Julia returned to self-employed practice at TGC in July 2012 following a successful and diverse career as a government lawyer. Since returning to chambers, Julia has developed a strong public and EU law practice, particularly in the fields of social security, EU free movement and immigration. Julia also specialises in insurance fraud. Julia was a pupil and then a tenant in chambers between 1996 and 2000.


“She has a real feel for EU law, and an intuitive feeling for how the law will move.”
(EU Law) Chambers and Partners 2019

‘An outstanding barrister with an encyclopaedic knowledge of EU law. She is a phenomenally hard worker and has outstanding judgement.’
(EU Law) Legal 500 2019

‘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

Professional Memberships



French and German (working knowledge)

Attorney General Panel

Appointed to B panel

Mohamed and Kavanagh v SSWP [2019] EWCA Civ 272

Represented SSWP, led by Gerry Facenna QC at Monckton Chambers. Case concerning “genuine and sufficient link” requirement, a condition of entitlement for certain disability benefits.

Fatima & ors v SSHD [2019] EWCA Civ 124

Sole counsel for SSHD. Case concerning limits on rights of “extended family members” under EU law. Court of Appeal accepted SSHD’s argument that recent CJEU authorities had not changed requirement for dependency on an EEA national. Pending application for permission to appeal at Supreme Court.

R (Connell) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] 1 WLR 3930

Instructed for SSHD. Court of Appeal rejected Claimant’s argument that SSHD was required to deport him to Ireland. Led by David Blundell at Landmark Chambers in Court of Appeal, sole counsel in Administrative Court: [2017] EWHC 100 (Admin).

R (Foley) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 488 (Admin)

Counsel for SSHD; Court rejected the Claimant’s argument that SSHD had unlawfully fettered discretion in relation to deportation of Irish nationals. Led by David Blundell at Landmark Chambers.

Cases on application of Tolley JG v SSWP [2019] UKUT 83 (AAC); KR v SSWP [2019] UKUT 85 (AAC); SSWP v TG [2019] UKUT 86; GK v SSWP [2019] UKUT 87 (AAC)

Test cases in the Upper Tribunal about EU social security co-ordination rules, following the CJEU’s judgment in SSWP v Tolley [2017] 1 WLR 1261.

FE V SSWP (RP) [2019] UKUT 61 (AAC)

New State Pension: effect of previous reciprocal agreement with Australia.

VL v SSWP [2018] UKUT 403 (AAC)

Overpayments and misrepresentation: application of presumption of regularity and burden of proof.

VMcC v SSWP (IS) [2018] UKUT 63 (AAC)

Capital held in undisclosed bank accounts (Quistclose trusts). Relevance of cultural values when making adverse credibility findings.

LH v SSWP (PIP) [2018] UKUT 57 (AAC)

What common law fairness or Article 6 ECHR requires to be included in SSWP’s appeal response to FTT.


Sole counsel for SSHD in two test cases in the Court of Appeal, concerning the Zambrano principle and the implications of Case C-133/15 Chavez Vilchez and others in “family unit” cases. David Blundell of Landmark Chambers represented SSHD in a linked appeal concerning adult carers of British citizens. Now  appeal to Supreme Court

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Instructed as sole counsel for HMRC. The Court of Appeal upheld HMRC’s decision that Mrs Arthur’s husband was ordinarily resident in the UK and thus that she ought to have made a joint claim for tax credits.


Case concerning: (i) the quality of residence necessary to establish permanent residence under Article 17 of Directive 2004/38; and (ii) the proportionality of the extension of the Worker Registration Scheme between 2009 and 2011. Now on appeal to Supreme Court.  Led by Martin Chamberlain QC and David Blundell


Instructed for SSHD. Administrative Court rejected Claimant’s argument that s.120 of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 required SSHD to consider an application based on EU law rights. Claimant’s reliance on EU law principle of equivalence also rejected.

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FM V SSWP (DLA) [2017] UKUT 380 (AAC)

Instructed for SSWP. Upper Tribunal rejected FM’s ECHR and Equality Act 2010 challenge to the past presence test applicable to Disability Living Allowance.


The Court of Appeal dismissed Mr Ahmed’s appeal against the decision of the Upper Tribunal in R (Bilal Ahmed) v SSHD [2015] UKUT 00436 (IAC), in which the UT held that Mr Ahmed did not have a right of appeal which was suspensive of his removal. Instructed for SSHD, led by Colin Thomann at 39 Essex Chambers in Court of Appeal.

Garland v HMRC [2016] UKUT 0431 (TCC)

EU social security co-ordination legislation and retrospective payment of voluntary national insurance contributions.

Sala (EFMS: Right Of Appeal) [2016] UKUT 00411 (IAC)

Instructed for SSHD. Test case on appeal rights of those claiming to have a right to reside as an extended family member under EU law.

Court of Appeal considers genuine and sufficient link test

11th February 2019

Julia Smyth, led by Gerry Facenna QC at Monckton Chambers, represented the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions in two appeals heard in the Court of Appeal on 7 February 2019, concerning the “genuine and sufficient link” test as it applies to Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance.

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Three members of TGC elevated to “B” panel

12th July 2018

TGC are delighted to announce that Julia Smyth, Emma Price and Sian Reeves’ applications for the Attorney General “B” Panel of counsel have been successful, all three having previously been on the Attorney General “C” panel.

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Court of Appeal hands down important judgment on “Zambrano” principle

13th December 2017

Julia Smyth, instructed by the Government Legal Department, successfully represented the Secretary of State for the Home Department (“SSHD”) in two of the appeals, concerning the parents of British citizen children; David Blundell, of Landmark Chambers, successfully represented SSHD in the third, concerning the primary carer of an adult British citizen. The judgment is reported as Patel v SSHD; SSHD v Shah and Bourouisa [2017] EWCA Civ 2028.

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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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GDPR Privacy Notice

Thank you for choosing to instruct me in your case. I will need to collect and hold your personal information in order to represent you. I will take all reasonable steps to protect your personal information. I will do all that I reasonably can to ensure I do not infringe your rights or undermine your trust.

This Privacy Notice describes the information I collect, how it is used and shared, and your rights regarding it.

Data Controller

I am registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) as a Data Controller for the personal data that I hold and process as a barrister. My registered address is Temple Garden Chambers, 1 Harcourt Buildings, London, EC4Y 9DA and my registration number is Z3227520.

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My Lawful Basis is Legitimate Interest, namely the provision of professional services and the proper exercise of my professional obligations and responsibilities. My Lawful Bases may also include: consent and/or performance of a contract or steps to enter a contract and/or compliance with a legal obligation.

When I process sensitive personal data, I do so where necessary for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or where courts are acting in their judicial capacity.

I use your information :

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I do not use automated decision-making in the processing of your personal data.

I collect and process both personal data and special categories of personal data as defined in the GDPR. This includes:

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I retain personal data while you remain a client or for as long as is necessary for me to meet my legal and professional obligations. My Retention and Disposal Policy (copy available on request) details how long I hold data for and how I dispose of it when it no longer needs to be held.

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