Tim Barnden

Partner and Head of Immigration


  • He is an excellent communicator with good attention to detail. He is really good at building relationships and gaining the trust of vulnerable clients.

    Chambers UK 2021 - Band 1

  • He is without doubt a top-tier lawyer. His commitment is outstanding and he provides holistic, client-focused advice.

    Chambers UK 2021 - Band 1

  • He has a lot of empathy and his advice is clear, pragmatic and direct. He doesn't shy away from telling you what he thinks is the best way forward.

    Chambers UK 2021 - Band 1

  • Tim Barnden’s reputation as one of the most experienced and knowledgeable practitioners in this specialist area is well deserved. He is a pleasure to work with and achieves results that elude many other practitioners

    Legal 500 2021

  • He is extremely knowledgeable and meticulous, and presents himself with humility and flexibility.

    Chambers UK 2021 - Band 1

  • Best Lawyer - Immigration

    Best Lawyers 2021 9th Edition

  • A fantastic practitioner with an energetic and creative approach.

    Chambers 2020

  • Tim Barnden is a recognised leader for personal immigration work, receiving accolades for his representation of partners, spouses and dependants in particular

    Chambers 2020

  • Praised for his boundless energy and enthusiasm as well as his excellent technical knowledge

    Chambers 2019

  • Recognised as a Next Generation Partner

    Legal 500 2020

  • Best Lawyer - Immigration Law

    8th Edition of Best Lawyers in the United Kingdom

  • Has 'great client skills and is adept at finding a solution and preparing appeals to the highest standard'

    Legal 500 2018

  • “Recognised as a Best Lawyer”

    Best Lawyers in UK 2019 Edition

  • "A really good, inspiring communicator"

    Chambers UK 2018

  • Tim is a "really dedicated and knowledgeable lawyer"

    Chambers UK 2017

  • Tim has 'a wonderful rapport with clients'

    Legal 500 2016

  • "His commitment to clients and strength and breadth of his knowledge is fantastic"

    Chambers UK 2016

  • "His work is of the highest quality."

    Chambers UK 2016


I am first and foremost an immigration problem solver. I work to establish rights of residence in the UK for individuals, couples and families, even in the most challenging of circumstances, and often in the face of a refusal culture.

I have two decades of experience of working with a truly diverse client base. I make it my job to deliver secure outcomes whether dealing with creatives, refugees, LGBTIQ applicants, vulnerable adults, children, or high net worth individuals. I am also lucky to lead an immigration team which has the right resources and expertise to meet the variety of the challenges that our case load presents.


  • I advised a prominent international fashion director who found himself in difficulties when he came to apply for his permanent stay in the UK

    He had not appreciated the particular items of evidence which he needed to provide in support of his application, found himself having to appeal and faced losing his business as he was unable to travel. He had also unwittingly jeopardised his status altogether by travelling after making his application. I protected his positon by filing an appeal, but then worked to put together a fully supported fresh application which required an intensive amount of liaison with his accountants. Given his lack of immigration status, I then needed to persuade UK Visas and Immigration (“UKVI”) to operate their discretion and accept the application despite the issues with his status. The strategy worked and he now has his permanent stay, and is able to travel again and sustain his business.

  • Over a long period I have advised a vulnerable individual who sought to establish a right of residence on the basis of his marriage to an EU national

    When he was a teenager he had been victimised in a European country, and years later found himself facing extradition to that country on criminal allegations which he denied. He won his case against extradition, but his application to stay here with his young family was refused by the Home Office. I secured expert evidence and liaised with the lawyers who had represented him in his extradition case. The Tribunal allowed his appeal against the refusal in emphatic terms and he now has a permit which confirms he has a right of residence here under EU law.

  • I have over the past two years advised an unmarried couple who wished to be able to relocate to the UK, but who did not wish to marry

    This involved careful advice as to how they might be able to spend time together here in the UK by proper use of the Visitor category, and also to ensure that they documented all of their time together both here in the UK and overseas. The UK partner’s prominence as a performer meant that the highest degree of confidentiality and speedy processing was of prime importance, and a positive decision was secured rapidly once they were able to demonstrate that their time spent living together both here and elsewhere met the UKVI’s criteria.

  • I have recently succeeded in arguing a case where a US national with a diagnosis of schizophrenia was seeking to establish that he can reside here with his mother who is an Irish national

    The family had ill-advisedly been pursuing the case relying upon much more stringent immigration rules than those available under EU law. I worked to demonstrate that his dependency upon his mother engages both his and her rights under EU law, whilst at the same time making use of the Government’s “Settled Status” and “Pre-Settled Status” schemes.

  • Secured ILR on an expedited basis for a Tier 1 Investor and provided strategic advice as to the inter-relation of her application with a wish to relocate to the USA.
  • Assisted a person present in the UK with status as a person with UK ancestry to “switch” her status to that of spouse of a British citizen and have recently made very many other straightforward applications for permission to stay as a partner, to naturalise as a British citizen, or to reside under EU law.
  • Advised a woman who faced “curtailment” of her status as the spouse of a British national following the breakdown of her marriage, and her having been the victim of sustained domestic abuse. Went on to secure permanent stay for her in the UK by amassing evidence of the abuse she had suffered.
  • Assisted a US national, over a two year period, to secure a retained right of residence following her divorce from an EU national, then rights of permanent residence, and most recently British citizenship. The project also involve securing matching rights for her two children.
  • Successfully represented a young Iranian refugee and care leaver who sought protection on the basis of his sexuality, and his religious and political opinions.
  • Advised a gay couple who had been living together long term in the UK, and where one of them had been living here as an overstayer for many years. Established evidence of his residence here for at least 20 years and successfully argued that he had a established a right to recognition of “private life” here, thereby regularising his status.
  • Helped the domestic worker and family companion of a writer to secure indefinite leave to remain on the basis of her life here as the primary and devoted carer for her employer’s son. The case involved first winning an appeal on a “human rights” basis, and thereafter making a renewed application for ILR on the basis of 10 years long residence here.
  • Successfully argued that a Tier 2 worker who had been made redundant and then travelled whilst awaiting “curtailment” should be readmitted to the UK following curtailment, and so that she could then make a new Tier 2 application with her new employer.

Qualifications and career

  • Emmanuel College, Cambridge University. BA English 1986
  • College of Law. Common Professional Examination and Legal Practice Course 1993
  • Trained and qualified at Wilson & Co
  • Legal Aid asylum and human rights lawyer at Glazer Delmar
  • Private immigration associate to partnership at Wesley Gryk LLP

Pro bono, memberships, and appointments

  • Member of ILPA, co-trainer for ILPA’s flagship “Significant Others” course, former ILPA board member/trustee
  • Volunteer lawyer and member of UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) and former Chair of Trustees there