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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 > London > Human resources > Immigration > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Immigration: business
  2. Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay
  3. Leading individuals: Hall of Fame
  4. Leading individuals
  5. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Immigration clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact



Farani Taylor Solicitors LLP

Farani Taylor was founded in 2010 by Farhan Farani as a specialist immigration firm but has since developed into a full service firm. We have an emphasis on providing quality service that fits the needs of our clients.

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A Y & J Solicitors

A Y & J Solicitors has gained a reputation for passionate legal immigration representation - meeting the complex and varied needs of both individuals and corporations facing legal immigration obstacles. The immigration team takes an ‘In It to Win It’ approach, where every client is treated with honesty, integrity, and creative solutions that bring the best resolution in the shortest possible time.

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Bishop & Sewell LLP  is noted for its focus on human rights, asylum and family work. It also handles PBS applications for high-net-worth individuals and students, and is experienced across public law challenges, appeals and nationality cases. The team continues to be instructed by a number of London Boroughs on immigration matters. Senior associate Mariam Khaliq is active across a range of matters for private clients and handles mandates relating to EU nationals, deportation, settlement and nationality; she has a particular focus on appeals and Judicial Review challenges. Associate Karma Hickman is ‘positive and confident’ and is ‘impressive in her fast and comprehensive command of the facts and in her ability to narrow down and focus on the main issues’; and regularly acts for individual clients, with particular expertise in international surrogacy and inter-country adoption cases. Department head Charles Green joined in July 2018 from Healys LLP.

Fladgate LLP provides a ‘personal’ service and regularly acts on behalf of high-net-worth individuals, who are often high-profile, as well as their families and businesses on a range of complex immigration mandates. It also regularly handles human rights and asylum claims, particularly for individuals who are the target of politically motivated extradition. Sarah Gogan is ‘extremely personable, insightful and able to think quickly on her feet, creating appropriate recommendations and solutions for clients’. Kelly Whiter, who joined from PwC LLP in 2017, is also a key member of the team.

The ‘professional and knowledgeable’ team at Healys LLP 'stands out for its innovative approach to service delivery'. It is regularly instructed by high-net-worth individuals (including individuals across the sports, music, theatre, films and entertainment sectors) and also advises UK universities on student visas, extensions and reviews. Team head Ivon Sampson is ‘knowledgeable and clear in his advice’. Middle East department head Omar Shams delivers advice with ‘clarity, efficiency and has total focus on the most relevant legal points’. Solicitor Nagesh Jain is also recommended.

The ‘dedicated, hardworking and exceptionally knowledgeable’ team at LUPINS handles a range of nationality, immigration, human rights and asylum issues. Judicial Review, unlawful detention work, refugee work, European law, and business immigration are key areas of strength for the ‘fantastic’ team. Lawrence Lupin  handles business immigration as well as human rights and asylum cases for vulnerable clients. Solicitors Stefan Vnuk  (who specialises in complex immigration and asylum cases) and Tamana Aziz joined Duncan Lewis Solicitors .

Niche immigration firm Wesley Gryk Solicitors LLP ‘combines thorough knowledge of the complex and ever-changing immigration rules and policies with a real dedication to the client and the outcome sought’. It regularly acts for individuals on personal immigration issues, with a particular emphasis on cases involving human rights, nationality, civil liberties and European free movement issues. The team also acts for corporations, partnerships, religious orders and charities. Working on behalf of LGBTI individuals and families is a key area of specialism and the team regularly advises on same-sex asylum and partner-based applications. Senior partner Wesley Gryk's ‘status, knowledge and experience is legendary’. Barry O’Leary stands out for his ‘unsurpassed client-handling skills and for his deep knowledge of the law and how it is applied by decision makers and judges’. Diana Baxter is a ‘lateral and creative thinker’, ‘combines compassion, intellect and tactical nous’ and is ‘particularly good on complex nationality cases, as well as family cases involving children’. Alison Hunter, who is ‘very well-known and sought after for her work on complex family cases particularly concerning children in the care system, inter-country adoption and surrogacy', has particular expertise in EEA free movement issues. Solicitor Elizabeth Ruddick is a ‘brilliant practitioner with extraordinary attention to detail’.

The ‘exceptional’ team at Wilson Solicitors LLP ‘works tirelessly and demonstrates a commitment to its clients that is second-to-none’. It specialises in a full range of asylum, nationality and personal immigration cases for individuals. Immigration head Matthew Davies and 'outstanding' senior partner Michael Hanley have ‘tremendous knowledge and experience’. Ana Gonzalez handles a range of asylum and personal immigration cases, and has ‘fantastic knowledge of EU law, trafficking and immigration rules in general; she has a great tenacity pursuing a case to get the absolutely best for her client and a remarkable insight as to how to get there’. Anita Vasisht is ‘brilliant’ and specialises in complex asylum, nationality and security cases. The ‘fantasticMuhunthan Paramesvaran is also recommended.

The ‘outstanding’ team at Bates Wells delivers a ‘professional’ service, and is praised for its ‘accurate, informed legal advice and conscientious, committed representation’. It acts for a range of individuals, including several well-known entertainers, as well as charities, media companies, and education-sector clients. Clients include Hillsong Church London, which it advises on a range of matters including applications under the Tier 2 and Tier 5 route for individuals to come to the UK to help serve the work at the Church in a variety of roles. Global Innovation Fund, Quant Marketing Company, Natural Resources Charter and Mixam UK are also clients. Philip Trott is a ‘stalwart of the immigration world’ and has ‘vast experience’ in commercial immigration, where recently promoted partner Chetal Patel is also a key figure. Department head Tim Barnden has ‘great client skills and is adept at finding a solution for the client and preparing appeals to the highest standard’; he is particularly known for his work on applications made by couples and families, including advice for LGBT applicants. Senior associate Katie Dilger, who is ‘excellent with clients’ and has a ‘wealth of experience’, is also active in personal and human rights mandates.

The ‘brilliant’ team at Kingsley Napley LLP is particularly experienced in acting for business immigration clients in the legal, professional and financial services, media and entertainment, technology and energy sectors. It also handles multi-faceted immigration cases for private individuals. Department head Nicolas Rollason has ‘extensive experience, particularly in business-related immigration’ and provides strategic advice to businesses on their UK and global immigration needs, as well as advising investors, entrepreneurs, well-known individuals and other ultra-high-net-worth clients. Other key figures include Ilda de Sousa, who is ‘calm, professional and very easy to work with’ and regularly acts for investors, entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals; the 'first-rateMarcia Longdon, who is particularly experienced in advising clients active in the creative and entertainment sectors; the 'excellentElspeth Guild; Andrew Tingley, who ‘inspires confidence’ and is ‘reassuring, unflappable and goes way beyond what is expected’ in his advice to high-net-worth individuals, start-ups in relation to Tier 1 applications, appeals, family applications, surrogacy and complex applications; and senior associate Katie Newbury, who is ‘very experienced and is adept at dealing with a range of clients’. She specialises in complex and challenging personal immigration instructions, such as applications for Tier 1 applications, nationality and human rights matters, as well as international surrogacy and adoption issues. Legal counsel Gillian Brownlee handles personal and business immigration matters and is experienced in advising high-net-worth individuals. Associates Conor Boyd, Kim Vowden, Rizwana Quazi and Jessica Jim are also recommended.

Immigration boutique Laura Devine Solicitors has a ‘well-earned reputation for excellence’, ‘undertakes the highest quality work’ and ‘excels in identifying pragmatic and creative solutions in order to meet the client’s objectives in the swiftest manner possible’. The firm has a substantial human rights and appeals practice, which advises on a range of issues covering oversta-s, separated families, elderly dependants and incapacitated applicants, as well as high profile asylum claims for politically exposed persons and other individuals.  Its business immigration department, which is particularly noted for its strengths in US and UK immigration law, regularly acts for multinational companies, SMEs, start-ups and executives. Managing partner Laura Devine is a ‘visionary leader’; ‘the client experience is at the heart of all she does’. Other key figures include ‘exceptional’ UK practice head Sophie Barrett-Brown; Anastasia Tonello, who is the global head of the firm’s US practice; and senior attorney US practice head in London Christi Hufford Jackson, who is a ‘dynamic practitioner, unsurpassed in identifying the best solution to a tricky problem’. Head of compliance and risk Natasha Chell is a ‘polished professional with an excellent client manner, who inspires complete confidence and consistently provides well thought out advice’, and is experienced in corporate immigration, with particular strengths in advising on sponsor licencing and Tier 2 matters. Senior solicitor Francesca Sciberras is ‘extremely professional’, ‘always accommodating’ and ‘gives clients the hard line, but also understands the reality of the client’s business’. Malini Skandachanmugarasan heads the appeals and human rights department, which includes recently promoted senior solicitor Matthew Wills, who also handles business immigration, and solicitor Zeena Luchowa.

Business immigration specialist Magrath Sheldrick LLP provides an ‘excellent level of service'. The team comprises 'true subject matter experts in the immigration field’ who act for a number of clients in the financial services sector, and for a number of ultra-high-net-worth individuals, particularly in the media and entertainment fields. Managing partner Ben Sheldrick stands out for his ‘excellent technical knowledge and client service’ and senior partner Chris Magrath specialises in all aspects of business immigration law from a UK and US perspective. Alfreda Joubert and Zulaykha Bhaijee, who is ‘personable, knowledgeable and provides an excellent service’, are also names of note.

The business immigration team at PwC LLP has ‘real strength in depth’ and is active across the education, financial services, IT and technology sectors. It regularly handles complex immigration compliance matters for both corporate and private clients, and is adept at co-ordinating emergency business evacuations and business continuity advice. The team also has close links with key government organisations and is engaged in high-level consultations with government on immigration policy changes; the ‘excellent’ Andrea Als is the government liaison head, while practice head Julia Onslow-Cole, who is described as ‘the immigration lawyer’s immigration lawyer’, was appointed to the Home Office EU Immigration Employers' Representative Group to represent employers in relation to immigration and the position of EU citizens’ pre and post Brexit. She was also appointed to sit on a 14-strong Brexit Expert Advisory panel. Other key figures include private client and private business team head Lyudmyla Davies, who is 'extremely knowledgeable'; Katrina Cooper, who leads advice to outbound UK nationals and third country nationals; Sapna Patel, who leads the financial services immigration team and acts for a number of high-profile banks; technology head Sharan Kundi; and Lindsey Barras, who leads the short-term business offering, advising on global immigration, tax, social security and permanent establishment risks around business travel.

Boutique immigration outfit Carter Thomas Solicitors delivers an ‘exceptional service’. It is regularly instructed by clients in the education sector on Tier 4 licences, and also acts for high-net-worth individuals seeking to enter the UK as investors and entrepreneurs, and advises businesses holding or seeking Tier 2 sponsor licences. Nichola Carter has ‘unrivalled experience in business immigration’ and is ‘dynamic, thoughtful and has an excellent relationship with the Home Office, which is an enormously important asset in this area’; ‘she knows the law and is can be relied on to provide clients with outstanding service’. Carter is also ‘able to convey highly technical legal points or case law in very practical and accessible terms’. Associates Jessica Taylor andNick Gore are also recommended.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP regularly acts for corporate and individual clients on a range of business-related immigration issues. Its corporate client base includes names such as Wagamama, Sports Direct, Harrods, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, Mercedes, Pole Star Group and Cobb Europe are among the firm’s clients. ‘Exceptional’ department head Rose Carey acts for a range of multinational enterprises and high-net-worth individuals on a range of PBS and non-PBS matters, and is noted for her experience in acting for Russian and Chinese high-net-worth clients with business interests in the UK. Senior associate Paul McCarthy acts for a range of clients on Tier 1 (exceptional talent, investor and entrepreneur) applications as well as, Tier 2, Tier 4 and Tier 5 matters; he also acts for corporate and individual clients on right to work and right to rent legislation and handles Tier 2 sponsor licences. Associate Katherine Dennis regularly advises private and corporate clients across business and personal immigration law issues covering PBS, spouse and partner applications, EEA issues, nationality and settlement; and has particular expertise in Tier 2 sponsorship, partner visa applications and Tier 1 investor applications. Tax associate Elena Vasilyeva is also recommended.

With expertise spanning business and human rights immigration cases, the team at Gherson regularly handles complex human rights and asylum cases, both in the UK and internationally, and is particularly adept at handling politically sensitive and high-profile cases. The team represents internationally based clients in matters relating to INTERPOL and Red Notice notifications, and also manages a growing number of international sanctions cases. Solicitor Thomas Garner heads the extradition department. Associate Joe Levtov handles human rights and asylum cases. Roger Gherson is active across business and personal immigration; he is a ‘master at handling complex, politically sensitive cases’; and is the ‘‘go to’ lawyer for clients facing the most challenging of circumstances’. Consultant Lisa Amos heads the business immigration team which acts for over 100 companies, and handles a full range of business immigration work. Solicitors Alina Fosh and Isobel Neilson head the general immigration team, advising individuals on UK immigration applications.

Lewis Silkin LLP is noted for its sports-sector advice, in addition to advising clients across the professional services, fashion, media, entertainment, technology, retail, leisure and hospitality sectors. It is particularly noted for its expertise in advising on Tier 5 visas, working closely with the firm’s employment department.  Deliveroo, Benevolent AI, Marks & Spencer, Ford, Fulham Football Club and ASOS are clients. Team head Andrew Osborne acts for a range of large multinationals, small companies and individuals on PBS applications, intra-company transfers and new hires. Senior associate Ben Maitland ‘exudes a calming reassurance’ and ‘explains complex immigration rules in layman’s terms’; he specialises in advising employers and employees on the PBS. Senior associate Naomi Hanrahan-Soar is noted for her ‘extremely detailed knowledge and ability to synthesise and package this into client friendly solutions’; she is experienced in advising high-net-worth individuals, as well as corporate clients, particularly in the science, technology and engineering sectors. Senior associate Stephen O’Flaherty  is regularly instructed by clients in the sports and fashion sectors. Managing associate Joanna Hunt is also recommended. Diana Okoeva joined Clintons.

Mishcon de Reya LLP's immigration practice is ‘outstanding’, ‘exhibits excellence in all it does’ and ‘shows a keen interest in customer satisfaction’. The business immigration team advises corporate, investor and high-net-worth clients across the financial, creative, media, technology, sports and fashion sectors and its human rights, appeals and overstay group is adept at acting for high-net-worth individuals, handling a raft of complex immigration cases. Applications for naturalisation and complex Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) cases are a key area of expertise for the team. Maria Patsalos is ‘exceptional’ and regularly acts for sports-sector clients and specialises in all Points Based applications, sole representative visas; fiancée, spouse, civil partnership and unmarried partner applications; rights under European law and claims for political asylum. Steven Bostock regularly handles a range of complex asylum applications in the UK, detention issues, appeals, judicial reviews, and human rights-based applications, regularly advises high-profile individuals seeking political asylum in the UK, and also heads the firm’s Tier 2 business immigration group. Key associates include Natalie Loader, who specialises in business immigration cases, Fran Rance, Jessica Good, Elnara Ismagilova, and Neil Shanghavi, who joined the team in 2018 from Fragomen LLP. Also recommended are Lucy Grant, who recently joined the team from Gherson; Hannah Barnett, who ‘makes the complex web of legislation appear comprehensible’; David Deane, who is ‘professional, responsive, knowledgeable and keen on proposing practical solutions to customer challenges’; and Matt Ingham, who is ‘extremely motivated, hardworking, committed, determined and completely reliable’ and focuses on complex asylum claims involving political persecution and corporate raiding, as well as Tier 1 visa and discretionary British citizenship and naturalisation applications. ‘Outstanding’ department head Kamal Rahman is instructed by a range of high-net-worth individuals and families seeking to establish in the UK.

Penningtons Manches Cooper’s ‘professional’ department is ‘approachable and collaborative’ and ‘excels in the field of immigration’. It provides advice to corporate and personal immigration clients, which are often high-net-worth individuals. The team advised tech company Paddle on its sponsor licence application. Navitas Holdings, Coventry University, Tata and Florida State University are also clients. Department head Pat Saini is experienced in advising education and tech-sector clients, as well as high-net-worth individuals. Hazar El-Chamaa heads the private wealth immigration offering, is ‘exceptionally good with private clients; she instantly builds trust, understands what the client goes through and helps them navigate their way through complex immigration rules seamlessly’. El-Chamaa regularly acts for education, fashion, luxury, lifestyle, sports and entertainment sector clients, as well as high-net-worth individuals. Afeefah Shabbir has joined from Clarkslegal LLP.

Squire Patton Boggs delivers ‘prompt replies’ and has a ‘professional approach’. It acts for a number of leading global businesses, across the sports, media, food, beverages, automotive, aviation, construction, manufacturing, engineering and financial services sectors, on high-end and complex immigration law issues. The team benefits from the firm’s extensive international network of offices, advising on complex, cross-border issues. Practice head Annabel Mace has extensive experience in all aspects of business immigration and the PBS, particularly in relation to applying for Tier Two sponsor licences and related complex compliance issues, and is also experienced in defending Home Office fines for alleged illegal working in addition to advising on the transfer of staff to countries outside the UK. Supinder Sian is ‘knowledgeable, pro-active, and gives clear and practical advice’; he is noted for his sports sector expertise; and is regularly instructed by Premiership and Championship league football clubs on applications for players and their family members, and also advises clubs on sales and acquisitions and related sponsor licence issues.

The global immigration and mobility team at Baker McKenzie provides a ‘very high level of service’ to multinational companies, often advising on international transfers. The team also acts for individual clients such as entrepreneurs, sports personalities, leading musicians, actors and high-net-worth individuals on a range of immigration issues. Senior associate Tony Haque leads the department and is ably supported by employment head John Evason, and senior associate Richard Mills, who has expertise acting for clients across the banking, finance, professional services, pharmaceutical and technology sectors.

Bindmans LLP’s ‘impressive’ immigration, asylum and nationality practice has vast expertise across a range of asylum and human rights cases such as extradition law, representing victims of trafficking and other vulnerable clients, detention, bail and deportation. It is the ‘go-to firm for complex family immigration work, in particular for children in care, adopted and surrogate born children and children subject to guardianship orders; its asylum and human rights work is first-rate’. On the business immigration side, the team acts for individuals, SMEs, trade unions and not-for-profit organisations. Associate Emma Cohen handles cases involving family issues and is ‘one of the ‘go- to’ people for advice on inter-country adoptions and foreign-born surrogacy children’ cases, as well as advising entrepreneurs. Associate Ashley Fleming ‘demonstrates a wealth of knowledge and experience, pays attention to detail and is very efficient’, and Roberta Haslam, who is also an associate, has extensive experience of working with victims of trafficking and vulnerable individuals, and also acted for an international not-for-profit organisation on issues relating to its senior employees outside the EEA. Solicitors Abigail Evans, who ‘brings endless energy to every case’, and Alice Davis are also recommended. Alison Stanley has a ‘wealth of experience and is extremely thorough’. Stanley heads the team with Liz Barratt, who has ‘excellent client skills; she is extremely experienced in representing a range of clients, and is particularly skilled with vulnerable clients’.

Clyde & Co LLP’s ‘level of service is consistently high’; the team provides ‘efficient and professional’ advice to multinational corporate clients, benefitting from its international network of offices. It regularly provides strategic immigration advice to clients within the oil and gas sector and acts for insurance sector clients on global corporate restructuring programs. Cardano Risk Management, Sasol, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Total Gas & Power and Halfords Media UK are clients. The ‘outstanding’ Jonathan Chaimovic leads the team, which includes recently promoted legal director Tim Richards and senior immigration specialist Neena Samuel.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP’s ‘pro-active but practical’ department advises clients operating in the UK and globally in the entertainment, media, technology, investment funds and financial services sectors on of UK, US and global immigration programmes, with expertise on immigration issues arising from a major corporate transactions or reorganisations. The team also acts for a number of entrepreneurs and high-net-worth individuals. The team advised Cameron Mackintosh on the immigration strategy and visa requirements for the entire US-based creative team of the musical Hamilton in its recent transfer from Broadway to London's West End, also secured a UK visa for leading theatre actress Rachelle Ahn Goh, and obtained visas for a number of the cast of the UK tour of Miss Saigon. Matthew Howse and Nick Hobson head the team, which also features associates Jennifer Connolly and Yvette Allen. Former practice head Tracy Evlogidis recently left the firm to join Withers LLP.

Russell-Cooke LLP’s business immigration team is noted for its experience in advising on the immigration law implications of complex and high value corporate transactions. Its client-base spans the education, professional services, healthcare, finance, media and pharmaceuticals sectors. Acting for individuals, the team also regularly handles complex children and family law issues and also advises on sensitive immigration adoption cases involving adoption of children abroad. The team is also experienced in advising on personal injury claims with an immigration element. Department head Edward Wanambwa is ‘very experienced’ and has a focus on business immigration; and senior associate Nisha Patel is active across human rights, appeals and overstay matters, as well as business-related immigration cases.

Taylor Wessing LLP's immigration department benefits from the firm’s European, Middle East, US and Asian presence, working closely with its employment, private wealth and tax specialists. The team regularly advises corporate clients and high-net-worth individuals on their inward investment into the UK and Europe, particularly from North America and China; and the team also advises on the immigration implications of international M&A deals and restructuring projects. ROLI, Askonas Holt, Tele Tracking Technologies, Dahua Technology UK, Touch Surgery and Applied Predictive Technologies are clients. Senior counsel Charlie Pring advises a number of North American companies across the technology, digital media, financial services and energy sectors on their operations in the UK, and also acts for a number of UK headquartered clients in the technology space on immigration issues. Senior counsel Vikki Wiberg advises corporate clients based in the Middle East and Asia, as well as high-net-worth clients. Sean Nesbitt heads the team.

Bird & Bird LLP’s business immigration offering acts for a range of multinational companies and sports governing bodies in addition to advising high net-worth individuals, and media and entertainment personalities. The team is noted for its experience in advising clients on their HR, talent and mobility strategies. Nuance Communications UK,, Truphone, WD-40 Company, Danfoss and Cadence Design Systems are clients. Key figures include associate Yuichi Sekine, who joined in 2017 from Magrath Sheldrick LLP and is UK head of business immigration; and 'excellent' senior associate Jonathan Goldsworthy.

Specialist immigration firm Bonheur Legal regularly acts for corporate clients and it regularly handles Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 5 immigration issues. Deutsche Börse Group, ThyssenKrupp, Volvo Financial Services and Tetra Pak are clients. The firm is also regularly instructed by high-net-worth individuals on a range of immigration issues. Managing director Thierry Hervet is the key contact.

Specialist immigration firm DavidsonMorris provides strategic mobility advice and managed UK immigration services to international and UK-based organisations across the financial services, technology, hospitality, health and social care, education, sports and oil and gas sectors.  It also stands out for its experience in advising on civil penalties. Cennox, Gordon Ramsay Group, University of York, London Stock Exchange, Sage Publishing, Distell International and Renault F1 are clients. Compliance specialist Jemima Johnstone leads the sponsor licence team and managing partner Anne Morris is ‘first-rate’.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP’s ‘extremely pro-active’ department is praised for its ability to ‘go the extra mile’. It acts for individuals and businesses seeking to establish in the UK, and is especially experienced in acting for digital and tech-sector clients. Longleat Safari & Adventure Park, TransferWise, Edinburgh Zoo and ChemCina UK are clients. Senior associate Anna Robinson handles applications for sponsorship, European related-issues and settlement and naturalisation applications, and also advises on immigration compliance matters. Devan Khagram, who is also a senior associate and is ‘particularly knowledgeable’, advises businesses, individuals and their families on their rights to work and reside in the UK. Angharad Harris heads the firm’s employment and immigration team.

Wright Hassall LLP’s business immigration department acts a number of multinational companies across the charity, financial services, IT, gaming, professional services, education, retail, insurance, oil and gas and manufacturing sectors, and also acts for a number of high-net-worth individuals, in the financial, entertainment and media industries. Team head Matthew Davies  regularly advises law firms on internal immigration issues. Recently promoted partner Tracie Udall advises corporate clients on all aspects of the PBS and also advises individuals on personal immigration matters. Associate Kelly Tomkinson acts for business and individual clients, and also has a substantial sports sector following.

Bircham Dyson Bell provides ‘prompt, accurate responses’; it has ‘significant experience and is able to provide clear, thorough, and commercially aware advice’ as well as a ‘seamless service’. On the business immigration side, the team acts for start-up companies, medium-sized businesses, charities and international entities. Clients include Inotec AMD, The Power of Nutrition, Adam Smith International, C40 Climate Leadership UK, Applied Blockchain, University of Notre Dame (UK), The Doctors Laboratory and Smurfit Kappa UK. The team also works closely with the firm’s private wealth department and advises domestic and international private clients on a range of immigration issues. Associate Tim Hayes is ‘committed to his clients and is very well organised with an eye for detail’; he handles business immigration matters such as from sponsor licences and global mobility issues. Personal immigration head Alastair Collett advises individuals on estate and tax planning, investors on their entry into the UK, and charities and royal charter corporations on constitutional and governance issues.

The team at Doyle Clayton is ‘always prompt’, ‘very commercially minded’ and provides ‘straightforward advice’ for multinationals, SMEs, international law firms and high net worth individuals. Fueled, VAT IT UK, VAT Compliance Europe and WTax UK are clients. UK head of immigration Anita de Atouguia has ‘lengthy experience and knowledge of the immigration process’. Senior associate Elizabeth Timmins has a particular focus on the education sector. Associate Nicola Richards’ ‘command of UK immigration law is excellent’.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors’ business immigration team is instructed by SME clients on a range of matters such as the PBS, sponsorship licence applications, and compliance. It also acts for high-net-worth individuals from Asia, Russia and the Middle East on Tier 1 and investor visas. The firm also handles a range of asylum, nationality, detention, deportation, bail, human rights, detention, Judicial Review, and trafficking cases for business, individual and vulnerable clients. Toufique Hossain handles Judicial Review cases involving immigration, EC Law, civil liberties and human rights matters. Jenna McKinney specialises in fast track cases, appeals, asylum, deportation and Judicial Review work. James Packer regularly handles unlawful detention cases, while Stefan Vnuk specialises in immigration, asylum and human rights law, with a particular emphasis on complex cases in higher courts including the Supreme Court and the European Court of Human Rights.The business immigration department is headed by Ayan Yalchin, Vicash Ramikissoon, and Tamana Aziz , who joined the firm from  LUPINS with Vnuk.

Fox Williams LLP has an ‘excellent grasp of the technicalities of immigration law’ and acts for both individuals and companies on their UK immigration needs. It regularly handles have sponsorship licence applications, applications for indefinite leave to remain and permanent residence and applications under Tier 2 of the PBS, as well as nationality-related applications. Department head Sacha Schoenfeld has a ‘great eye for detail’ and is ‘extremely good at communicating in a timely manner and responding to questions and enquiries’. Associate Adèle Standard is ‘really pro-active and responsive’.

Macfarlanes LLP regularly advises high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and their families on inbound and outbound immigration and nationality issues, in addition to acting for companies, senior executives and their families on a range of matters. Rokos Capital Management LLP is a key client. Senior counsel James Perrott is ‘responsive and has an excellent knowledge of UK immigration law’; he heads the team with Edward Reed.

Travers Smith LLP’s ‘professional’ and ‘approachable’ business immigration department works closely with its employment department and is regularly instructed on sponsorship licence compliance issues, Tier 2 visas for senior executives and highly specialised professionals, as well as Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa applications and extensions. Davidson Kempner, Bridgepoint, Bain Capital, The Access Group, Bidfood and Metro Bank are clients. Tim Gilbert acts for clients across the financial services, leisure, media and sports sectors on immigration sponsorship licences, compliance and work visas. Siân Keall is instructed by a range of clients in the financial services sector. Senior associate Moji Oyediran, who joined from Kingsley Napley LLP  in 2017, is ‘responsive, pro-active and thinks around corners’. Employment head Ed Mills leads the team and acts for clients across the financial services, media, pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, retail, leisure and defence sectors.

Withers LLP delivers a ‘personalised service’ and regularly advises corporate clients on their international strategies, such as sponsorship licence applications, maintenance and renewals, right to work and ongoing compliance, visa applications, and project management issues. The practice also advises on a range of personal immigration for their senior executives.  It also acts for high-net-worth individuals, and high-profile figures in media and entertainment. The team is headed by the ‘impressive’ Tracy Evlogidis, who recently joined from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP in 2017, heads the team. Also recommended are counsel Philip Barth, and associates Zoe Jacob and Gulcin Kashano.

The ‘exceptional’ team at A Y & J Solicitors handles the full gamut of UK visa applications, with a focus on advising on Tier 1 and Tier 2 applications, Judicial Reviews, spouse visas; and its corporate team regularly advises on Tier 2 and 5 sponsor licences. Team head Yash Dubal has ‘very strong knowledge and understanding of the sponsor licence system’ and provides an ‘outstanding service’.

Clarkslegal LLP is regularly instructed by international corporate clients and investors on a range of business immigration matters. Its expertise spans advising high-profile clients entering the UK on entrepreneur visas, and acting for corporate clients on employer sponsorship licences and staff transfers. Jardine Motors Group UK and Coffey International are clients. Managing partner Monica Atwal heads the department and senior solicitor Afeefah Shabbir has left to join Penningtons Manches LLP.

The ‘skilled’, ‘accurate’ and ‘efficient’ team at Druces LLP focuses on Tier 1 and Tier 2 visa work, advising entrepreneurs, investors, exceptional talent and companies wishing on bringing skilled migrants into the UK. The team also provides advice on spousal visas, commonwealth ancestral visas and sole representatives of overseas companies, as well as queries on citizenship, registration and naturalisation. Consultant Graeme Kirk, who has a ‘great deal of industry knowledge and experience’, heads the team which includes senior associate Charles Avens.

Edwin Coe LLP is routinely instructed by individual and business clients on a range of immigration matters and operates closely with the firm’s employment and private client departments. Immigration head Dhruti Thakrar regularly advises on sponsor licensing work for UK employers, Tier 1 entrepreneur and investor applications and also handles complex nationality applications and immigration appeals. Consultant Christine Chiew regularly handles private and corporate immigration matters, and nationality issues, as well as related appeals and administrative reviews. Robert Sparks, who joined in 2017 from Fisher Meredith, advises high-net-worth individuals and those seeking to settle, study or visit the UK.

The ‘highly skilled’ and ‘professional’ business immigration department at Freeths LLP handles a range of immigration mandates such as; advising on sponsor licence applications, outsourced licence management, compliance audits, right to work support and immigration risk management issues. The team is led by Tom Bradford, who joined in 2017 from Russell-Cooke LLP, and has a ‘masterful command of immigration law and displays a passionate understanding of the subject matter’; he ‘displays excellent judgement and is able to advance his client’s case with exceptional clarity and persuasion’. Associate Shradha Virji, who also joined in 2017 from Russell-Cooke LLP, stands out for her ‘cool and calm attitude’.

Ganguin Samartin provides advice across UK and US immigration for individual clients and also services corporate clients across the entertainment, technology, luxury goods, finance, media and sports sectors. The firm also acts for investors and entrepreneurs seeking to invest and conduct business in the UK and US. Head of UK immigration Vanessa Ganguin handles a range of corporate, human rights and personal immigration mandates, acting for SMEs, large multinationals, high-net-worth individuals, high-profile individuals, tech firms and entrepreneurs. Paul Samartin regularly advises corporate clients and individuals in the entertainment industry; and heads the US immigration department. Associate solicitor Meghan Vozila is also a key name.

The ‘outstanding’ department at Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors is well known for its ‘strong’ track-record in human rights, appeals and overstay work, European free movement, and nationality cases. It handles a range of emergency injunctions, bail, unlawful detention claims, appeals and Judicial Review applications, and is particularly praised for its ability to conduct its own advocacy. The firm also handles a range of business immigration matters and clients include several football clubs. Consultant solicitor Bernard Andonian has a ‘wealth of knowledge’ across immigration, asylum and human rights law, and also sits as a part-time judge. Managing director Dave Vasoodaven is ‘approachable’ and has an ‘excellent way with clients’. Consultant solicitor Hayk Sayadyan handles a range of human rights cases and has handled several complex judicial review matters, with particular experience in nationality and national security cases. Legal director Fadi Farhat heads the appeals and public law department and is ‘exceptional’.

Mills & Reeve LLP is active across a range of business immigration, student immigration, and private client mandates, and regularly acts for clients across the commercial, education, health, charity and sports sectors. Redgate Software, Regent’s University London, Olympus, King’s College London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and IDEO are clients. Norwich-based principal associate Alex Russell heads the team, and senior associate Abisola Latunji Cockbill, who is based in Birmingham, is also recommended.

Osborne Clarke LLP is praised for its ‘great customer service’ and the team is particularly experienced in acing for US multinational clients, particularly digital businesses, on the establishment of their UK operations. The team also advises clients in the energy, financial services, insurance, recruitment and luxury goods sectors on immigration matters. Stora Enso, VICE Media, Zuffa, Boiler Room and Refinery29 are clients.Gavin Jones heads the team and regularly acts for multinationals, professional services firms and educational institutions, and high-net-worth individuals, with a particular focus on inward investment.

The team of ‘focused immigration law specialists’ at OTS Solicitors stands out for its ‘crisp and professional approach to its work, which inspires confidence’. The team handles a raft of human rights cases, with expertise spanning appeals and refusals, Judicial Reviews, indefinite leave to remain, EEA applications, British nationality cases, deportation and asylum claims. On the business immigration side, the team handles a range of investor, entrepreneur and exceptional talent visas, sponsorship licences, illegal working compliance, global migration planning, temporary worker and transfer advice. Oshin Shahiean is ‘very professional’ and Teni Shahiean is a ‘great entrepreneur, who is passionate for her business and her clients’, and ‘adds a human touch in her work which gives comfort to the client’. Consultant Paul Gulbenkian’s experience is ‘exceptional’.

Payne Hicks Beach’s citizenship and immigration department provides ‘clear and practical advice’ for high-net-worth individuals particularly from the US, the Middle East, India, Turkey and South America. It also advises UK companies across the arts, fashion, financial services, and the not-for-profit sectors on immigration requirements and obligations. Team head Kathryn Bradbury ’s ‘client service is second to none; she goes the extra mile to devise a solution for her clients, is extremely professional, and quickly puts any client at ease’; and is an ‘excellent tactician and this results in excellent outcomes for clients with even the most complicated cases’.

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

Interview with...

Law firm partners and practice heads explain how their firms are adapting to clients' changing needs

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