Joanna Thomson

Joanna Thomson

Background

Joanna Thomson is a partner at Deighton Pierce Glynn who qualified as a solicitor in 1992. Jo has worked at the firm since 2000. She became a partner in 2003.

Expertise

Jo is an experienced and versatile lawyer with extensive experience of bringing judicial reviews against local and central government. She has a diverse caseload including unlawful detention, human rights, migrant support and discrimination cases. She is particularly skilled at working with clients with serious mental health problems or other disabilities and she has extensive experience in acting for those who lack mental capacity. Jo is recommended in Chambers for her work in Administrative and Public Law.

Jo has a strong expertise in immigration detention. She has been involved in many test cases which have challenged detention policies, and currently acts for Core Participants in the public inquiry into abuse at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre, the first public inquiry into immigration detention in the UK. She works closely with Bail for Immigration Detainees, Detention Action, Gatwick Detainee Welfare Group and Medical Justice. She is our lead solicitor in the firm’s immigration detention and prison law department.

For many years Jo has also specialised in the law relating to migrants’ rights to accommodation and welfare provision and in the human rights law implications of decisions in this complex area.

The High Court, Court of Appeal and and Supreme Court cases in which she has acted (mentioned below) have played an important part in shaping the law that affects immigration detainees and migrants.

Jo also has almost three decade’s experience of conducting cases. She now concentrates on more complex judicial reviews and private law claims in the County Court, Administrative Court and higher courts. She is regularly instructed by the Official Solicitor.

Sample Cases

Significant cases in which Jo has acted include:

R (MA and BB) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (High Court and Court of Appeal) – successful Judicial Review of the Secretary of State’s refusal to hold a public inquiry into abuse and maltreatment of immigration detainees which breached Article 3 European Convention on Human Rights.

Brook House Public Inquiry – Jo acts for Core Participants BB and Gatwick Detainee Welfare Group in this the first public inquiry into immigration detention in the UK. The Inquiry follows the successful JR in R (MA and BB) v SSHD.

R (on the application of Humnyntskyi & Ors) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (High Court) – successful complex test case challenging the legality of Government’s Schedule 10 bail accommodation policy.

R (SL) v Westminster City Council (Supreme Court) – important test case on accommodation duties of local authorities with interventions from Mind and Freedom from Torture.

R (Razai and others) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (High Court) – successful challenge of Home Office policy on the grant of bail addresses to immigration detainees.

LB Croydon and LB Hackney v AW, A and Y -and- Secretary of State for the Home Department (Court of Appeal) – responsibility for supporting destitute asylum seekers with health problems.

R(AW) v LB Croydon; R(A, D & Y) v LB Hackney & Secretary of State for the Home Department (High Court) – failure to provide assistance breached Article 3 European Convention on Human Rights.

R (A) v NASS & L B Waltham Forest (Court of Appeal) – inadequate accommodation for disabled children of asylum seeker.

R (Fetiti) v SSHD & Islington LBC (Court of Appeal) – Article 3 ECHR breached when asylum support refused for alleged intentional destitution.

L B Merton v Richards (Court of Appeal) – judge entitled to dismiss possession claim based on false statements.