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Unity Street Chambers - Bristol: A leading set of Barristers serving the South West and beyond

Bristol_lawyers

5 Unity Street Chambers, Bristol BS1 5HH
0117 906 9789 / 0117 906 9799 (fax)
laura.gardner@unitystreetchambers.com

Year of Call and Inn

2012 Gray’s Inn

Principle Practice Areas

Immigration and Asylum
Private Law Children
Domestic Abuse
Care and Adoption
Personal Injury
Housing and Property

Professional Details

Laura joined Unity Street Chambers in 2014 following the successful completion of her pupillage. She has excellent client communication skills and thrives working under pressure, particularly in court where her expertise as both a firm and persuasive advocate is admired.

Laura’s attention to detail and rigorous preparation has made her increasingly sought after by clients.

Laura has developed a successful mixed practice and has particular expertise in the following areas:

Immigration, Asylum

Laura heads the immigration and asylum team and receives regular instructions to appear before First-Tier and Upper Tribunals across the country in bail, deportation, entry clearance, immigration and asylum appeals as well as in judicial review proceedings.

Laura is experienced in dealing with difficult and complex appeals, often involving vulnerable clients and language barriers. She has represented unaccompanied asylum-seeking children as well as victims of torture, sexual violence and human trafficking. Her calm, clear, measured approach enables her to swiftly build a rapport with appellants and their families and she is able to deal sensitively with traumatic aspects of asylum claims.

Her written ability is regularly commended by Tribunal judges and she is well respected by professional clients, Home Office opponents and members of the judiciary alike.

Laura is able to advise on the merits of appeal to the Upper Tribunal and will draft grounds of appeal on a pro bono basis in appropriate cases.

Family

Laura has a thriving family practice with a focus on private and public children proceedings. Her approach to dealing and managing anxious and often vulnerable clients is complemented by her immigration and asylum work.

Laura represents both applicants and respondents in roughly equal measure through all stages of private law children matters including at multi-day fact-finding hearings, final hearings and enforcement hearings.

Laura frequently deals with cases involving domestic abuse and is regularly instructed to represent applicants and respondents in applications for non-molestation and occupation orders.

Laura has a quickly expanding public law practice and is instructed by local authorities and parents in respect of ICOs, IRHs, CMHs and final hearings.

Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence

Laura’s personal injury practice is split between claimant and defendant work in cases involving occupiers’ liability, employers’ liability (including industrial disease), public liability and road traffic collision cases and she is also instructed in cases involving low velocity impact and allegations of fraud.

She regularly conducts interlocutory hearings, CCMCs, infant settlement approval hearings and trials on the small claim, fast and multi tracks in County Courts throughout the South West.

Where appropriate she will consider cases on a conditional fee basis.

Landlord and Tenant

Social housing: Laura accepts instructions from claimants and defendants in a wide range of cases such as anti-social behaviour injunctions and possession proceedings (including cases featuring Equality Act 2010 issues).

Private landlord and tenant: Laura acts for both landlords and tenants in disputes arising out of residential tenancies. She has particular experience in possession proceedings, disputes arising out of lack of protection of tenancy deposits and service/management charge disputes.

Notable Cases

Asylum and Immigration
C v SSHD: Involved an appeal of the refusal of the asylum claim of a Somalian national (minority clan member). Adverse credibility findings had been made against the appellant in respect of his substantive account at a previous hearing and those findings had been preserved by the Upper Tribunal. Laura successfully argued that new country and linguistic expert reports which addressed the significance of the appellant’s ability to speak Swahili and inability to speak Somali rendered it appropriate to depart from findings made in the previous determination. The Appellant’s minority clan membership was accepted at the De Novo hearing.

N v SSHD: Successful appeal to the Upper Tribunal following a decision of the First-Tier to refuse an asylum appeal of a Ugandan national based on sexual orientation. The Home Office conceded the appeal at the De Novo hearing following submission of Laura’s skeleton argument.

N v SSHD: Laura successfully appealed the Home Office refusal of asylum in a case involving a child victim of human trafficking.

Family
Re W: Laura represented the mother in public law proceedings who was accused of being involved in arranging the kidnap of the child while in the father’s care.
P v M: Laura acted for the mother in private law proceedings, all 5 of mother’s allegations were either conceded in cross-examination or found proved during a fact-finding hearing.

Personal Injury
S v BLL: Laura represented the claimant child in respect of injuries to his foot in an incident involving the pedal of a go-kart. Liability, causation and quantum were in dispute. Laura successfully argued that rather than for want of parental supervision, the Defendant’s own procedures and systems were inadequate and it had not taken all reasonably practicable steps to discharge the duty owed under section 2 of the Occupiers’ Liability Act 1957.

Landlord and Tenant
F v W & R: Laura represented Defendant tenants in a claim for possession. Once instructed, Laura identified a point of law that invalidated the s21 Notice thus ending proceedings in the Defendants’ favour without the need for a trial.

M v T: Laura represented the Claimant in a claim for unpaid rent and defended the counter-claim for compensation for improvements in respect of a dispute arising under the Agricultural Tenancies Act 1995.

Qualifications

2011-2012: BPTC (Outstanding)
2007-2011: Law and German LLB (Hons) University of Bristol

Awards and Prizes

2014: Ann Felicity Goddard Scholarship (Gray’s Inn)
2012: Western Circuit Advocacy Prize
2011: Gray’s Inn Junior Award

Interests

German language, singing, foreign travel, yoga

Testimonials

“Laura’s legal expertise cannot be faulted, and she stands out from the crowd on the basis that she is an absolute pleasure to work with. An incredible ability to sift through reams of paperwork and identify the key issues with precision” Solicitor

“Laura prepares her cases in staggering detail. She has great client care skills and is highly recommended.”
Family Partner, Bristol