Waleed joined Leigh Day in 2011 before qualifying as a solicitor in 2012. He became a partner in 2022. Waleed has particular expertise in matters relating to immigration detention, deportation and nationality. He acts on behalf of both individuals and charities and his work includes public law claims for judicial review as well as private law claims including for compensation.
What the directories say
I work primarily with Waleed Sheikh who is the leading national security solicitor in the team with a very heavy caseload and good nous for working out what is behind counter-terror measures taken against individuals where the evidence and reasons are not disclosed in the public interest.
Legal 500 2024
Waleed specialises in judicial review and private law claims. Waleed has brought numerous successful challenges on behalf of individuals against the Home Office and other public bodies in relation to unlawful detention, asylum accommodation, electronic monitoring, unlawful use of force and a wide range of other matters affecting migrants’ rights. Waleed acted in a test case on behalf of four claimants challenging Home Office delays in the provision of bail accommodation for high risk immigration detainees. The court found that the Home Office was operating its accommodation policy unlawfully and there had been systemic delays in the provision of bail accommodation. It recommended that the system to be overhauled.
Waleed also specialises in cases involving national security. He has acted on behalf of clients in the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC), the High Court and Court of Appeal where they have been deprived of citizenship, indefinite leave to remain or denied entry clearance on the basis of them being assessed as a risk to national security.
Some of Waleed’s other cases include:
- R (Open Rights Group and the3million) v SSHD and SSDCMS  EWCA Civ 800 – a successful challenge to the lawfulness of the Immigration Exemption contained within the Data Protection Act 2018. The Court of Appeal found that the Immigration Exemption, which allowed for the restriction by the Home Office of important data rights of individuals subject to immigration control, was incompatible with Article 23 of the GDPR, and unlawful.
- R (Marouf) v SSHD  UKSC 23 – an appeal on behalf of a Palestinian refugee challenging the lawfulness of the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme instituted by the Government in 2014. The Scheme relied exclusively on UNHCR to identify vulnerable refugees from Syria to be resettled in the UK. Palestinian refugees fall outside of the remit of UNHCR, which meant that they were effectively excluded form any opportunity for resettlement under the scheme, despite being highly vulnerable.
- A judicial review challenge to the Cabinet Office’s refusal to designate G4S as “High Risk” under its old Strategic Supplier Risk Management Policy;
- R (oao Sathanantham & Ors) v SSHD  EWHC 1781 (Admin) – a successful challenge to the Home Office’s system for provision of bail accommodation to high risk immigration detainees which would result in long delays.
- An intervention on behalf of a number of Muslim charities in the case of Beghal v DPP  UKSC 49, a case challenging the compatibility of detention powers under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act with Articles 5, 6 and 8 of the ECHR;
- Settling damages claims on behalf of a group of six Pakistani men who were detained and handcuffed on a burning bus by escorting officers while being transported from an immigration removal centre to the airport for removal.
- Settling damages claims on behalf of a group of thirty individuals who were detained by the Home Office for the purpose of transfer to a third country, unlawfully and in breach of the Dublin III Regulations, between 1 January 2014 and 17 March 2017.
Prior to joining Leigh Day Waleed worked as an appeals caseworker at the Refugee & Migrant Justice. He also undertook voluntary work in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as well as in Pakistan where he worked on death penalty and extraordinary rendition cases.
What the directories say
Waleed Sheikh – very experienced, calm, capable, knowledgeable.
Legal 500 2023
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