Tim Barnden

Partner and Head of Immigration


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

    Chambers 2019

  • 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 a Partner in the Immigration Department advising clients across the full range of personal, business immigration, and human rights and refugee based claims.

More than 17 years qualified, I started my practice in the Legal Aid sector, moving on to work for 10 years within a highly regarded niche immigration firm: Wesley Gryk LLP, before joining Bates Wells. I am equally at ease working with high net worth individuals and their families, organisations and businesses, couples and family groups, and vulnerable applicants.

I have long been listed a leader in the field of personal immigration in the Chambers Directory.

  • I secured Tier 1 Exceptional Talent/Promise status for a leading avant-garde young composer and musician (1 of only 1,000 permits available for issue per year)
  • I resolved the status of a long term unlawfully resident family by arguing that the best interests of their children lay in being educated in the UK
  • I secured an unmarried partner’s permit for a gay man who had difficulties providing documentary proof of his cohabitation with his partner.
  • I’ve won refugee status for a gay man from Jamaica, and for an Iranian blogger and human rights activist.
  • I persuaded UK Visas and Immigration to grant indefinite leave to remain to a noted film maker with Tier 1 General status despite him having been absent from the UK for “excessive” periods over the relevant qualifying years.
  • I won the appeal of an elderly grandmother from Zimbabwe.
  • I’ve secured numerous “permanent residence” documents for EEA nationals and their family members.

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

  • Former Chair of Trustees of UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration Group (UKLGIG) and ongoing volunteer lawyer for the same.
  • Former Trustee/Board member Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA)
  • Trainer for ILPA, Office of the Immigration Service Commissioner (OISC) and many others