Khatija Hafesji

Call: 2016

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BA (Cambridge),  MPhil (Oxford), GDL (City University), BPTC (City University)


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Khatija joined Chambers in 2017 after the successful completion of her pupillage. Khatija has a broad practice which covers competition, public law and human rights (with a particular expertise in community care), procurement, information, and tax.

As well as working as part of a team, Khatija is regularly instructed and appears as an advocate in her own right. She has appeared as sole counsel in the High Court (on substantive judicial reviews, interim relief hearings, permission hearings, and urgent out-of-hours applications), the Immigration and Asylum (First-Tier Tribunal), the Information Tribunal, the SENDist Tribunal, the Technology and Construction Court, and the County Court. As of January 2020, Khatija was co-opted to the Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA) Committee.

Prior to joining the bar, Khatija worked as an advocate for children in care for the charity “Coram Voice” for 3 years and was a Tribunal volunteer advocate for IPSEA. She has been a Trustee for “Become”, the charity for children in care, since 2011 and is currently the Senior Independent Trustee.

  • Recent case news
  • Other news
  • Administrative & public

    Khatija has a busy public law practice encompassing a range of led and unled work across the spectrum of administrative law. In addition, she has particular expertise in judicial reviews in the area of Community Care (see the separate Community Care section below). In January 2020, and in recognition of her work to date, Khatija was invited to join the Administrative Law Bar Association (ALBA) Committee and is now a committee member.


    • R (AD) v London Borough of Hackney [2019] EWHC 943 (Admin) – acted with Steve Broach on a challenge to Hackney’s cuts to funding for children with SEN. Acting with David Wolfe QC on the appeal to the Court of Appeal, regarding the meaning and scope of section 27 CFA 2014.
    • Article 39 v Secretary of State for Education (2019) – challenge to a guidance document published by DfE and addressed to local authorities, purporting to “mythbust” the rights and entitlements of children in care. The guidance was withdrawn shortly after the issue of proceedings.
    • R (ME and FE) v London Borough of Greenwich (2018) – a challenge under the Equality Act to Greenwich’s differential treatment of children whose parents have NRPF in the course of section 17 assessments. Greenwich agreed to reconsider its policy immediately after issue.
    • R (WX) v Northamptonshire CC [2018] EWHC 2178 (Admin) – acted with Steve Broach in a successful challenge to Northamptonshire’s decision to close 21 libraries.
    • Khatija was instructed to assist on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.
  • Community care

    Khatija is a highly experienced and in-demand junior in Community Care matters, having worked extensively in the area before coming to the bar. She regularly advises on all matters arising out of the Children Act 1989, age assessments, education, the rights and entitlements of children with SEND,and issues arising under the Care Act.

    Khatija has been a Trustee at “Become”, the charity for children in care, since 2011 and is currently the Senior Independent Trustee. Prior to joining the bar, Khatija was an advocate for children in care at the charity, “Coram Voice” for three years. Khatija was also a Tribunal volunteer for IPSEA, representing families at the SENDist Tribunal for two years.


    • R (JA) v London Borough of Bexley [2019] EWHC 130 (Admin) – acted as sole counsel in a successful challenge to Bexley’s refusal to support a destitute family under section 17 Children Act 1989.
    • R (AB) v Ealing [2019] EWHC 3351 (Admin) – acted as sole counsel in a successful retrospective section 20 Children Act 1989 challenge.
    • R (MS) v Hammersmith and Fulham – acted as sole counsel in a dispute between two local authorities as to who bore the section 20 duty in respect of a vulnerable child, and successfully obtained interim relief on the basis that it was the authority in whose area she was physically present. The case subsequently settled.
    • R (MRA) v Surrey County Council – sole counsel in a successful age dispute challenge, in a complex and unusual case where the child had changed his account of his age three times over a 12-month period. A fuller account of the case can be found here.
    • During pupillage, Khatija assisted Ian Wise QC and Conor McCarthy on R (ZM and SK) v the London Borough of Croydon [2016] UKUT 559 – a notable case concerning the use of dental age assessments.
  • Public procurement

    Khatija is regularly instructed in procurement cases before the Technology and Construction Court. Her clients include the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice, the Department for Education and private clients.


    Her notable cases include:

    • Acting for Her Majesty’s Passport Office in De La Rue’s challenge to the contract for the production of blue passports to Gemalto UK Limited.
    • Acting for the Department of Transport in the recent high-profile “Brexit Ferries” litigation brought by P&O Ferries.
  • Competition & state aid

    Khatija practices in the field of competition law and associated regulatory law before the Competition Appeal Tribunal and Court of Appeal. She also advises private clients in her own right on state aid matters. Recent cases include:

    • FX – assisted in the preparation of class action seeking damages in relation to foreign exchange cartel.
    • Viasat v Ofcom [2018] CAT 18 – appeal pending.

    During pupillage, Khatija was supervised by Rob Williams QC and assisted on competition act enforcement work, including Balmoral Tanks v CMA and CMA v Concordia International. She was also supervised by Ronit Kreisberger QC and assisted on Flynn Pharma / Pfizer v CMA.

  • EU

    Khatija advises and acts on a range of EU legal matters. In 2018, she completed a six-month secondment at the Bank of England assisting in their work to prepare for Brexit. She acted alongside Robert Palmer QC in successfully defending a Francovich claim for damages in Bioplus v Secretary of State for Health [2020] EWHC 329 (QB).


  • Data protection & information

    Khatija regularly advises and acts for the ICO, private clients and public authorities in relation to the Data Protection Act 2018, GDPR and Freedom of Information Act 2000.


    Her recent cases include:

    • University of Bristol v ICO – concerning whether the University of Bristol was obliged to disclose the salaries of its senior staff.
  • Awards and scholarships
    • Phoenicia Scholarship, Bar European Group
    • Major Scholarship, Inner Temple
    • Vice Chancellor’s Civic Award, University of Oxford
    • Albert Hourani Prize, University of Oxford
    • Exceptional Achievement Award, King’s College Cambridge

    Khatija has been a scholar of the Hinduja Cambridge Trust and the Oxford and Cambridge Society of India.

  • Languages
    • Urdu (Advanced)
    • Arabic (Intermediate)
    • Gujarati (Intermediate)