Mikhil Karnik practises in public law and human rights law particularly arising from his immigration practice, specialising in judicial review including issues of nationality, injunctive relief of administrative decisions such as unlawful detention and removal decisions. He has also acted in decisions relating to leave to remain, permission to work, statelessness, access to student loans and has successfully required the SSHD to return clients unlawfully removed.
Before being called to the Bar in 2005, Mikhil spent 15 years providing advice, guidance and consultancy on technical environmental and health and safety matters. He speaks German fluently.
Mikhil accepts pro bono work, especially in asylum where the changes in legal aid have created significant problems of access to the courts.
Mikhil is ranked as a Tier 1 Leading Junior for Immigration and a Tier 2 Leading Junior for Administrative and public law (including civil liberties and human rights) by The Legal 500. Chambers and Partners ranks Mikhil as Band 1 for Immigration and Band 3 for Administrative and public law.
Mikhil has substantial experience in judicial review, in the Upper Tribunal, High Court and Court of Appeal. He has successfully represented in a wide range of cases including statelessness, unlawful detention, unlawful removal, permission to work, restriction of benefits, and refusal of leave to remain.
Immigration and asylum
Mikhil offers advice and representation in asylum, deportation, entry clearance, the Dublin Convention, trafficking, students, nationality and EEA matters. He has successfully represented many clients facing conducive deportation and unlawful detention. He has represented at the Asylum and Immigration Chamber, in the First-Tier and in the Upper Tribunal, the Administrative Court, and the Court of Appeal. He is currently pursuing a number of applications to the European Court of Human Rights.
Mikhil’s practice also involves consideration of European law, in particular the freedom of movement and citizenship provisions including derivative rights.
With regard to business immigration, Mikhil has advised on civil penalties, tier 2 sponsorship issues (including suspension and revocation of licences), best practice, and has acted in judicial reviews of licence revocations.
Mikhil has an extensive background in environmental law with specific focus on waste and contaminated land. He has represented in environmental and health and safety actions including statutory nuisance, and has advised on regulatory PPC and planning issues, contaminated land and nuisance.
- Semeda, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Statelessness; Pham applied (IJR)  UKUT 658 (IAC);
- Raja, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (IJR)  UKUT 58 (IAC) (28 January 2015);
- AM (Belarus) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1506;
- GP & Ors (South Korean citizenship) North Korea CG  UKUT 391 (IAC);
- AV (DRC) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 937;
- KS (Burma) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 67;
- R (Shaw) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 42 (Admin);
- Harrison (Jamaica) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1736;
- ZS (Jamaica) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1639;
- R (Cisse) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 2819 (Admin);
- Sanade and others (British children – Zambrano – Dereci)  UKUT 00048 (IAC);
- RO (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1521;
- R (Rangwani) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 516 (Admin);
- BA (Yemen) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 726;
- R (MN (Tanzania)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  2 All ER 772;
- R (AE (Libya)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 154 (Admin);
- Carvalho v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1406;
- Patrick Kingonzila v United Kingdom 41930/08  ECHR 1572;
- R (FE (Ethiopia)) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 1756 (Admin); and
- LG and CC (EEA Regs: residence; imprisonment; removal) Italy  UKAIT 00024,  Imm AR 691.
- Haldane Society; and
- UK Environmental Law Association.
Mikhil’s Privacy Notice may be viewed by clicking here.
Mikhil is tenacious and determined, and always has the best interests of the client at heart. He does not lose sight of the fact that immigration clients are some of the most vulnerable in the legal sector, he has great drafting skills, and he is approachable for advice on all aspects of the appeal process.The Legal 500, 2024
He is thorough and knowledgeable and deeply considers each case.Chambers and Partners 2023
Mikhil is committed, enthusiastic and knowledgeable. He is always willing to talk through the complex cases he undertakes and offers sound support and advice in relation to both preparatory stages and during the course of litigation. He prepares strong and well-researched grounds that are forceful but succinctThe Legal 500, 2022
Immigration: Ranked Tier 1
‘A fearless and brave barrister who pushes boundaries of human rights law as far as they will go.’The Legal 500 2021
Administrative and Public Law (including Civil Liberties and Human Rights) Ranked Tier 2
'Mr Karnik is a fearless and brave barrister who pushes boundaries of human rights law as far as they will go. He has fantastic ideas for thinking outside the box and is a concise and precise drafter of grounds.’The Legal 500 2021
A highly intelligent and fearless barrister. Meticulous in his approach and has extensive knowledge of case law. Very approachable and provides good guidance on cases. Brilliant at drafting and the go to Counsel for Third Country Cases. Broudie Jackson Canter
I have regularly instructed Mikhil Karnik over a period of many years. He has demonstrated time and again a passionate approach when representing clients in Court and a desire to combat injustice. He is able to quickly identify where the weakness in an appeal may lie, and provide clear advice on the best way to address it. We have worked on many challenging and complex cases together and achieved very positive outcomes in difficult circumstances.Paragon Law
Deeply committed, tenacious and innovative. He is always ready and willing to discuss a case and advise on evidence and this is very helpful. Greater Manchester Immigration Aid Unit
Mikhil’s knowledge of the law is up to date to the minute. He is certainly one of the best Senior Junior Counsels in Immigration, Asylum, Human Rights and EU Law, and highly skilled in complex deportation matters. He is thorough with his preparation and presentation. He has time and time again turned what seemed hopeless situations for clients into success stories, and would often do so under the usual lack/limited funding in this area of law. I have always said to clients that if Mikhil can’t succeed in a case, no one else can.