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Ghazala is a strategic and tenacious barrister practising in the areas of family, immigration 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, gaining extensive experience in a wide variety of immigration matters including deportation, human rights and asylum cases.

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 QC of Doughty Street Chambers and Jo Sidhu QC 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, often providing advocacy services to Bail Immigration Detainees.  She has volunteered for the Citizens Advice Bureau and worked for the Free Representation Unit. She was 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.

Family

Ghazala represents in a broad range of family matters and at all stages of proceedings, including fact-finding and final hearings.

Ghazala routinely represents in all aspects of private law matters and injunctive proceedings. She has extensive experience of all types of section 8 applications including Prohibited Steps Orders, Non-Molestation Orders, and Child Arrangements Orders, including those made without notice.  Her experience includes cases involving vulnerable individuals and allegations of serious domestic abuse including sexual assault, and cases involving drug and alcohol misuse. She has represented in cases featuring parental alienation, intractable contact issues and relocation, including both internal and external relocation.  She has a particular interest in cases involving domestic violence and co-authored an article in the Family Law Journal on Practice Direction 12J.

Ghazala has experience of successfully representing clients in family finance proceedings. She has represented in wide ranging cases, from those involving insufficient matrimonial funds to more complex cases with an international element, third party interests or significant disputes in relation to high value assets.  She has a meticulous and thorough approach which is key to achieving the results, and is recognised for negotiating settlements.  Prior to joining chambers, she worked as a caseworker on the case of NN v AS and Others [2018] EWHC 2973 (Fam), a case dealing with beneficial ownership of UK assets following an Egyptian financial settlement.

In certain cases, Ghazala undertakes public law cases and has represented at various stages of proceedings acting on behalf of parents.

Crime

Ghazala is rapidly developing a criminal defence practice in all areas of criminal law and has gained experience in a range of matters, including violence, public order, fraud, drugs and sexual offences.

She is a passionate, committed advocate and has been noted for her sound judgment under pressure as well as her willingness to go that extra mile to secure a successful outcome.  She represents at the Crown Court, Magistrates court and Youth courts.

Ghazala has a particular strength in driving matters and has secured acquittals in a variety of offences.  In addition, she accepts instructions for sentencing and has successfully mitigated to prevent long periods of disqualification and argued special reasons to the benefit of defendants.

Cases

  • R v BW – secured acquittal where the defendant was charged with possession of a knife by successfully arguing the defence of reasonable excuse
  • R v SG – secured acquittal in driving offence trial where defendant stood to lose licence
  • R v BO – secured acquittal in drunk in charge offence
  • R v TR – reduced sentence in drink driving offence through persuasive mitigation
  • R v EM – successfully argued special reasons and avoided the imposition of a disqualification through totting up
  • R v JA – persuaded CPS to drop charges against a Christian preacher by serving skeleton argument addressing his human rights
  • R v AS & Ors – secured conditional discharge in the widely reported Grimbsy protestors case.  To read media coverage of this case, please see here and here.

Immigration & asylum

Ghazala regularly acts in immigration proceedings before both the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal in a broad range of matters including asylum and international protection, unlawful detention, deportation appeals, EU law and Article 8 of the Human Rights Act.

She has many years of experience in immigration, having worked as a caseworker and tribunal representative for several years. She has been involved in both appeals and applications for judicial review and drafting grounds of appeal.

Ghazala is acutely aware of the importance of good preparation and strategy and has drafted skeleton arguments prior to appeal hearings which have led to the Home Office conceding in certain cases at the CMH or before the date of the appeal hearing.

She has significant experience in immigration bail hearings and regularly provides assistance to Bail for Immigration Detainees by representing clients on a pro bono basis.  She was also part of the Mayor of London’s programme, Here to Stay, where she provided advice to people affected by the proposed Brexit changes.

 

Education

  • LLB (first Class Hons)
  • BVC
  • PGDL

Languages

  • Urdu (fluent)
  • Punjabi (fluent)
  • Hindi (conversational)
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