Natalie has an extensive immigration and asylum practice and a strong interest in cases involving children. She has particular interest in international family law and she is able to represent clients where they have both immigration and family proceedings. Natalie's practice also includes housing law and employment and discrimination law along with public law, human rights and and civil liberties challenges arising from all areas of Chambers' practice.
She studied law at the University of Cambridge, where Pembroke College awarded her a scholarship to spend a year studying at Occidental College in New York and Los Angeles. She completed a masters with a double concentration in International Relations (specialising in conflict management and international law) and International Economics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Bologna, Italy and Washington DC. Natalie was awarded a Major Scholarship from Inner Temple to complete the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) at Kaplan Law School, for which she was graded Outstanding.
Natalie completed pupillage at Garden Court North Chambers in October 2014 and her supervisor was Rory O'Ryan. Before commencing pupillage, Natalie was a consultant on the small arms and light weapons team at the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs in New York and worked in Juba for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan and the United Nations Development Programme in the former Southern Sudan (on its project to support the referendum for independence). She has also volunteered for NGOs in Uganda and Kenya and is particularly interested in conflict-affected areas and sub-Saharan Africa.
Natalie volunteered for Asylum Support Housing Advice (ASHA), which assists destitute asylum seekers. She accepts pro bono instructions through Bail for Immigration Detainees and the Bar Pro Bono Unit, for whom she has taken on employment and family law cases. She was also a Free Representation Unit (FRU) employment representative and previously volunteered at Kingston Law Centre’s evening advice clinic and Reprieve (secret prisons and extraordinary renditions team).
AREAS OF EXPERTISE
Asylum, Immigration and Nationality Law
Natalie represents appellants in the First-tier and Upper Tribunals in all areas of asylum and immigration law, including nationality, statelessness and EU law. She also has substantial experience of immigration judicial review, including delay, fresh claim, third country, unlawful detention and urgent removal cases. Natalie can advise on family law issues in immigration cases (and vice versa) and can represent clients in both sets of proceedings.
Natalie has also represented a number of vulnerable clients, including detainees on hunger strike, victims of torture, victims of trafficking and children. She contributed to Chapter 9: Students in the latest (9th) edition of Macdonald's Immigration Law and Practice.
Natalie acts in all areas of family law with a particular focus on children law, domestic violence, and relationship breakdown where immigration issues are involved. She can advise on children's nationality status. Natalie accepts instructions in cases with a human rights and/or international dimension, including international relocation, international abduction, forced marriage protection orders and female genital mutilation (FGM) protection orders. She is available to make emergency applications.
Natalie has a broad housing law practice encompassing possession (rent arrears and anti-social behaviour), injunction and committal proceedings, homelessness appeals, disrepair, tenancy deposit, and unlawful eviction claims. She can represent clients up to the enforcement stage including applications for charging orders and freezing injunctions.
Employment and discrimination law
Natalie accepts instructions in all areas of employment and discrimination law, including unfair dismissal, contractual disputes, redundancy, trade union disputes, TUPE, wage disputes and working time. She can provide advice on the employment/worker status and rights of interns and volunteers. Natalie also has experience in employer's and product liability (personal injury) cases.
Other areas of practice
Natalie also has experience of and accepts instructions in the following areas of Chambers; practice:
- Actions Against the Police;
- Inquests; and
- Public Law (Judicial Review).
PUBLICATIONS & SEMINARS
- 16.12.15 Report on GCN family rights seminar series - Family Law, December 2015
- Contributed to Chapter 9: Students in the latest (9th) edition of Macdonald's Immigration Law and Practice.
- 20.11.14 New Immigration tribunal procedure rules: analysis - Free Movement blog
- 26.9.14 Legal Aid, Labour and pushing for a 'manifesto of hope' - GCN's Natalie Wilkins writing in Justice Gap