Lucy is a fantastic choice of counsel as she is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate, she has excellent client care, and is always prepared and thinking about client issues.


Lucy Mair is a passionate and experienced human rights barrister who practices in all areas of immigration and asylum law, with particular expertise in cases involving gender-based violence, especially for victims of human trafficking/ modern slavery and migrant victims of domestic violence.

Lucy has acted in a number of reported trafficking cases including with regard to the correct approach to expert evidence, to the definition of forced labour and in reported migrant domestic violence cases regarding rights of appeal, procedural fairness and the correct approach to corroborative evidence.

Lucy also represented a trafficking client in the first successful substantive claim for judicial review against a decision of the Upper Tribunal (a “CART JR”) which addressed issues of procedural fairness, country guidance and expert evidence.

Lucy acts regularly in appeals before the First-Tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal, in judicial reviews in the Upper Tribunal and Administrative Court and in the Court of Appeal.

Lucy’s practice extends beyond the court room and she is a frequent guest lecturer; trainer; mentor for Young Legal Aid Lawyers and sits on the Liverpool Law Clinic Advisory Board, Refugee Legal Support Legal Experts Panel and the Centre for Women's Justice Legal Reference Panel.

Lucy was a member of the research team which produced the 2021 report: "Access to legal advice and representation for survivors of modern slavery" (published by the Centre for the Study of International Slavery at the University of Liverpool, ATLEU and the Rights Lab at the University of Nottingham). Lucy undertakes pro bono work for Bail for Immigration Detainees and in refugee family reunion cases where legal aid is not available. Lucy has volunteered as a legal advisor on the Greek island of Samos during the Mediterranean refugee crisis.

Lucy was called to the bar in 2011 and was shortlisted for a Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year award in 2014. Before coming to the bar, Lucy worked in the fields of international human rights and refugees for over a decade. Most recently she worked at Human Rights Watch, during which time she opened and managed the first Jerusalem field office. She has also worked as a freelance consultant for international aid agencies and holds a masters degree in Human Rights from Columbia University in New York. Lucy is a lifelong campaigner for racial and migrant justice and is a founding member of GCN’s internal Equality and Diversity Committee.

Public law

Lucy is ranked as a Leading Junior Tier 2 for Administrative and public law (including civil liberties and human rights) in The Legal 500 and Band 3 by Chambers and Partners.

Lucy is an experienced public law practitioner with particular familiarity of immigration, asylum, trafficking and unlawful detention judicial reviews. She is available for drafting advices and grounds of judicial review and appearing at oral permission and full substantive hearings.  Lucy has experience of applying for interim relief including urgent injunctions.

Immigration and asylum

Lucy is ranked in Band 1 by Chambers and Partners, and as a Leading Junior Tier 2 in The Legal 500.

Lucy regularly represents clients in all types of immigration and asylum appeals.

Lucy is particularly noted for representing vulnerable clients who are victims of human trafficking, torture, domestic violence and sexual or other forms of exploitation. Lucy appears regularly in the First Tier and Upper Tribunals and has had success appealing to the Court of Appeal. She also has experience bringing CART judicial reviews against the Upper Tribunal.

Lucy’s approach to immigration and asylum cases is substantially informed by her detailed knowledge of domestic, regional and international human rights law due to her previous career with Human Rights Watch.

Lucy has developed a particular specialism in trafficking cases, including representing victims of human trafficking/modern slavery in their asylum appeals, in judicial reviews challenging negative Reasonable Grounds and Conclusive Grounds trafficking decisions, and in refusals to grant discretionary leave to victims of trafficking. She works closely with a number of organisations that specialise in providing assistance and representation to victims of trafficking and has been involved in numerous cases where the Competent Authority has agreed to reconsider a negative decision following a targeted request for reconsideration or following issue of a claim for judicial review.

She succeeded in challenging a failure by the National Referral Mechanism to have regard to evidence from a specialist trafficking organization and medical evidence before making a Conclusive Grounds decision (see R (on the application of AB) v Secretary of State for the Home Department and the Free Movement commentary).

Lucy was instructed in the first reported successful substantive CART-type judicial review case in the High Court, in which she represented a Nigerian trafficking victim against the Upper Tribunal.

Lucy is available to advise and represent victims of trafficking in compensation claims, public law challenges against the police where they have failed to investigate a credible allegation of trafficking and in unlawful detention claims.

Publications and media appearances


Lucy is a member of Young Legal Aid Lawyers, where she acts as a mentor to aspiring human rights lawyers. Lucy serves on the Executive Committee of the Bar Human Rights Committee, where she engages in pro bono international human rights work, including contributing to a report on sexual violence and torture perpetrated by the Sri Lankan authorities against Tamils.

Lucy regularly volunteers to speak to students and community groups including speaking recently on a panel at the 2017 Social Justice Lecture at University of Huddersfield on human trafficking and modern day slavery.

Lucy also regularly appears as a trainer for Garden Court North Chambers, as well as for ILPA, the Public Law Project (PLP) and Highgate Solutions.

Lecturing & Training

Lucy’s previous and upcoming ILPA training events can be found here

Lucy’s upcoming events with MBL seminars can be found here

Privacy Notice

Lucy’s Privacy Notice may be viewed by clicking here.


Lucy is a fantastic choice of counsel as she is incredibly knowledgeable and passionate, she has excellent client care, and is always prepared and thinking about client issues. She provides strong, clear, and concise representation, she adds value to the cases she works on, and it is clear that she spends a considerable amount of time ensuring accuracy and considering legal authorities to support the best outcome possible.The Legal 500, 2024
Lucy has excellent knowledge of asylum, immigration, and modern slavery law. She is a fighter who is also very empathetic with clients.The Legal 500, 2024
I am extremely impressed by the level of client care and expertise she offered.Chambers and Partners 2023
The quality and depth of her work is incredible. I would never hesitate to instruct or recommend her.Chambers and Partners 2023
She is knowledgeable, experienced and excellent with client care. She is approachable and easy to work with, giving every case 150%.Chambers and Partners 2023
Leading Junior: Administrative & Public Law, Tier 2 Lucy is deeply passionate, knowledgeable, incredibly accessible and approachable. She is creative and cares about the clients as much as we do. One of my top go to counsel in this area.The Legal 500, 2022
Leading Junior: Immigration, Tier 2 An excellent advocate who produces vigorous written submissions. Empathetic and thorough in her dealings with clients, she goes above and beyondThe Legal 500, 2022
Leading Junior: Immigration, Tier 2 ‘Lucy is a specialist in working with victims of trafficking and is my go to counsel to ask an opinion or to represent clients. She takes a collegiate approach to working on a case and welcomes input from solicitors. She has an exceptionally detailed knowledge of the law and is creative and persistent. She will keep fighting for the client if there is any way to achieve justice.’The Legal 500 2021
Administrative and Public Law (including Civil Liberties and Human Rights) Ranked Tier 2 ‘She is generous with her time and always makes herself available for questions and discussion. Having seen her as an advocate in person I would describe her as courteous, determined and thoroughly prepared. Your client will always be in excellent hands if Lucy is their advocate.’The Legal 500 2021
Her seriousness and engagement with the case are readily apparent. Recent work: Acted in a test case regarding the removal of statutory appeal rights and their replacement with administrative review for applicants who are victims of domestic violence.Chamber and Partners 2019
She has a brilliant legal mind and is extremely persuasive on her feet.The UK Legal 500 2019
Has a broad immigration practice that takes in trafficking, asylum and human rights cases for vulnerable clients. Also well versed in cases concerning unlawful detention and false imprisonment claims. Strengths: "She's extremely conscientious and thorough, excellent on trafficking cases and public law challenges, and is very approachable and responsive." "Lucy Mair is extremely professional, and her passion for the work shines through in the way she handles even the most challenging of cases. She is always keen to find novel ways of challenging unlawful decisions, and consistently receives positive feedback from our clients."Chamber and Partners 2018
Has a broad immigration practice that takes in trafficking, asylum and human rights cases. Strengths: "A first-choice barrister." "She is extremely conscientious and thorough. Excellent on trafficking cases, she is very approachable and responsive." Chambers and Partners 2017
Frequently handles public and civil actions for unlawful detention and is regularly engaged in cases involving trafficked victims. Solicitors are keen to praise her client care skills. Strengths: "She is consistently excellent all round; she is a real fighter for her clients." Chambers and Partners 2016


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