Career profile

Following completion of his undergraduate in 1991, Simon worked as a paralegal and successfully undertook a part-time post-graduate degree in law.  Simon continued his paralegal work and undertook his Legal Practice Course on a part-time basis, before securing a training contract and qualifying in 1998 with a city commercial firm, Clyde & Co. An International Law Firm.  Simon returned to High Street work choosing to specialize in immigration, employment, welfare benefits, and debt recovery. 

From 2000, Simon concentrated on substantive immigration work and has conducted numerous matters within the jurisdictions of the IAT and The Supreme Courts of Justice.  Simon feels his high success rate with Judicial Review and Court of Appeal proceedings is due to his professional dedication and successful working partnership with Junior and Leading Counsel.  Indeed, until today, Simon works closely with a panel of seven immigration barristers who carry out a significant amount of “pro-bono” advice work on asylum appeal matters and/or “Overstayer” matters in which many appeal rights have been exhausted.

In June 2002, Simon’s dedication to immigration law was rewarded with an appointment to the Law Society’s Immigration Law Panel. 

Simon is very conscious of the significant political and media attention given to immigration practitioners in the United Kingdom and feels strongly that all asylum applicants in the United Kingdom should be properly and professionally represented.  Indeed, one of Simon’s previous employers, Messrs Sheikh & Co. Solicitors described Simon in their Office Manual as;

“Simon deals with all aspects of Immigration Law including Appeals and Judicial review matters. Simon is extremely dedicated to his profession and conducts himself and his caseload in a highly professional and effective manner. His exemplary conduct and leadership skills has led to him being appointed as a Supervisor in May 2002. He provides training and support to members of staff and is an invaluable member of the team.”

At Sheikh & Co. Solicitors, Simon was primarily responsible for the supervision and training of a team of 5 fee earners (two solicitors, and three case-workers).  In June 2002, Simon’s dedication to immigration work was rewarded with an appointment to the Law Society’s Immigration Law Panel as an expert in both the areas of asylum and general immigration. 

In October 2002, Simon was invited to work with the Legal Service Commission (Supplier Development Group) on a consultancy basis participating in a research project in relation to the Transaction Criteria under the General Civil Contract.  Simon completed all his contractual duties and received positive feedback in relation to his involvement.  

It is notable that Simon assisted with the development of immigration law and practice.  Some of Simon’s Public Law cases included consideration of matters questioning whether the Secretary of State acted lawfully in certifying that the claimant’s allegation is manifestly unfounded.

Some case examples:

  • Ms TP (04.2003):  Latvian national. Domestic Violence, Rape, and Mental Health.  Further Representations.  Certified under s.115 (1).

Argued:  Claimant should not be removed until a proper assessment could be made of her mental health and the potential ramifications if she was removed in the short term.  Further, the representations made on her behalf were not properly addressed.

Outcome:  Invitation to withdraw proceedings by the Treasury Solicitor/SSHD. 

  • Ms FM (04.2003):  Albanian national. Prostitute/Sex-Trade. Third Country (Italy).  Certified under s.94(2). 

Argued:  In the context where Albanian claimant’s much less vulnerable than this one, brought cases, raising the same issue of sufficiency of protection, at around the time when the SSHD was considering this claimant’s case, and where the courts or the SSHD took an entirely different view from the one taken by the SSHD in this case, it was very difficult to see that the SSHD could have properly found that this case was clearly unfounded.

Outcome:  Invitation to withdraw proceedings by the Treasury Solicitor/SSHD

  • Ms AE (05.2003):  Jamaican national. Persecution and Harassment by the Police, two minor dependants, vulnerable category, internal flight.  Certified under s.94 (2). 

Argued:  Given the acceptance that the credibility of the Claimant’s account has largely not been challenged, it was argued that neither the asylum nor the human rights claim could properly be said to be “clearly unfounded”.  Further, it is unreasonable of the SSHD to remove a person without any apparent mechanism or structure being in place for an “out of country” appeal in the country to which they where being returned. 

Outcome:  Invitation to withdraw proceedings by the Treasury Solicitor/SSHD. 

  • Mr UK (09.2003):  Albanian national. Forged passport, disputed age/minor.  Certified under s.94(2). 

Argued:  The decision to process the Claimant’s application and remove him as if he were an adult was flawed as the SSHD did not carry out any proper investigation relating to the Claimant’s claim to be a minor and did not afford him the opportunity of adducing evidence to establish his claim.  Further, the SSHD’s decision to continue to treat the Claimant as an adult and apply the “fast-track” procedure at Oakington was therefore based on an unfair procedure. 

Outcome:  Invitation to withdraw proceedings by the Treasury Solicitor/SSHD. 

In January 2003, Simon accepted an appointment with Duncan Lewis & Co. Solicitors as a supervising solicitor.  As a supervisor, Simon assisted with the interviewing and recruitment of his team members.  Simon trained and developed a team of seven immigration practitioners, all of whom have now gone onto have their own successful legal careers.  In April 2003, Simon was appointed a Director of Duncan Lewis & Co.  Between April 2003 and July 2004, Simon spearheaded, set-up and expanded the Business Immigration Department. 

In 2004, Simon achieved a career goal of setting up a law firm, CK Solicitors which has been awarded a Legal Aid Franchise in the category of Immigration.  As a direct result of the efforts made by the Partners of CK Solicitors (Mr Simon Chitolie and Mrs Harvinder Kaur), CK Solicitors were awarded eleven publically funding contracts in nine publically funding areas:  Immigration, Crime, Family, Mental Health, Housing, Employment, Welfare Benefits, Debt, and Community Care.

As a of CK Solicitors, Simon has developed a unique incite and understanding into the logistical working of the Legal Services Commission.  Simon and his Partner, Mrs Harvinder Kaur, have an excellent audit record since being awarded a Legal Aid contract in 2004.  Indeed, CK Solicitors have never failed an audit whether Pre-Special Quality Mark, Post -Special Quality Mark, Cost Compliance Audit, or Peer Review.

Since setting up CK Solicitors, Simon worked within the area of mental health law particularly on the numerous overlapping client matters where immigration issues arise.  Simon continues to specialise in Immigration matters.  Simon has continued to work in partnership with numerous Non Profit Organisations and often conducts legal surgeries on a weekly basis.  Simon has an established immigration client following and his current immigration legal experience is vast, covering, amongst other things; asylum, bail, human rights (including HIV/Aids, and “Overstayers”), settlement, entry clearance, revocation of ILR, all nationality and citizenship matters, all managed migration matters, all appeals, and public law. 

Simon is an immigration practitioner who is fully versed with conducting immigration matters whether under a LAA publicly funding scheme (“controlled” or licensed”) or as a private client matter.    Simon’s practicing immigration experience now covers a wide range of legal areas, however his passion remains immigration.