. She also worked as an intern with the Equality and Diversity Forum, working with key human rights organisations and governmental departments to develop Human Rights policy and legislation.

Vyaj has enjoyed volunteering abroad and fundraising for national and international charities. This has included: teaching in schools in the 'slums' in Brazil and working in an orphanage and teaching in India. Her fundraising has included hitchhiking to Morocco from Swansea raising money for Link Community Development, and doing a Skydive raising money for Stroke Association.

Education

  • LLB Law (First Class Honours), University of Wales, Swansea
  • BVC, College of Law

Awards

  • Lord Denning Scholar, Lincoln's Inn
  • Levitt Scholar, Lincoln's Inn
  • Hardwick Entrance Award, Lincoln's Inn