Last month, Alison Harvey left the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA) after 10 years. Described by one admirer as a ‘star of the immigration law world’, she will be missed by the many lawyers she has inspired over her years at the association.
Alison was general secretary of ILPA from 2007 until September 2013, when she became its legal director. As a trainer and writer, she is a leader in her field.
While she says she has no immediate career plans, she readily concedes that whatever she does next will involve working in the area of law in which she enjoys such a high reputation.
As well as being a barrister, Alison has extensive experience of public affairs work. During her time at ILPA she was involved in lobbying on nine parliamentary bills involving immigration law. This put her at the front line of the fight for migrants’ and asylum-seekers’ rights, often in the face of unjust political headwinds.
In the fight against the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, her experience of parliamentary procedure helped inflict the 14 defeats it suffered in the Lords (a record for the parliamentary session). Her forensic attention to detail has also proved invaluable in the ongoing wrangles over the detail of legal aid policy and regulations.
While she might be stepping aside from ILPA, it is hoped that this redoubtable lawyer will re-emerge in another role soon, defending the interests of the vulnerable clients who have always been at the centre of her work.