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Sílvia Nicolaou García
Associate Solicitor, Public Law
Silvia joined Simpson Millar in 2015, a little under two years after she qualified as a Solicitor. She specialises in Public Law, Human Rights and Community Care cases and assists victims of human trafficking, unaccompanied minors and vulnerable adults. She is currently working on various legal challenges concerning access to remedies for victims of human trafficking.
She completed her training contract at Leigh Day’s International and Group Claims department, where she worked on cases brought against the UK Government for human rights abuses committed overseas. Silvia then moved to Deighton Pierce Glynn, working there for two years, including on cases concerning age disputed minors in detention, public and private law challenges on behalf of trafficked individuals and cases against British corporations in relation to human rights abuses committed in Colombia.
Silvia was awarded a degree in English and European Law from Queen Mary University of London and Université Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas.
Before she began her training contract, she was a legal researcher at the Middle East Monitor, and worked and volunteered with a number of non-government organisations, including the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre and the Prisoners’ Advice Service.
Silvia has been seconded part-time to the Helen Bamber Foundation, where she is a Specialist Counter-Trafficking Legal Officer.
Silvia was recommended by the Legal 500 2017 UK Edition for her work in civil liberties and human rights.
Notable cases include:
R (K & AM) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 2951 (Admin) – Successful challenge to the legality of the cuts to financial support to asylum seeking victim of trafficking by 42%, from £65 per week, to £37.75 per week
R (TDT) v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 1395 – Acted for the Appellant in the High Court and in the Court of Appeal. The Court of Appeal declared that the SSHD had violated the Article 4 rights of a trafficked boy by releasing him from her custody without putting in place measures to protect him from his traffickers. First finding by a domestic Court of a breach of the duty to protect potential victims of trafficking under ECHR, Article 4.
MMM v The Home Office  – Significant award of damages for a detained age disputed minor.
[X] v The Home Office  – Substantial damages awarded for detained trafficked child.
FA v LB Ealing (2017) (JR/123/2016) – Successful challenge to local authority’s determination of a child’s age.
FA v LB Ealing (2017) 20 CCL Rep 383 (JR/12123/2016) – Successfully resisted a dental age assessment in judicial review of a local authority’s age assessment.
In 2017 Silvia was shortlisted for the Law Society Excellence Award in the Junior Lawyer of the Year category. In 2018 she was short-listed for the Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Award in the Children’s Rights category.
Silvia is a regular contributor to the Legal Action magazine. She contributed a chapter on community care in the 2018/2019 Legal Aid Handbook.