Samantha Knights > Matrix Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Matrix Chambers
Matrix Chambers


Barrister specialising in immigration and asylum, civil liberties, administrative and public law and commercial litigation including arbitration. Recent and important cases include: Al Sirri/DD (Afghanistan) v SSHD, UKSC (exclusion under Refugee Convention); NS v SSHD, CJEU (Dublin Regulation transfers and EU charter); Le Geyt v UK, ECtHR (no separate provision for female juvenile offenders in Jersey); SFO v Al Zayat, CA (Crim) (proceeds of crime); Rottenberg v LB Hackney, Div Ct (noise nuisance and Art. 9 ECHR).


Called 1996; Lincoln’s Inn.


Working knowledge of French; basic Russian.


Bar Human Rights Committee; Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association.


Somerville College, Oxford (1993 BA Hons); City University, London (1994 CPE); London School of Economics (2004 LLM).

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Civil liberties and human rights (including actions against the police)

(2018 Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

Samantha Knights QCMatrix ChambersA first-class barrister skilled in immigration and trafficking matters.

For some, Matrix Chambers is ‘the best set for human rights‘ work with its members representing an array of clients including NGO’s and companies on public law, immigration, detention, and data protection matters. The ‘standout‘ Phillippa Kaufmann QC acted for the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants in its judicial review of the government’s hostile environment policy, specifically, the Immigration Act 2013 which obliges private landlords to take measures to ensure those whom they rent to are legal immigrants. In a separate case, Kaufmann QC acted in a judicial review brought against the Director of Public Prosecutions for refusing to prosecute an undercover police officer who had a relationship with an environmental protester he was deployed to spy on. In proceedings before the Privy Council, Tim Owen QC acted for Jay Chandler in bringing an appeal against his murder conviction and death sentence in Trinidad & Tobago. The case raised an important issue on the admissibility of fresh evidence in criminal appeals, specifically in relation to the defence of diminished responsibility. Meanwhile, in ZV v Secretary of State for the Home DepartmentSamantha Knights QC acted for a Lithuanian national trafficked into prostitution in the UK. A case concerned the interface between EU refugee law and trafficking, and unlawful detention of victims of trafficking in immigration detention. International crime specialist Clare Montgomery QC is leading the team instructed in Belhaj v DPP concerning the judicial review of the police decision not to prosecute security service personnel over the rendition of asylum seekers to Libya. Meanwhile, in the Supreme Court, Daniel Squires QC represented the Secretary of State for Education in a challenge brought by an opposite-sex couple challenging the bar on their entering a civil partnership; the court held that the bar was unlawful. Elsewhere, Helen Law was lead counsel for the claimant in R (Bridges) v South Wales Police, the first test case on the use of automatic facial recognition software by the police, and its interference with Articles 8, 10, and 11 of the Human Rights Act 1998, as well as breach of the data protection law.

London Bar > Immigration (including business immigration)

(2018 Silks) Ranked: Tier 1

Samantha Knights QCMatrix ChambersA first-class barrister with a calm, clear and authoritative advocacy style.