- L.L.B (Hons) English Law with French Law (The University of Manchester)
- Diplôme d’études Universitaires Françaises (DEUF – Droit) (L’Université Jean Moulin Lyon III)
- B.P.T.C (The University of Law)
Maria joined Chambers following the successful completion of her pupillage. She has a mixed common-law practice encompassing Immigration and Criminal law. Maria is developing a reputation as a robust advocate who strives to achieve the best outcome for her clients whilst maintaining an approachable manner.
Prior to commencing pupillage Maria gained substantial legal experience both in this jurisdiction and abroad, with a particular focus on Human Rights Law. Maria spent three months interning at the state defender office in New Orleans, Louisiana, which represented all individuals at post-conviction appeal stage on death row. Maria also completed internships at Fair Trials and Reprieve.
Maria has maintained a commitment to pro bono work; she currently sits on the Executive Board of Vocalise, a programme run by Gray’s Inn which teaches British Parliamentary Debating to prisoners, having previously been a director. At university, Maria was elected onto the boards of the Student Action for Refugees Society as well as the Pro Bono Society.
Maria has also volunteered at the Manchester Legal Advice Clinic, the Personal Support Unit and run an Amnesty International student group.
Maria is regularly instructed in publicly and privately funded appeals in both the First Tier and Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber in relation to asylum and human rights matters. Maria regularly represent minors in asylum proceedings involving complicated legal issues and necessitating emotional sensitivity.
Maria regularly advises and drafts grounds of appeal in relation to EEA and Business Immigration matters as well as Judicial Review proceedings.
Maria has been described by an Immigration Judge of the First Tier Tribunal in an asylum determination as having put the client’s asylum case with, “…an unusually high level of skill and presence”. (AB (Iran) v SSHD (2016))
- SS (Afghanistan) v SSHD (2017): Successfully represented a young Afghan man who feared the Taliban, both on the grounds of age pursuant to KA (Afghanistan) and inability to internally relocate pursuant to AK (Article 15(c)) Afghanistan; unusually, theappeal was allowed on the spot in open court
- EA (Turkey) v SSHD (2017): Successfully represented a Kurdish Turkish Appellant arguing risk of return due to involvement with the HDP and perceived involvement with the PKK
- ZA (Iran) v SSHD (2017): Successfully represented the Appellant in asylum proceedings arguing a breach of ECHR Article 3 in relation to prison conditions on return
- AS (Iran) v SSHD (2017): Appeal allowed in the Upper Tribunal as the First Tier Tribunal Judge had made an error of law in relation to risk of return for individuals associated with illegal Kurdish political parties
- SM (Iran) v SSHD (2017): Successfully argued an error of law in the Upper Tribunal due to the misapplication of the appropriate burden of proof for child Appellants affecting their credibility
- OK (Turkey) v SSHD (2016): Successfully represented the Appellant, a minor, in asylum proceedings arguing risk of return to Turkey
Maria prosecutes regularly and is a Grade 1 CPS Advocate Panel; she has received substantial positive feedback for her approach in dealing with vulnerable witnesses in court including victims of domestic violence and child sex offenses.
Maria also undertakes a variety of defence work, with a particular emphasis on youth justice, and has experience of dealing with most areas of general crime including assault, theft, criminal damage, public order and drug offenses.
- R v (1) JKK, (2) JKK & (3) TS (2017): Represented a youth in relation to a multi-handed fight between school pupils, successfully made a half time submission on the second limb of Galbraith that a s.4A Public Disorder charge was not made out; the defendant was there after found not guilty of the second charge of assault by beating due to lawful defence of another
- R v (1) BB & (2) FS (2017): Represented a youth charged with assault by beating who was found not guilty following a finding of lawful self defence
- R v AA (2016): Represented the defendant charged with assault by beating in a domestic context, made a successful submission of no case to answer on the second limb of Galbraith due to the tenuous nature of the prosecution evidence
- Ede & Ravenscroft Prize (2015)
- Churchill Scholarship (2014)
- Treasurer’s Award (2014)
- Best Debating Style (2012)
- French (fluent)
- Romanian (proficient)
- Portuguese (proficient)
- Traveling – Maria has lived in four countries and traveled over two continents
- Olympic weightlifting
- Bar Pro Bono Unit