An excellent barrister, whose clients are in very safe hands.


Rory O'Ryan has worked in the field of asylum and immigration law since 1995. His practice covers the full spectrum of immigration law, ranging from personal and business immigration issues, PBS, EU free movement and protection and human rights appeals in the First tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and beyond, having appeared in the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

Rory is recommended as a Tier 2 Leading Junior for Immigration by The Legal 500. Past comments have stating that he 'is praised by instructing solicitors for his sensitive handling of refugees and vulnerable claimants'; 'He's very methodical and disciplined in his approach, and very forensic. He's very approachable too, and accessible.'

Rory also acts in judicial review proceedings in areas including immigration and asylum, asylum support, homelessness and allocations and community care.  He also has a growing Court of Protection practice, which includes cases arising from the social welfare and housing spheres in which Rory is instructed by the Official Solicitor where a party lacks mental capacity.

Rory gained five years' experience of adjudicator and tribunal hearings prior to being called to the Bar as a caseworker and subsequently a legal officer at Refugee Legal Centre in London (1995 to 2000). Prior to that, he spent several years employed as a welfare rights worker, including employment in Liverpool City Council Welfare Rights Unit and London East AIDS Network. Rory undertook pupillage at Arden Chambers and Mitre House Chambers, and has been a tenant of Garden Court North Chambers since 2002.

Rory accepts Public Access clients. He also sits as a fee-paid Deputy Upper Tribunal Judge (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)

Immigration and asylum

Rory was first attracted to work in the field of immigration and asylum law in 1995, then working as appeals caseworker at the Refugee Legal Centre, London. Rory converted to the Bar and has continued to practice in immigration and asylum law as a barrister since 2000.

Rory has appeared at every level of court in such matters, including the Supreme Court. His immigration practice involves personal immigration issues, including protection and human rights claims, trafficking; and deportation following conviction for serious criminal offences. He also advises in PBS applications and has advised businesses, and colleges holding Tier 4 sponsor licences. He is instructed in both statutory appeals and in judicial review matters in immigration, including obtaining urgent injunctions.

In deportation cases, he has acted in matters involving serious criminal offences, including manslaughter, rape and other serious sexual offences, and cases involving supply of class A drugs.

Rory also has considerable experience of bringing judicial review challenges against refusals by the Secretary of State to accept fresh claims for asylum or certifying such claims as clearly unfounded.

In 2015, Rory was appointed as a Deputy Upper Tribunal Judge (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) and sits part time at Field House and other hearing centres.

Court of Protection

Rory has a developing Court of Protection (COP) practice and is regularly instructed in cases where the Official Solicitor (OS) is appointed. He acts in Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard challenges under section 21A of the MCA 2005, raising questions as to eligibility, capacity and best interests. He is also instructed to act for respondent family members in cases involving decisions about contact and residence, including cases where there have been allegations of financial or physical abuse of P by family members.

Rory’s COP work involves advocates’ meetings, round table meetings, negotiations at court, preparation of draft orders following hearings, and preparation of letters of instructions for expert witnesses, eg, independent social workers/section 49 psychiatric reports.

Issues of particular interest to Rory include:

  • The pursuance of religious practices by persons lacking capacity;
  • Disputes between local authorities as to the ordinary residence of P;
  • Cases where COP applications have been needed during other proceedings, eg, possession proceedings (in one of Rory’s cases an adjournment of a possession trial was sought so that an application to the COP could be made seeking an order for a local authority to serve a notice to quit on P’s behalf to leave his current housing association accommodation when more suitable accommodation was eventually found for him – Rory was instructed by the OS in both matters, via two different local solicitors firms);
  • Cases involving consideration of issuing collateral judicial review challenges against local authority decision making in Care Act 2014 assessments (previously section 47 of the NHSCCA 1990 assessments) or refusal to consider a disabled facilities grant application; and
  • Cases where local authorities appear to have a conflict of interest, eg, on the one hand seeking orders declaring it to be in the best interests of P to remain in residential care (a consequence of which would be that P’s home would be taken into account as a capital resource), whilst on the other hand failing to prepare adequate care plans and support packages for a proposed discharge of P to their home.

In addition to matters in the COP itself, Rory has dealt with a number of cases in the County Court in his social housing practice where a defendant has lacked, or appeared to lack capacity. He was successful in obtaining an order dismissing a landlord’s application for final injunction and for committal for breach of interim injunction on the basis of the defendant’s lack of capacity to retain information about the nuisance clauses in her tenancy agreement, or the terms of an interim injunction.

Community care & mental health

Rory is interested in the overlap of public law duties owed to vulnerable and disabled clients. He has brought challenges to community care assessments under the Care Act 2014, whether as standalone issues or when arising in other contexts, eg, possession or Court of Protection proceedings.

Housing & Homelessness

Rory is ranked in Band 3 for Social Housing by Chambers and Partners.

He acts in both public and private residential landlord and tenant proceedings, in particular possession proceedings arising from neighbour nuisance, disrepair claims including claims for personal injury, unlawful eviction, anti‑social behaviour injunctions, homelessness (including appeals to the county court), and judicial review of housing authority decisions.

Issues of mental health or other disability often arise in housing matters, and Rory has regularly defended possession proceedings on public law grounds and grounds of discrimination under the Equality Act 2010, including failure of the claimant landlord to abide by their public sector equality duties under section 149 of the Act.

Rory has been instructed by the Official Solicitor in cases where a party lacked mental capacity, and has appeared in the Court of Protection in relation to proceedings under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Public law

Rory is instructed in judicial review proceedings, including obtaining interim injunctive relief by telephone application. He acts in:

  • Immigration and asylum matters, including challenging rejection of fresh protection/human rights claim or certification of such claims as clearly unfounded. He has also obtained an interim injunction requiring the Secretary of State to reinstate a College’s Tier 4 sponsor licence;
  • Public law challenges in homelessness matters, including obtaining interim accommodation under Part 7 of the Housing Act 1996, pending review or appeal;
  • Community care matters; and
  • Challenging assessments made under the Care Act 2014 (and previously under section 47 NHSCCA 1990).

Rory’s public law cases are often settled by consent order after permission to apply for JR has been granted, often with costs paid by the Respondent.

Notable cases

  • Bangura and Anor v the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) [2016] EWCA Civ 279 (25 February 2016): A challenge to a decision by the First-tier Tribunal that there was no jurisdiction to hear an appeal;
  • Peters, R (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  [2014] EWHC 1336 (Admin) (19 March 2014);
  • M A-H (Iraq) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2013] EWCA Civ 445 (30 January 2013);
  • Mahad (previously referred to as AM) (Ethiopia) v Entry Clearance Officer [2009] UKSC 16: Third party support and joint sponsorship in settlement entry clearance cases on appeal from AM (Ethiopia) and Ors and Anor v Entry Clearance Officer [2008] EWCA Civ 1082;
  • AA (Somalia) v Secretary of State for the Home Department: AH (Iran) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2007] EWCA Civ 1040; [2007] All ER (D) 395 (Oct): Different appellants with closely related factual circumstances;
  • SA and IA (Undocumented Kurds) Syria CG [2009] UKAIT 00006 (02 February 2009): Notable country guidance case in which Rory appeared for SA; and
  • NB and JN (right of permanent residence) France [2007] UKAIT 00039.

Publications and media appearances

  • Contributor, Macdonald’s Immigration Law and Practice (9th edn., Butterworths: London, 2015);
  • 28/3/11 – Should Further Submissions be Treated as Fresh Claims? (Lexis Nexis Current Awareness); and
  • Contributor, Terrence Higgins Trust’s Guide to Benefits for People with HIV/AIDS.


  • Housing Law Practitioners Association; and
  • Northern Administrative Law Association.

Privacy Notice

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He is a very experienced advocate.Chambers and Partners 2023
'He has a methodical, focused and disciplined approach to complex issues.’The Legal 500 2021
Leading Junior Immigration - Northern/North Eastern (Bar): He has exceptional skill and is a meticulous reader of proceedings whose analysis is second to none. Recent work: Successfully obtained entry clearance on marriage grounds for an individual whose British sponsor's employment was doubted by the Home Office, which had misrecorded the content of a telephone interview with the sponsor.Chambers and Partners 2019
Recommended for complex asylum and immigration cases.The UK Legal 500 2019
Covers a broad range of matters, including asylum applications, human rights, PBS issues and trafficking. He regularly acts in judicial reviews, and appears before the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. He is noted for his knowledge of deportations following a serious criminal offence, and has recently been instructed in a number of appeals against deportation arising out of the introduction of the automatic deportation of 'foreign criminals' by the UK Borders Act 2007. Strengths: "He has a straightforward and realistic approach. He's brilliant at explaining difficult concepts with ease." "His written work is absolutely outstanding and he represented the client to a very high standard." Recent work: Acted for a foreign national facing deportation for minor driving offences and a conviction in their home country. Chambers and Partners 2018
An excellent barrister, whose clients are in very safe hands.The Legal 500 2017
Leading Junior in Immigration (Northern and North Eastern): Covers a broad range of matters including asylum applications, human rights, PBS issues and trafficking. He regularly acts in judicial reviews, and appears before the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Chambers and Partners 2017
Leading Junior in Immigration (Northern and North Eastern): Has extensive experience acting in public law and social welfare matters. He has a broad immigration practice and is praised for his skilled representation of vulnerable clients. He has particular expertise in PBS, trafficking and asylum claims. Chambers and Partners 2016
Highly experienced in immigration judicial reviews.The UK Legal 500 2016
Leading Junior in Immigration (Northern): Devotes a significant portion of his practice to public law matters including personal immigration. He is noted for his expertise in obtaining emergency injunctive relief in deportation or removal cases, and is praised by instructing solicitors for his sensitive handling of refugees and vulnerable claimants. Chambers and Partners 2015
Public Law (Northern Circuit): He particularly excels where a technical legal argument is involved.The UK Legal 500 2015
Leading Junior in Immigration (Northern): Has a broad immigration practice and advises on everything from human rights and asylum cases to appeals under the points-based immigration system.  "He has a highly methodical and understated approach, but it's hugely effective; you can rely on him to get the job done". Chambers and Partners 2014
Leading Junior in Immigration (Northern): Rory O'Ryan handles all aspects of immigration and asylum appeals, and has extensive experience as an immigration caseworker... Chambers and Partners 2013
Regulatory and Public Law (Regional Bar - Northern Circuit): Rory O'Ryan specialise[s] in public law work involving immigration and asylum matters. The UK Legal 500 2012
Leading Junior in Immigration (Northern): Rory O'Ryan handles complicated and wide-ranging cases. Sources say:  "He is meticulous and excellent on procedure."  Moreover, he has "a calm and confident presence in tribunals and the ability to cut to the chase without alienating the client."  He recently acted in cases involving migrants seeking leave to remain seeking contact with their children under the Immigration Rules or for Article 8 purposes. Chambers and Partners 2012
Regulatory and Public Law (Regional Bar - Northern Circuit): Rory O'Ryan has an "astute eye for detail and technical arguments relating to the Immigration Rules and EEA Regulations". The UK Legal 500 2011
Leading Junior in Immigration (Northern): Rory O'Ryan is "extremely thorough and clear in his advice."  Chambers and Partners 2011
Leading Junior in Immigration (Northern): Rory O'Ryan has extensive immigration experience, having previously worked as a legal officer for the Refugee Legal Centre (now Refugee and Migrant Justice), before being called to the Bar.Chambers and Partners 2010
Leading Junior in Immigration (Northern): Rory O'Ryan is another of the set's acknowledged immigration experts, and has grabbed his share of the limelight recently due to his work in cases involving Somali asylum seekers. Chambers and Partners 2009
Leading Junior in Immigration (Northern): Rory O'Ryan is especially adept at cases involving Somali asylum seekers and demonstrates a solid base of immigration knowledge. Chambers and Partners 2008
Leading Junior in Immigration (Northern): New entrant Rory O'Ryan's practice encompasses all aspects of asylum, immigration and nationality law including human rights and entry clearance cases. His previous experience as legal officer for the Refugee Legal Centre was described as being 'a beneficial tool in his box.' A 'clever and committed' practitioner, he also displays particular expertise in Somali asylum cases. Chambers and Partners 2007


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