Barrister Category: Tenants

Ife Thompson (Third Six Pupil)

Ife is a fearless and dedicated advocate who centres her client’s needs.

Ife successfully completed her pupillage at 1MCB Chambers in December 2022.  Ife’s practice encompasses criminal defence, actions against the police, human rights and civil liberties, and housing. She also accepts instructions in public law, international human rights and family matters.

Ife is frequently instructed on cases that give rise to issues of systemic discrimination, anti-Blackness and racial trauma.

In crime, Ife deals with youth, magistrates and Crown Court matters. She has particular expertise defending vulnerable defendants, including those with severe and complex mental health issues and drug addiction, and is often found making successful applications for adjournments to assess her client’s fitness to plead or fitness to stand trial. She has also represented victims of trafficking and child criminal exploitation. She has also dealt with Crown Court appeals.

She is regularly instructed in cases involving allegations of  assaults on  emergency workers cases in the Crown Court, in which she is able to contextualise her client’s experience and ensure it is at the heart of the case, as well as successfully bringing up issues like racial trauma. One such case in which she relied on a racial trauma expert led to the prosecution offering no evidence against her youth client: the case was covered by LAG. Ife is also interested in challenges against the use of police powers at protests and protecting protesters’ rights within a criminal context. Ife is the founding Director of Black Protest Legal Support, an organisation formed to monitor police misconduct at BLM protests in 2020, where she trained legal observers, provided legal assistance and drafted legal advice ‘bust cards’ that were handed out directly to activists. She has been invited to many seminars to discuss her work on protest and human rights including the DFF Fund, Reb Law Conference and the Law Centre conference.

Ife is also well versed in defending applications for Criminal Behaviour Orders and ensuring her clients’ human rights are upheld. This has led to many wide-reaching conditions being removed from the order. She has also represented high profile drill rappers challenging alleged breaches of their criminal behaviour orders. She has also successfully resisted disproportionate terms in Sexual Risk Orders.

Her background in international human rights law, youth work and her work as a cultural and Black-British English independent researcher makes her qualified to advise on these matters within a criminal context and she was appointed a UN Human rights Fellow in 2020 focusing on the human rights situation of people of African Descent in the UK.

Ife has represented clients in civil actions against the police matters including cases involving unlawful stop and searches. She also accepts instructions in inquests and public inquires.  She supported the inquest legal team for Blessing Olusegun and is a part of the Justice for the Chis Kaba Campaign. Ife has an ongoing interest in Article 2 inquests since supporting the Sarah Reed Campaign which meant spending time with the family and the inquest legal team. Due to her criminal practice, she is used to dealing with drafting witness questions to put forward her client’s case in cross examination and also dealing with disclosure and unused material to find any points that can assist her client’s case. Her experience as a criminal trial advocate makes her well suited to jury trial advocacy at inquests and means that she has the skills required for inquiry work.

Examples of Ife’s work include:

R v Z  (Youth Court) [2022] 

Ife successfully applied to vacate a guilty plea and set down a trial with a racial trauma expert listed to demonstrate in her client’s state of mind at time of the arrest. Ife then drafted detailed representations to the Crown, which were read on the day of trial.   The Crown offered no evidence shortly afterwards.

R v W (Magistrates court) [2022] 

Ife drafted a skeleton argument focusing on breaches of PACE in the ID procedures used to identify her client. The CPS reviewed the skeleton argument and immediately offered no evidence to the charge in light of the breaches .

R v L (Magistrates Court) [2022] 

Successfully raised issue of language injustice in closing speech as Crown sought to rely on a non-Jamaican patois speaker’s wrong interpretation of a word used by the defendant.  Client was found not guilty.

R v X (Youth Court)  [2022] 

Youth client was spared a mandatory custodial sentence for possession of a knife after the judge read Ife’s sentencing note, which detailed her client’s adverse life circumstances and set out submissions on the harm a custodial sentence would have on his health and life outcomes. Ife also highlighted the issue of racial disparity in the youth custodial estate. The judge noted that Ife’s written submissions were extremely helpful.

Michael Murphy

Michael was called to the Bar in 1992 and is a member of the Inner Temple.

Michael’s first and enduring love has always been immigration, appearing for clients from the First and Upper Tier Tribunal stages right through to the High Court and the Court of Appeal.  Throughout his career at the Bar, however, he has also taken time out to be involved in high profile cases in other areas, most recently as one of the nine barristers for Team 2 in the Grenfell Inquiry, representing a specific group of the bereaved, survivors and residents.  Michael has also represented defendants at major criminal trials including in murder, kidnap and fraud cases.

He has been instructed in hundreds of judicial review claims – some reported – appearing many times in both the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Michael has acted for clients in planning appeals at inspector level and dealt with injunctions and statutory appeals in the High Court.  He has appeared in the Tax Tribunal, both First and Upper Tiers, on an important and reported case determining whether colleges should be exempt from VAT.

In 2013, he represented the family at a coroner’s inquest into the death of an elderly lady in a care home, a case which attracted widespread media interest, and which was featured on the BBC’s Panorama programme.

For a period of two years, Michael was also involved in one of the lengthiest cases to have taken place relating to a councillor alleged to have breached his local authority’s Code of Conduct.

Soraya Bauwens

Soraya Bauwens

Soraya combines a busy Crown Court practice with an established career in international human rights. She is known for her robust advocacy, methodical analysis, and exceptional client care.

Soraya is an engaging trial advocate, frequently instructed in cases involving serious violence, large scale drugs trafficking and firearms offences, and is well regarded for her sensitive witness handling skills and strategic case preparation. She has prosecuted and defended in cases with an international and human rights element, including the trafficking of persons for sexual exploitation, historic child cruelty and sex offences, and large, multi-handed drugs and money laundering conspiracies. Soraya has been led and appeared alone in regulatory and criminal matters, and is often instructed by governments, large consultancies and small boutique dispute advisory firms to advise on on money laundering and terrorist financing legislation.

Soraya is an established expert in capital defence and human rights in the Middle East and North Africa, with her work towards abolishing the death penalty being described as ‘groundbreaking’. Before coming to the Bar, Soraya spearheaded Reprieve’s strategic casework in the MENA region, and has frequently appeared before the United Nations as an advocate and expert on state compliance with international law.

She has guest lectured at Leiden University on terrorism and human rights, and recently at Goldsmiths University in London on the Universal Periodic Review mechanism to hold states to account for their human rights record.

In her international criminal practice, Soraya has been instructed in peoples’ genocide tribunals, as well as in cases involving victims of state-sponsored sexual violence and gender-based atrocity crimes, and has advised on complicity for war crimes of national banks and whether domestic legislation complies with the duty to prosecute genocide and war crimes.  She is trained and experienced in the conduct of Istanbul-protocol compliant investigations into torture and ill-treatment.

Soraya is an appointed member of the Accountability Unit, an NGO focusing on  providing urgent legal support to obtain redress for survivors of gender based rights violations in conflict settings and hold to account perpetrators of conflict related sexual violence. Soraya is also an appointed member of the Executive Committee of the Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales.

Soraya is committed to enhancing access to international remedies. She frequently advises on strategic litigation before the United Nations and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, as well as on sanctions regimes, particularly under the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regulations 2020 and other global Magnitsky laws aimed at holding perpetrators and entities alleged to have been involved in gross human rights abuses to account.


Amritpal Bachu

A passionate and approachable barrister with a diverse background, Amritpal practises housing, and employment and discrimination.

  • Amritpal is dedicated, reliable and highly professional, and has gone above and beyond exploring all avenues to secure the best results” (Legal 500 2022)
  • Amritpal truly cares and gives clear, helpful advice, taking time provide solid written submissions, which play a vital role in providing our applicants with the high quality service they deserve” (Nominee for the ‘John Collins Pro Bono Excellence Award’ in Advocate Pro Bono Awards 2021)
  • ‘Highly Commended’ in the category of Junior Pro Bono Barrister of the Year (Advocate Bar Pro Bono Awards 2020)
  • Very diligent approach a keen eye for detail” (Instructing solicitor in successful homelessness appeal, 2020)
  • Professional and courteous and had a personal touch regarding the plight of the client that is not always seen” (Instructing solicitor in a disrepair claim, 2020)
  • Amrit really did pull out all of the stops for me, working late nights, all weekend and an extension to time on the day. He really did focus in on key areas in a rapid amount of time and put across my case concisely and persuasively” (Pro bono client in discrimination case, 2020)

Prior to coming to the Bar, Amritpal began his professional life as an optometrist, during which he also volunteered for the charity, Vision Aid Overseas, in India, Zambia, Ghana and Ethiopia.  Amritpal is a keen cyclist and recently cycled from London to Paris.

Prior to joining 1MCB Chambers, Amritpal was a researcher at the House of Lords Library where he authored briefings for peers—including for members of the government, the opposition, and crossbenchers (including former members of the judiciary)—to support their participation in debates and questions in Parliament.  He researched across the House of Lords’ main policy areas, particularly on constitutional affairs, and social policy issues such as homelessness and poverty.

Amritpal also volunteered extensively at the Free Representation Unit representing claimants in employment and social security cases, including successfully in the Upper Tribunal. As an intern at Medical Justice, he supported a large research project examining the unlawful detention of victims of torture. At Liberty, he undertook research in areas pertaining to human rights. Amritpal has also volunteered for the homelessness charity, Crisis, during Christmas periods.

Phillippa White (Pupil)

Phillippa joined 1MCB as a pupil in November 2019. She intends to build a broad practice in public law with particular focus on domestic and international human rights, immigration and asylum, and the intersection between public law and criminal law. She is particularly interested in cases that affect vulnerable people or involve equality or discrimination issues.

Prior to coming to the Bar Phillippa gained broad experience in public law and criminal law. She worked on the Infected Blood Inquiry for a year, where she led an investigation into a pharmaceutical company, drafted witness statements and served as point of contact for a designated legal representative. Between 2017 and 2018 Phillippa was the Judicial Assistant to the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Burnett of Maldon. She drafted bench memoranda to assist the Lord Chief Justice in civil and criminal matters before the Divisional Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. Before this she was Legal Research & Projects Officer at King’s College London, providing assistance to Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers and Lord Judge of Draycote. In 2013 Phillippa worked with the defence team for General Ratko Mladic on his trial for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity at the ICTY, where she assisted counsel by drafting motions that were filed before the Tribunal concerning admissibility of evidence, trial procedure, and the right to a fair trial. She maintains an active interest in international criminal law. Phillippa has also worked as a freelance research consultant, predominantly in international criminal law, international humanitarian and human rights law, and public law, for individuals and organisations.

Phillippa is committed to pro bono work, particularly where individuals’ civil liberties are at stake. During her BPTC studies she volunteered as an Education Advocate, advising and representing parents in school exclusion appeals at Governors’ Disciplinary Committee and Independent Review Panel hearings and is experienced in cases involving special educational needs. During her undergraduate studies she volunteered with the university legal clinic, advising in housing law, and undertook death penalty research for Amicus.

Phillippa graduated from King’s College London with a first class honours degree in Law. She was awarded a merit-based full tuition scholarship from Queen Mary, University of London to study the Human Rights Law LLM and graduated with Distinction in 2015, top in her specialism. She was awarded an Outstanding on the BPTC, where her studies were supported by both a Prince of Wales Scholarship and Hebe Plunkett award from Gray’s Inn.  Phillippa is also a member of the Bar Council’s Young Barristers’ Committee.

David Langwallner

David is an experienced advocate in a broad range of legal practice areas, including criminal defence, constitutional law, immigration, judicial review, inquests and general civil litigation.

He writes and lectures extensively in the UK, Ireland and internationally.

Ghazala Hussain

Ghazala is a strategic and tenacious barrister practising in the areas of family and criminal law.  She is accessible and firmly dedicated to the needs of her clients.

Prior to joining chambers, Ghazala worked as an immigration tribunal representative and caseworker for several years.

Ghazala has a growing practice in all areas of criminal defence, representing clients in both the Magistrates’ and Crown Courts.  She is recognised for her methodical approach and skilled courtroom advocacy.  She has worked on a number of serious and complex criminal matters whilst working as a paralegal, including the 21/7 London bombing case and R v Jalil and Others (2006) under the supervision of Edward Rees KC of Doughty Street Chambers and Jo Sidhu KC of 25 Bedford Row.  Ghazala maintains an interest in the Terrorism Prevent Strategy and has worked with local councils, schools and the police force in relation to this.

As a criminal practitioner, her experience of cross-examination and witness handling techniques are particularly advantageous in her family law practice, particularly where there is a crossover in cases involving domestic abuse or sexual violence.  With her empathetic manner, she approaches cases with the necessary tact and care to achieve the best outcome for her clients making her a repeat choice counsel.

She also has experience of education law and has represented parents before Independent Review Panel hearings seeking admission for their child into a particular school, as well as representing schools opposing admission for reasons such as infant size prejudice. With more than 15 years’ experience in educational governance she has a particular handle on educational appeal hearings.

Ghazala is committed to helping the vulnerable and disadvantaged and is routinely involved in pro bono work.  She has volunteered for the Citizens Advice Bureau and worked for the Free Representation Unit. She was also part of the Mayor of London’s programme, Here to Stay, offering immigration advice to members of the public in light of Brexit.  She is involved with various charitable organisations, regularly providing assistance, and has played an integral part in initiatives helping vulnerable members of the community.

Ghazala has a particular interest in human rights having had exposure to such issues in her various practice areas.  She did a placement at the UN Mechanism for International Residual Mechanism Criminal Tribunal in the Hague assisting Iain Edwards in the case of Prosecutor v Stanišić & Simatović.   Ghazala also supported Evolve with a study visit to London of the Sentencing Guidelines Committee of Uganda, and continues to maintain an active interest in the organisation’s work.

Geeta Koska

Geeta practises in all areas of housing, actions against the police, public and equality law. She is an innovative and determined advocate, who works tirelessly for her clients.

By combining her experience of civil litigation with her broad legal knowledge, Geeta provides robust and practical advice and representation. Her cases often involve complex legal issues that cut across human rights, discrimination and international law.

Geeta is regularly instructed on behalf of clients with multiple vulnerabilities, and prides herself on her clear and sensitive approach to such cases and adapting to the different needs of her clients.

Prior to the Bar, Geeta worked as a paralegal at Edwards Duthie Shamash Solicitors, assisting in group litigation and judicial review proceedings. She has a Masters in International Law, and gained experience in strategic litigation in the field of business and human rights and environmental law through her work with ClientEarth, the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights and the Human Rights Law Network.

Michael Peters

Michael is a dual qualified solicitor and barrister. He was admitted to the roll of solicitors in 2013 and was called to the Bar in 2014 by the Honourable Society of Gray’s Inn.

Michael has a multi-disciplinary practice and he specialises in the following areas:

  • serious crime and road traffic;
  • fraud, regulatory and business crime;
  • civil actions/inquests.

Michael trained and qualified with a top-tier firm listed in the Legal 500 and ranked in UK Chambers and Partners.

Shiraz Rustom

As a barrister of considerable experience in criminal and civil as well as commercial law, Shiraz has been speaking on behalf of the vulnerable and outcast for some 20 years. He has particular experience in criminal defence, housing and personal injury (having a medical sciences degree) and has a wealth of experience in cases concerning vulnerable people.

He is also founder and director of Be Coherent Ltd, a communications and legal training company which provides law and advocacy, persuasive communications, and media and defamation training for non-lawyers.

Philip Romans

Philip has practised at the Bar since 1991.

In crime, he prosecuted and defended for a number of years but now has an exclusively defence practice. He has extensive experience of cases involving murder and serious violence, firearms, rape, drug importation and production, major fraud and asset forfeiture.

He has established practices in the areas of family and employment law.

Before the Bar, Philip worked in the City for a US bank, drafted and monitored loan agreements for a small London merchant bank and analysed the profitability/viability of UK corporations.

He also spent a period investigating asbestosis compensation claims in Cleveland, Chicago and New York City.

Philip was the criminal advisor at Tottenham Law Centre at the time of the Broadwater Farm unrest in 1985.

Alex Bennie

Alex completed his pupillage at 1MCB. His interests range across crime, social welfare law and human rights, in particular where those areas impact on vulnerable parties, or minorities.

He maintains a broad criminal practice and has acted in trials involving fraud, drugs, weapons and violence. He is further familiar with POCA proceedings, and has acted at parole hearings for extended sentence prisoners convicted of serious crimes. He accepts instructions in actions against the police, challenging assaults, unlawful imprisonment, or unlawful searches and seizures during criminal investigations.

Alex also specialises in immigration and housing law, with a wide experience of acting in immigration appeals, possession proceedings, and homelessness challenges both in the County Court, and on judicial review. He can advise on the intersection of these areas with community care law, and on comparable issues of public law.

He regularly volunteers with charities assisting those that particularly need  legal help. For example, the charity Evolve and their work on sentencing in Uganda; the Matrix-City School Exclusions project; the Free Representation Unit; the Centre for Criminal Appeals; and Reprieve.