Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law
Immigration bail training course out now
Judicial appointments latest: presenting officer becomes immigration judge

Judicial appointments latest: presenting officer becomes immigration judge

Another five salaried judges have been appointed to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) in the past fortnight, all to be based in London.

  • Joe Neville, 37, solicitor turned barrister. A former legal blogger – which activity is actually permitted by the judicial conduct guidelines – focusing on employment law, but more recently practising in commercial and immigration.
  • Margaret O’Keeffe, 56, solicitor. A fee-paid immigration judge for over a decade.
  • Mark Blundell, 39, barrister. A former Home Office presenting officer – the first, we think, to become a salaried judge. Appointed a fee-paid immigration judge in 2011, shortly after beginning pupillage at Lamb Building.
  • Jo Swaney, 43, solicitor. Immigration expert. Senior solicitor at Coram Children’s Legal Centre, sits on the Law Society’s immigration law committee, co-author of the forthcoming edition of Phelan & Gillespie.
  • Sean O’Brien, 54, barrister. An employment specialist with several years’ experience as a fee-paid employment judge. Before call to the bar, spent two decades in the Royal Air Force and “concluded his career in the British Embassy in Moscow”, according to a chambers profile.

The judicial appointments just keep coming: this post reports the 11 judges selected in early January.

CJ McKinney

CJ is Free Movement's deputy editor. He's here to make sure that the website is on top of everything that happens in the world of immigration law, whether by writing articles, commissioning them out or considering submissions. When not writing about immigration law, CJ covers wider legal affairs at the website Legal Cheek and on Twitter: follow him @mckinneytweets.

Not yet a member?

Get unlimited access to articles, a thriving forum, free e-books, online training materials with downloadable training certificates, and much more.

Worried about preparing an immigration application yourself?

Try our Full Representation Service, provided by Seraphus Solicitors.

Join Now

Benefits Include

  • Clear, transparent fees
  • Fees fixed for each stage of your application or appeal
  • Personal client web access page and messaging system
  • Online payments, document upload & video calls
  • Expert representation