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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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United Kingdom > East Anglia > Human resources > Immigration > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Immigration
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Rising stars

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Rising stars

  1. 1

The immigration practice at Birketts LLP is 'second to none', according to one client. Specialist senior associate Clare Hedges leads the immigration group, which has support from paralegals in Norwich and Cambridge, and also calls on the services of a consultant from the Chelmsford office. The firm is particularly well known for all types of Tier 2 and 5 visas, including the more unusual Ministers of Religion visas, and it frequently advises on the prevention of illegal working.

Practice head(s):Clare Hedges


"Clare Hedges was very patient, walking us step by step through the process, advising and supporting our application for a visa."

"Simply put, it's the people who make the difference. Birketts clearly work hard to make sure their team is knowledgeable, professional and friendly. Its approach is incredibly reassuring and really leaves you with complete confidence in the advice they give."

"Clare Hedges is our 'go-to' person for all things immigration. What she doesn't know simply isn't worth knowing. I get fast, informative and reliable advice in a straightforward and usable way."

"From personal experience I find the firm very professional, and helpful."

"I found Clare Hedges and Dasha Ball very helpful and professional. They helped me obtain my British Citizenship, and they explained very clearly which documents I had to provide in order to obtain Citizenship."

"What impressed me most was the way in which they explained what was needed. They did it in a way which was easy to understand."

"I find them to be friendly, approachable and to have a very diverse skillset which means that no matter what the question, there will likely be an expert in the team that can help."

"More recently I have worked closely with Clare Hedges, who combines her extensive knowledge of immigration law with her passion for helping SMEs and their HR managers to navigate the challenges of every day business."

"Clare Hedges has the ability to communicate her wealth of knowledge in a straightforward way that the lay person can clearly understand. She does this effortlessly and tells great stories along the way!"

Key Clients

The Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of All Souls

Brangaene Limited

Church of England Central Services

Cobb Europe Limited

Derivco Ipswich Limited

Embelton UK Limited

Inspectorate International

Jagex Limited

Just Eat

London Diocesan Fund

McCormick UK Limited

Mediterranean Shipping Company (UK) Limited


Owlstone Medical Limited


Scientific Digital Imaging

TTP Group plc

TTP Labtech Limited

World Conservation Monitoring Centre (WCMC)

Work highlights

  • Advisers for McCormick UK Limited acting as level 1 user to manage their sponsor licence and help them recruit and retain Tier 2 sponsored workers.
  • Advised a private individual on the successful renewal of a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa plus dependants.
  • Following its spin-out from TTP Group, we advised TTP Labtech on a new sponsor licence application, ensuring they could retain key sponsored workers and recruit migrants as required in future.
  • We are the retained immigration advisers for Just Eat acting as level 1 user to manage their sponsor licence and recruit and retain Tier 2 sponsored workers.
  • Advised a parish on successful Tier 2 Minister of Religion visa applications for a US national and his family.

Gross & Co in Bury St Edmunds has a dedicated immigration practice that advises clients from across the country. Senior partner Graeme Kirk has more than 35 years' experience in this field of law and his team provides comprehensive service to UK-based businesses wishing to employ foreign nationals, to foreign businesses and entrepreneurs wishing to set up in the UK, and to private individuals and families wishing to live in the UK. Partner Sohan Sidhu, who speaks fluent Punjabi, plays an integral role in the practice, and solicitor Meenal Goyal provides services in Punjabi and Urdu.

Practice head(s):Graeme Kirk

Other key lawyers:Sohan Sidhu; Meenal Goyal


I have dealt with this practice on and off over the last five years and I have found its advice to be totally pragmatic and in the client's best interests."

"At all times I have found their interest in the client or potential client to be of the utmost integrity. I have dealt with other practices and find Gross & Co compares very favourably, both in their approach and in the outcomes."

"In immigration, I have attended meetings with a client who was appealing a decision from the Home Office and watched the total professionalism and tact of the partner, Sohan Sidhu, in probing the veracity of my client and seeing how he would react when questioned by a judge at a tribunal."

Work highlights

  • Representation of a food chain owner against a Civil Penalty.
  • Assisting a childcare company with an application for a Sponsor Licence.
  • Assisting a private individual with an application for a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Visa.
  • Assisting an individual with the extension of a spouse visa.
  • Assisting a private individual with an application for Leave to Remain.

At Mills & Reeve LLP, principal associate Alex Russell leads the firm's immigration practice, which has a large roster of clients in the education, healthcare, sport, commercial and charity sectors. He has a particular specialism in advising universities on immigration matters. Principal associate Emma Tuck specialises in advising higher education institutions on Tier 4 student immigration matters. Consultant Tracy Yates is recommended for business immigration.

Practice head(s):Alex Russell

Other key lawyers:Emma Tuck; Tracy Yates

Key Clients

Redgate Software Limited

Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn NHS Foundation Trust

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (Addenbrookes Hospital)

St Ives Plc

King’s College London


Alere Toxicology Plc

Baxter Healthcare

Royal Veterinary College

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency

Work highlights

  • Advised and supported a University in preparing for a Home Office sponsor compliance audit.
  • Provided extensive support to Addenbrooke’s Hospital and more than 40 organisations (including universities, NHS Trusts, companies and charities) and their EU national staff following the Brexit referendum result.
  • Advised a leading free-wire technologies company on registering as a sponsor under the points based system.
  • Advised a UK university on obtaining visas for research staff on externally funded research projects run in conjunction with a third party organisations, including liaising with lawyers in other jurisdictions.
  • Advised a software company on the recruitment of multiple employees under the Tier 2 skilled worker visa category, thereby enabling the company to recruit the talent required to fill key skilled roles.

Greenwoods GRM offers immigration services through its three offices in Cambridge, Peterborough and London. The recruitment of immigration specialist Ina Iteva in London from Deloitte consolidates the work done by John Macaulay's employment team across East Anglia. The firm advises numerous clients in the commercial, not-for-profit and education sectors on matters including licensed sponsor issues; Tier 1, 2 and 5 visas; right to work; and modern slavery statements.

Practice head(s):John Macaulay; Ina Iteva


"Greenwoods is always our first and only point of call on immigration. It is very approachable, friendly and professional."

"My experience is they are exceptional at tailoring their responses to my requirements and they are very clear in their language to ensure accurate compliance."

"Ina Iteva is fantastic. She is always reliable in availability and advice, providing clarity and reassurance as you go through each step."

"Ina Iteva is always up-to-date, always sure of the priorities and always presents things in a way to benefit you."

Stone King LLP joins the ranking having seen a growing workload for senior associate and immigration specialist Julie Moktadir in its Cambridge office. She has notable expertise in charitable immigration work, specifically Tier 2 (Ministers of Religion) and immigration in the education sector. The firm has a particular focus on assisting teachers in Tier 2 and Tier 5 positions coming to the UK to work in both mainstream and independent schools.

Practice head(s):Julie Moktadir

Key Clients

Sister Margaret Herlihy, Poor Servants of the Mother of God

Sister Paula Langton, The Sisters of the Divine Saviour

Ms Jenny Cain, Director of HR, Greenshaw Learning Trust

Hannah Thomson, Cambridge Cancer Genomics

Christian Mouysset, Tenzo Limited

Nikki Walker, QCS

Work highlights

  • Assisting Sister Margaret Herlihy, Poor Servants of the Mother of God, with an application for a Kenyan nun to come to the UK under a Tier 2 (Minister of Religion) visa.
  • Assisting Sister Paula Langton, The Sisters of the Divine Saviour, with an application for an Indian Sister to come to the UK.
  • Assisting with sponsorship licence compliance and application for overseas teachers to be granted Tier 2 visas to work in the UK
  • Assisting with a sponsor licence for a Charitable Trust moving to a Charitable Incorporated Organisation.
  • A start up in Cambridge instructed Stone King to advise employees and assist in obtaining a sponsorship licence.

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