Sean is a very capable advocate with a keen eye for detail. His interpersonal skills with clients are first class.


Sean Ell is ranked in Band 2 for Immigration in Chambers and Partners. He is experienced in all areas of immigration, asylum, EU and nationality law, and is happy to appear in cases in other areas of law particularly, where there is an overlap with immigration and human rights issues. He represents appellants at all levels of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the Tribunal and in the Court of Appeal, and has significant experience in judicial review matters. He is happy to accept instructions throughout England and Wales.

Having spent time managing large Legal Aid contracts and caseloads, Sean appreciates the difficulties that Legal Aid cases can bring and is always happy to assist with issues arising in publicly funded cases.

As well as acting for individuals, Sean is also able to represent institutions and businesses in relation to their sponsorship licence and has particular experience in Tier 2 matters.

Sean was appointed by the Medical Practitioners Tribunal as a lay tribunal member in 2011 and as a Tribunal Chair in 2015.

Immigration and asylum

Sean is ranked as a Tier 2 Leading Junior for Immigration in The Legal 500 and Band 2 for Immigration in Chambers and Partners.

Sean is an experienced immigration practitioner, having first been accredited by the Law Society as an immigration and asylum specialist in 2005 and as a supervisor from 2006. He took on a supervisory role at a national charity providing immigration advice, before moving on to work as the immigration supervisor at Trafford Law Centre and then a regional firm of solicitors. Sean worked as a solicitor with Higher Rights of audience before being called to the Bar.

Sean represents appellants at all levels of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber of the Tribunal and in the Court of Appeal, and has significant experience in judicial review matters. He is often utilised in drafting grounds and appearing in urgent applications, including injunctions.

Notable cases

AMS v SSHD (August 2023): An Iraqi asylum appeal where there had been previous appeal hearing back in 2017. This appeal hearing followed a remittal by the Upper Tribunal, the FTT having initial dismissed the appeal. Sean represented throughout the current appeal process following a Fresh Claim in 2019. The appeal was allowed on Article 3 grounds, the Tribunal accepting that the appellant was unable to redocument and return home.

NMMN v SSHD (August 2023): Asylum appeal, appellant from DRC. Appeal considered under the standard of proof as set out in s32(2) of the 2022 Act. Judge accepted to the higher standard of proof that the appellant feared persecution for a convention reason. Appeal was complicated by a previous finding that the appellant was not who he said he was and was in fact a different person. Despite this, the FTT was persuaded that the appellant’s activities in the UK were sufficient to put him at risk on return and the appeal was allowed on Asylum and Human Rights grounds.

MZO v SSHD (May 2023): Appeal brought by A to remain in the UK as the dependent child of a settled person. Appeal complicated by two matters, allegation of deception in application for visit visa for the appellant to enter the UK and secondly the application relating to the appeal was made under the wrong immigration category. The appellant was over 18 by the time of the hearing. The respondent agreed for the appeal to be considered under the correct rules, as a new matter. The Judge allowed the appeal on Article 8 grounds, accepting that the appellant met the rules and given her age and no involvement by the sponsor in the decision should not fail on that ground.

AS v SSHD (March 2023): EEA Deportation appeal. A had left the UK and re-entered and there was a legal argument about whether the appeal should be against a refusal to revoke the deportation order or an appeal against the decision to issue the deportation notice. The latter being more favourable to the appellant. It was agreed by the Tribunal that the appeal was against the decision to issue. The Judge was not satisfied the Home Office had made out that Reg 27 was met and that the appellant posed a genuine, serious and present threat and as such deportation would be disproportionate. The judge therefore allowed the appeal.

TT v SSHD (March 2023): Deportation appeal where A had previously been refused on appeal by both the FTT and the UT (IAC). Appeal was brought on basis of Article 3 health grounds. Matters were complicated by A admitting at the outset of the hearing he had received a further conviction following the R’s decision and hearing date. The Tribunal accepted that the A had complex health issues with no connections to his home country, he would unlikely seek treatment and there would be a rapid decline on return so as to breach Article 3.

Public law

Sean is experienced in judicial review in both the Upper Tribunal and High Court. He has successfully represented in a wide range of cases. Sean is available for drafting advices and grounds of judicial review as well as appearing at oral permission and full substantive hearings. He is experienced in making urgent and out of hours applications, including those for injunctions.


North Eastern Circuit
Constitutional and Administrative Law Bar Association

Privacy notice

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


Sean is the author of A Practical Guide to Deprivation of British Citizenship which examines the evolving area of deprivation of British citizenship, exploring the ways and process by which an individual could lose their British citizenship, as well as the consequences for them, and potentially their family. It also covers the available options and approaches to challenging decisions in light of a number of recent and important judgements providing a practical guide for practitioners in this complex area of law.

The book is available directly from the publisher, or from legal bookshops including; AmazonWildy & Sons and Blackwells


Sean is a very capable advocate with a keen eye for detail. His interpersonal skills with clients are first class.The Legal 500, 2024
I am very thankful to Sean for helping me through my case. I was impatient, and kept sending him emails regarding different queries. He has helped me through my queries and I do trust him with his knowledge, skills and experience. Sean thanks for your hard work. Public Access Client 2019


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