Client opted for a hearing without being there..
It is never a good idea to opt for a hearing without attending - you are FAR less likely to succeed.
If you cannot attend, then one or more of your witnesses can go, and with competent representation, you can still get the right outcome.
If you know that you are not going to be able to attend, then apply for a Direction that will allow you to 'attend' by telephone.
In this case, there was no one at all at the hearing, and the decision, predictably, went against the client.
When it comes to challenging a decision, you have to be able to point to one or more errors of law in the statement of reasons written by the judge after the hearing.
With no oral evidence given at the hearing, it is that much more difficult to point to errors of law, and when the application for permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal was sent in, the local judge refused. In that situation, it is always worth applying directly to the Upper Tribunal because they can give you permission too. That is what we did, and we heard today that the grounds that we used are considered to be arguable, and that permission to appeal has been granted.
There is still a long way to go to get the client his second chance at a hearing, when he will attend, with representation.