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Jennifer works in;
Business Immigration, Conveyancing, Elderly Client Service, Employment, Family, Immigration, Probate and Will Service
Who? Jennifer Owusu-Barnieh, head of immigration at Danbar Solicitors, Middlesex.
Why is she in the news? She acted for Albert Awuku, who has fought to live in the UK for the past four years. Neither Awuku nor his bride, a German citizen, needed to be present at their nuptials in Ghana in February 2013. The then home secretary Theresa May refused his application for UK residency because she was not satisfied Awuku’s marriage was registered in accordance with Ghanaian law. The Court of Appeal said the law of England and Wales recognised proxy marriage if valid by the law of the land. As a result of the ruling, a spouse of an EU national who has married by proxy will qualify as a family member.
Thoughts on the case: ‘I am more than pleased with the outcome of the case. It took four years of determination and hard work and the decision reached was completely correct. However, I am still baffled by the fact that those in relevant positions did not recognise that Kareem (previous case law on proxy marriage) contravened private international laws.’
Dealing with the media: ‘The decision was given at a sensitive time as we are in the middle of Brexit and nearing an election, therefore it has received a lot of attention from the media. It has also received international recognition because it affects those abroad.