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Dr S Chelvan

Senior Member of Advisory Committee, Association of British Tamil Lawyers

Dr S Chelvan is a globally recognised legal expert and Counsel on refugee and human rights claims based on sexual or gender identity and expression. He is instructed on cases in the UK up to and including the Supreme Court, and the Strasbourg Court.

Career and Education

Dr Chelvan is Head of Immigration and Public Law at 33 Bedford Row Chambers, a leading common law set offering outstanding legal advice and advocacy in Civil, Criminal, Family, Immigration, International and Regulatory law at all levels including work with an international element. He is ranked Band 1 in Legal 500 (2022) (Immigration, London Bar) – “His expertise in sexual identity related asylum claims is world renowned”.

Chelvan has practised in the field of LGBT+ asylum since 2001 and has earned a reputation for being the leading legal expert in the UK, spearheading some of the leading cases since 2005 as well as providing consultation to the United Nations (UNHCR), the IOM, national government departments, lawyers, and NGOs.

In 2021, he was ranked as a “Top 10 Outstanding Contributors to LGBT+ Life Award” for the British LGBT Awards 2021 and shortlisted for the Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusion award for the Chambers UK Bar Awards (2020 and 2021).  Attitude Magazine has ranked him as the only practising lawyer in their Banking, Finance and Legal category for their 101 LGBTQ Trailblazers for 2022.

Chelvan was called to the Bar in 1999 (Inner Temple, Major Scholar), and received a First in Politics and Law from Southampton University in 1998, an LLM from Harvard Law School in 2001 having been awarded a Kennedy Memorial Trust scholarship (UK equivalent of a Rhodes scholarship), and a PhD in Law from King’s College London in June 2019, for his thesis entitled: ‘At the End of the Rainbow: Where Next for the Queer Refugee?”