12 February 2018

Rebecca Penfold, instructed by Cecilia Goodwin of Stephensons Solicitors, successfully defended an immigration case before the Upper Tribunal. The case concerned an EEA national, convicted of drugs offences, who received a significant term of imprisonment. The SSHD sought to deport Mr V under the EEA Regulations of 2016. The case was won by Rebecca on appeal before the First Tier Tribunal, however permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal was granted to the SSHD on an error of law. The First Tier Judge, in the written determination, had erroneously cited the EEA Regulations from 2006. The appeal before the Upper Tribunal was heard by the Vice President Judge Ockelton and Judge Grubb.

In defending the appeal before the Upper Tribunal, Rebecca submitted a Rule 24 notice conceding the error of law but arguing that it was not material to the outcome. Findings had been made by the FTJ as to the appellant’s rehabilitation and that the SSHD had not established that Mr V represented a genuine and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society. Rebecca’s argument before the Upper Tribunal was therefore that any error of law was not material to the outcome as had the correct Regulations from 2016 been considered, the same conclusion would nevertheless have been reached. The SSHD ultimately conceded that they accepted Rebecca’s argument as set out in the Rule 24 notice.

Rebecca is developing a strong practice in this particular area of immigration law which, as demonstrated in this case, is complemented by her invaluable and extensive time in criminal practice.