Rudolph Spurling

Call: 2007

Practice areas

Public Access : Yes


  • BA (Hons) English, First Class (University College London)
  • MA English Before 1525 (King’s College London)
  • LLB (Hons) (Graduate Diploma in Law and Bar Vocational Course), 2:1 (College of Law)


Rudolph has a broad-based common-law practice in public and civil law.

Before coming to the Bar, Rudolph worked in several different areas.  He was a freelance lexicographer and a research assistant on the Survey of English Usage at University College London during 1989, between completing his BA and starting his MA.  In 1991, he went to China, where he taught English as a foreign language and teaching methodology at what is now Anyang Normal University, Henan Province, China until 1994.  After returning to the UK in 1995, he worked as a local government officer at the London Boroughs of Camden (1995-6) and Hammersmith & Fulham (1996-2005), where among other duties he headed the borough’s parking and traffic appeals section.

As a law student, he volunteered for Bail for Immigration Detainees and undertook pro bono work at the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal.


Rudolph represents appellants in asylum and immigration appeals of all kinds. In the last 5 years, he has represented clients from around 35 nations, with particular experience of pursuing claims for asylum from Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Albania. Recent cases of interest include the current Sri Lanka Country Guidance case, in which Rudolph appeared as lead Counsel for the second appellant and then appealed the outcome to the Court of Appeal. He has also enjoyed success in representing gay Pakistani clients in the Detained Fast Track system and numerous cases invoking Article 8 and the best interests of children. He is currently instructed with Chambers colleague Anas Khan in a case on mixed marriages and religious freedom in Pakistan, which is being case-managed as a potential Country Guidance case.


Rudolph accepts instruction in private and public law, mainly in contract, property, landlord and tenant (commercial and residential) and housing disputes.


  • Human Rights Lawyers’ Association
  • Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association


  • French (basic/intermediate)
  • Mandarin Chinese (basic/intermediate)


Rudolph lives in Tooting with a BBC World Service journalist wife, a son and daughter of primary school age, lots of books and several guitars. He has travelled in about 30 countries and lived on 3 continents.

Related cases

  • MP (Sri Lanka) and NT (Sri Lanka) v SSHD [2014] EWCA Civ 829: Rudolph was led by Raza Hussain QC for the second appellant, NT, in an appeal against GJ and Others (post-civil war: returnees) Sri Lanka CG.  He argued NT’s personal appeal, which was allowed and remitted to the Upper Tribunal.
  • MP (Sri Lanka) and NT (Sri Lanka) v SSHD (2013) EWCA (unreported permission hearing): Rudolph argued successfully on behalf of the second appellant, NT, for permission to appeal GJ and Others (post-civil war: returnees) Sri Lanka CG.
  • GJ and Others (post-civil war: returnees) Sri Lanka CG [2013] UKUT 00319 (IAC): The current country guidance case on claims arising out of the Sri Lankan Civil War, in which Rudolph was leading counsel for the second appellant, NT.
  • R on the application of LR (Sri Lanka) v SSHD JR/903/2014 (2014) UKUT (unreported): Judicial Review permission granted; settled by consent. Rudolph represented LR, who had become appeal rights exhausted within the Detained Fast Track system. A fresh asylum claim based upon new documentary evidence was refused without right of appeal in reliance upon previous credibility findings without taking sufficient account of the new evidence on its own merits.
  • R on the application of Atif (Pakistan) and Others v SSHD (2013) EWHC (unreported): Judicial Review permission granted; settled by consent. Rudolph represented the claimants, whose applications had been refused by the Secretary of State in reliance upon Appendix FM criteria arguably excluded by her own Statement of Changes. The Secretary of State later resisted a similar argument unsuccessfully in Edgehill & Anor v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 402.
  • R on the application of FK (Rwanda) v SSHD (2013): Rudolph represented FK, whom the Secretary of State sought to return to Belgium under the Dublin II Regulations. He challenged the decision in light of evidence showing that the claimant had been trafficked but had not been referred to the Competent Authority. The case was settled by consent pre-permission stage.
  • R on the application of MAM (Somalia) v SSHD (2011): Rudolph represented the claimant, who was a long-term absconder after having become appeal rights exhausted following an unsuccessful asylum claim. Over the next several years, 12 members of his family (including his 4 children) came to the UK and were granted asylum or family reunion. The claimant made a further attempt to claim asylum in Sweden but was returned to the UK under the Dublin II Regulations, where his claim was certified. Rudolph challenged the certification in reliance upon the evidence of the claimant’s family’s cases and the continuing risk in Somalia. The case was settled by consent pre-permission stage.
  • MWM v SSHD DA/00311/2013 (2014) (unreported): Rudolph acted for the appellant in his successful deportation challenge at the First-tier Tribunal and in successfully resisting the Secretary of State’s appeal to the Upper Tribunal before a panel chaired by the Chamber President.
  • JMA (Somalia) v SSHD DA/00644/2013 (2013) (unreported): Rudolph acted for the appellant in his successful appeal to the Upper Tribunal before a panel chaired by the Chamber President. The President found that JMA had been deprived of a fair hearing before the First-tier Tribunal because it had proceeded in his absence in spite of challenges to his credibility and that the Tribunal had failed to assess his case properly in light of the relevant country guidance case law. Rudolph later obtained JMA’s release from custody on bail without sureties after 26 months’ immigration detention.

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Rudolph Spurling

Rudolph Spurling
10 King's Bench Walk
London EC4Y 7EB
(t) +44 (0)20 7353 7742
(f) +44 (0)20 7583 0579
(DX) 24 LDE

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