Jessica Smeaton > Chambers of Adrian Keeling KC and Jonathan Jones KC > London, England > Lawyer Profile

Chambers of Adrian Keeling KC and Jonathan Jones KC
No5 Barristers' Chambers
Fifth Floor, 7 Savoy Court

Work Department


Immigration, Asylum and Nationality

International Human Rights

Business Immigration


Barrister specialising in all aspects of employment and immigration law.

Jessica is a specialist in employment litigation and regularly acts in multi-day trials. She has particular experience in representing respondent public authorities, often acting for the NHS. She has an increasing appellate practice in the EAT.

In addition to court representation at first instance and appeals, Jessica advises on all aspects of employment litigation, including unfair dismissal, equal pay and discrimination and provides day-to-day advice on employment issues and employee relations.

Jessica is also an experienced immigration practitioner, undertaking work on a private and publicly-funded basis. She frequently appears in the first-tier and upper tribunals in both immigration and asylum cases and is regularly led in cases of significant legal value at the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Her Business Immigration practice centres on JR challenges to sponsor licence revocations and appeals against civil penalties imposed on businesses found to have been employing illegal workers. She regularly advise business on day-to-day immigration issues, including navigating the Resident Labour Market Test.

Jessica is well-placed to undertake matters involving an overlap between employment and immigration issues including unfair dismissal and discrimination claims concerning the right to work.

Jessica has considerable experience in working with vulnerable clients, including clients who lack capacity to give evidence or conduct proceedings.

Prior to joining the Bar Jessica worked in the pro bono department at Hogan Lovells LLP, advising and representing clients in a range of matters including corporate law, employment, immigration, landlord and tenant, and a broad range of human rights work. She is experienced in advising charities and start-up social enterprises on employment rights. Jessica continues to undertake pro bono employment work for charities and social enterprises.



Called 2008, Middle Temple.
Panel counsel for the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, 2019


French (conversational)


Employment Lawyers Association; Employment Bar Association; Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association.


The European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation, Venice and Université de Montpellier 1, European Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Democratisation, 2008-2009

Inns of Court School of Law, Bar Vocational Course, 2007-2008

University of Leeds, LLB Law, 2004-2007

Lawyer Rankings

London Bar > Immigration (including business immigration)

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 3

Jessica SmeatonNo5 Barristers’ ChambersJessica is an excellent all-rounder: clever, inventive and hardworking.

A ‘strong immigration practice‘ with ‘expertise in most areas‘ of immigration and asylum law, No5 Barristers’ Chambers acts for clients including vulnerable individuals and refugees in the full range of appeals and claims. In Yilmaz v SSHD, Manjit Singh Gill KC appeared before the Lord Chief Justice on a case concerning Home Office breach of duty of candour in relation to out-of-country video link hearings. Practice group head Danny Bazini, meanwhile, led Jessica Smeaton and Ramby De Mello on significant deportation appeals HA (Iraq) v SSHD and RA (Iraq) v SSHD.

London Bar > Employment

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 5

Jessica Smeaton – No5 Barristers’ ChambersJessica is exceptional. She has worked on very difficult cases with a clarity of thought that is appreciated by clients; and, most importantly, she backs up her views and judgements.

Regional Bar > Midland Circuit > Employment

(Leading Juniors)Ranked: Tier 3

Jessica SmeatonNo5 Barristers’ Chambers ‘Jessica has an exceptional skill-set and shows incomparable attention to detail in preparation for hearings. She is amazing with clients, approachable and a truly calming influence to witnesses. Jessica is a “go-to” barrister in the Employment Tribunal.’