Joe Middleton > Doughty Street Chambers > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Doughty Street Chambers

Work Department


Joe Middleton is a versatile practitioner with crossover expertise in immigration, extradition, comparative and international law and human rights.

In 2015 Joe won the Bar Pro Bono Award for his human rights work around the world. He was particularly recognised for his contribution to the abolition of the mandatory death penalty in several African countries and his work on human rights in Belize Central Prison.

Joe’s main areas of work in Chambers are immigration and nationality law, extradition, Interpol red notices, death penalty litigation and other complex constitutional and human rights challenges. In civil work he is often instructed with a view to achieving his clients’ objectives by avoiding litigation rather than pursuing it.

Joe is a fluent Russian speaker. He studied in Russia and has acted for many Russian and Ukrainian clients in immigration, extradition and human rights challenges in different courts and tribunals. Former clients include a famous Russian singer (in a complex visit visa application), senior executives of the Yukos Oil Company and a leading Russian shipping company (in asylum and extradition proceedings), and the family of the former President of Chechnya (in an application to the European Court of Human Rights).

Joe has appeared in the UK’s domestic courts at all levels. He has also taken cases in the ECtHR, the Privy Council, the UN Human Rights Committee and, in collaboration with local counsel, in various jurisdictions in Africa and the Caribbean, including litigation in the Caribbean Court of Justice. He has acted as pro bono counsel for British citizens sentenced to death in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana and Kenya, and has appeared as an expert for the amicus curiae in constitutional litigation in the Supreme Court of Kenya.

In 2013 Joe was called to the Bar of Belize by the Hon. Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin. His work in Belize has been featured in a Channel 5 documentary, an episode of Assignment (BBC World Service: see the video trailer here) and in Intelligent Life (The Economist).


Called 1997; Inner Temple. Current directorships: Death Penalty Project Ltd. Publications of note: Immigration Law & Practice (co-author); Butterworths Immigration Law Service (contributor).


French; Russian.


Administrative Law Bar Association

Bar Association of Belize

British-Russian Law Association

Death Penalty Project (director)

Extradition Lawyers’ Association

Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association




UWC of the Atlantic; University of Surrey; (BSc Russian and Soviet Studies (1990); University College London (1991, LLM).

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Immigration (including business immigration)

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 1

Joe MiddletonDoughty Street ChambersHe understands the way the Home Office operate and what arguments will be persuasive. He is calm and great to work with. His advocacy is brilliant, and his client care and team skills are excellent.