020 7650 1200

Immigration and asylum law specialist Jacqueline McKenzie joins Leigh Day

Jacqueline McKenzie, who specialises in immigration and asylum law, has joined Leigh Day

Posted on 13 July 2021

Law firm Leigh Day is welcoming new partner Jacqueline McKenzie who brings her refugee and immigration law expertise as a new area of work for the firm. Jacqueline will lead a team who will specialise in immigration and civil rights cases.

With the arrival of Jacqueline, Leigh Day will now be able to represent people who believe their rights have been breached in relation to immigration and asylum issues, including in areas such as settlement, nationality, deportation and human rights as well as in allied areas such as unlawful detention.

Jacqueline also represents hundreds of people affected by the Windrush scandal and has been working to secure the rights of Caribbean-born Britons, those who came into the country legally between the 1950s and 1980s, since before the scandal hit the headlines in 2018. She has been a campaigner on the rights of the Windrush generation in themes including education, social welfare, criminal justice and civil rights and some of these issues will be reflected in her work at Leigh Day.

Jacqueline was a member of the independent advisory group that delivered the Windrush Lessons Learned Review in March 2020 which resulted in an official apology from the Home Secretary. The report concluded that the government’s actions, and the terrible consequences that followed, had been "foreseeable and avoidable", and that immigration regulations had been tightened "with complete disregard for the Windrush generation". She had an article published in the Discrimination Law Journal on the Windrush Lessons Learned Review and gave oral and written evidence to the Home Affairs Committee on the Windrush Compensation Scheme.

Power Media ranked her at number seven in its Powerlist 2021 for her work helping those affected by the Windrush scandal and she has won several other awards for her legal and campaigning work, including: the Legacy Awards Lifetime Achievement Award (2018), the European Diversity Awards Campaigner of the Year (2019), The Black Solicitors Network Small Law Firm of the Year (2019) and the Black Excellence Humanitarian Award (2020).

Jacqueline has worked on several high-profile cases over the years including for the family of the late Jean Charles de Menezes, a Brazilian man who was shot dead in Stockwell station, by police, after being mistaken for a suicide bomber

Jacqueline was admitted as a solicitor in England in Wales in 2008 after a 20-year local government career and worked at Birnberg Peirce and Partners, before moving on to run her own immigration consultancy, McKenzie Beute and Pope, in 2010. She took a sabbatical between 2012 to 2014 during which time she was chief executive of the female prisoners’ welfare association, Hibiscus Initiatives, which works with foreign national women in prisons in the UK and she is the founder of the Centre for Migration Advice and Research. Jacqueline is admitted to practice at the Grenada Bar.

Jacqueline McKenzie said:

“I am delighted to be joining Leigh Day who have a formidable reputation of being at the forefront of human rights causes. There is much work to be done and I believe this move will enable me to be better able to support people who need representation and who are some of the most vulnerable in society.”

Jamie Beagent, head of the human rights department at Leigh Day, added:

“We are so pleased to have Jacqueline and all her experience joining us at Leigh Day. Her tireless work for those seeking asylum and refugee status will continue at Leigh Day and as a firm we are excited to be able to offer this new area of legal expertise to those that need it.”