Port Hall Consultancy Ltd (PHC) is a small consultancy firm founded in 1995 by Dr Chris Smith. It is based in Brighton, UK and has handled work requests from Europe and Australia as well as the United Kingdom. PHC has recently opened an office in Seattle, run by Frederica Jansz. The Seattle office has been set up to include requests from all parts of North America. Sundari Jayasuriya, Attorney-at-Law in Sri Lanka, handles PHC’s document verification assignments.
Although PHC has worked in several different areas since its inception (and we remain available for consultancy work), in recent years the company has opted to focus exclusively on addressing the needs of political asylum seekers from Sri Lanka. It should be noted that PHC deals only with asylum cases, not immigration.
The means by which this is achieved is through expert witness reports, extensively researched and written by PHC staff and submitted to the relevant court to assist the judge/tribunal assess the real and present nature of risk and vulnerability on return to Sri Lanka.
The role of the expert witness is very different to that of a solicitor, lawyer or barrister. It is important to stress that we are not advocates, we are analysts and, as such, independent from the adversarial traditions of the courtroom.
The PHC team has expertise in different areas of Sri Lanka. Our professional expertise ranges from security to human rights, civil liberties and Sri Lanka country expertise in general. Professionally, we have long-standing academic, journalistic/media and development qualifications and we are linked together through a common expertise concerning the analysis of contemporary events in Sri Lanka and South Asia more widely, especially as they might affect returning asylum seekers. In addition, PHC offers a document verification service, which can faithfully and expertly verify a wide range of documents, from birth certificates to arrest warrants.