Julia returned to TGC in July 2012 following a successful career with the Government Legal Service. She was a pupil and then a tenant at TGC between 1996 and 2000.

Julia is a public and EU law specialist, particularly in the fields of social security, EU free movement and immigration. Since being appointed to the AG’s C Panel in 2014, she has been instructed in a number of key cases in the Court of Appeal, High Court and Upper Tribunal, generally without a leader. Julia also has a busy practice in other areas of chambers’ work, specialising in particular in insurance fraud.


‘A genuine and outstanding free-movement specialist, who handles cases beyond her call.’ (EU Law) Legal 500 2017

‘An effective advocate with an encyclopaedic knowledge of free movement issues.’ (EU Law) Legal 500 2016


Inns of Court School of Law, Bar Vocational Course (1996)
Kings College, University of London (1995) – LLB Law with German Law
University of Passau, Germany (1994) – Diploma in German Law

Professional Memberships



French and German (working knowledge)

Attorney General Panel

Appointed to C panel

Alhashem v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions Court of Appeal [2016] EWCA Civ 395

Julia Smyth, instructed by GLD, successfully represented the Respondent Secretary of State. The Court of Appeal accepted that Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) was not a “labour market benefit” payable to jobseekers from other Member States.

R (Bilal Ahmed) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Court of Appeal [2016] EWCA Civ 603

Instructed by GLD to represent SSHD, led by Colin Thomann at 39 Essex Chambers. The Court of Appeal dismissed the Appellant’s appeal against the decision of the Upper Tribunal in (R (Bilal Ahmed) v SSHD (EEA/s10 appeal rights: effect) [2015] UKUT 00436 (IAC), in which the UT held that Mr Ahmed (a non EEA national considered by SSHD to have entered into a marriage of convenience with an EEA national) did not have a right of appeal which was suspensive of his removal.

Ayinde and Thinjom (Carers – Reg.15A – Zambrano) [2015] UKUT 560 (IAC)

Test case on the applicability of the Zambrano principle to carers of adult Union citizens. Appellants represented by Stephen Knafler QC, with 2 juniors. The Upper Tribunal accepted that the Appellants did not benefit from Zambrano.

TG v Secretary of State for Work & Pensions [2015] UKUT 0050 (AAC)

Challenge to proportionality of extension of UK’s Worker Registration Scheme, applicable to Accession State nationals. Now on appeal to Court of Appeal (led by David Blundell at Landmark Chambers in CA).


Court of Appeals hears Zambrano appeals

14th July 2017

Julia Smyth, instructed by the Government Legal Department, represented the Secretary of State for the Home Department (“SSHD”) in two of three appeals heard by the Court of Appeal on 12 and 13 July. David Blundell of Landmark Chambers represented SSHD in the other appeal.

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Court of Appeal dismisses ESA / EU jobseeker appeal

21st April 2016

In a judgment handed down today (Alhashem v Secretary of State for Work and Pensions [2016] EWCA Civ 395), the Court of Appeal has accepted that jobseekers from other Member States are not entitled to claim Employment and Support Allowance (“ESA”). Julia Smyth successfully represented the Secretary of State.

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