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United Kingdom > London > Human resources > Immigration

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Immigration: business
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay
  4. Other recommended firms
  5. Leading individuals

Bates Wells Braithwaite’s practice is ‘a beacon of excellence’, with clients citing its ‘extremely good reputation for very difficult cases’. ‘Extremely knowledgeable’ practice head Philip Trott acts for high-profile entertainers, film and television companies, and members of foreign governments. Also recommended are ‘brilliant’ senior associate Christopher Randall, who specialises in human rights and asylum-related applications, and ‘excellent’ associate Chetal Patel, who primarily advises on Tier 2 visas. The team was strengthened by the arrival of senior associate Tim Barnden from Wesley Gryk Solicitors LLP; he has ‘a wonderful rapport with clients’.

Always prompt and factual’, Kingsley Napley LLP provides ‘an excellent level of service’ on a broad range of matters including Tier 2 compliance, criminal convictions, overstay applications and judicial reviews. Practice head Nicolas Rollason regularly acts for investors, entrepreneurs and other high-net-worth individuals. Also recommended are the ‘technical but commercialIlda de Sousa, EU immigration expert Elspeth Guild and senior associate Gillian Brownlee, who is ‘proactive and very professional’.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

YDVISAS

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Laura Devine Solicitors provides ‘very prompt and clear advice’ to a wide range of corporate and private clients. Founder Laura Devine advises on both UK and US immigration matters, often acting for high-net-worth individuals. The department is led by Sophie Barrett-Brown, who specialises in Tier 1 entrepreneur and investor visas, while the ‘efficient’ Malini Skandachanmugarasan leads on appeals and human rights matters, and has strong knowledge of discretionary applications and Article 8 cases. Christi Hufford Jackson, who joined from Fragomen LLP, now leads the US practice following Joseph Elias’s return to the US.

Magrath LLP’s ‘very responsive’ team is led by Ben Sheldrick, who handles Tier 1 (investor) and Tier 2 applications and extensions. Newly promoted partner Alfreda Joubert handles applications under the Points Based System (PBS), as well as Leave to Remain (ILR) and entry clearance applications for spouses, civil partners and family members of British and EEA nationals. Founder Chris Magrath, who is dual US and UK qualified, is also recommended.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP provides ‘a very high level of advice’ for a broad range of clients, including educational institutions and clients in the financial services sector. The practice is led by Julia Onslow-Cole, whose track record includes acting for governments. Clients recommend ‘very professional and reliable’ solicitor Kelly Whiter. Katrina Cooper joined from Faegre Baker Daniels in 2015.

Carter Thomas Solicitors provides ‘in-depth knowledge of immigration laws and policies’ and specialises in assisting educational institutions with Tier 4 licences. The team is headed by the ‘very meticulous’ and ‘incredibly helpfulNichola Carter.

Gherson has ‘a formidable reputation for dealing with complex immigration matters’. The firm has particular expertise in extradition proceedings, asylum applications and appeals. The ‘deeply passionateRoger Gherson advises on matters involving Russia, Ukraine and other CIS countries. Lisa Amos heads the business immigration practice.

Mishcon de Reya LLP’s ‘excellent’ team acts for high-net-worth individuals, and specialises in naturalisation and complex ILR applications. Clients recommend newly promoted partner Maria Patsalos, who is ‘very professional and compassionate’, ‘extremely sharp’ associate Natalie Loader, and Kamal Rahman, who leads the team.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP’s practice is headed by the ‘helpful and responsiveTracy Evlogidis, who handles employment-related matters.

Penningtons Manches LLP is ‘a very capable firm’ that provides ‘consistent and comprehensive advice’. The group, which is led by Pat Saini (who is noted for her ‘great depth of understanding’) acts for a broad range of clients in the technology, sports and entertainment sectors, and has seen an increase in instructions from clients in the education sector. Clients recommend Hazar El-Chamaa, who is now a partner, and non-practising associate director Penny Evans.

Squire Patton Boggs provides ‘excellent advice on complicated immigration matters for critical employees’, and is noted for its handling of applications across all categories under the PBS. The team is headed by the ‘approachableAnnabel Mace, who specialises in Tier 2 compliance and sponsor licence issues. The team includes the ‘very competent and responsiveSupinder Sian, whose expertise includes handling entry clearance, extensions of stay and ILR applications.

The ‘excellent’ group at Baker & McKenzie LLP sits within the firm’s wider employment and global immigration mobility department, which is headed by John Evason. The team primarily assists employers with international company transfers and Tier 2 visas.

Bindmans LLP has ‘exceptional expertise in all areas of immigration law’, and handles matters ranging from asylum to trafficking and domestic violence. The team is jointly led by Alison Stanley, who is recommended for her ‘judgement, determination and unflappability’; and Liz Barratt, who is ‘one of the most knowledgeable solicitors in the area’. Also recommended are associates Emma Cohen, who specialises in adoption and surrogacy matters, and Ashley Fleming, who handles EU law and nationality matters. Roberta Haslam is 'excellent at identifying issues even in the most complex cases'.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP’s ‘highly knowledgeable’ group regularly handles Tier 1 (investor) visa applications and has seen a significant increase in instructions from its Russian client base. The team is headed by Rose Carey, who ‘gets great results’ for clients. Senior associate Tilly Oyetti joined from Magrath LLP in 2016.

Fragomen LLP’s ‘very good and proactive’ practice advises a wide range of high-net-worth individuals, including entrepreneurs, entertainers and individuals in the sports sector. A separate team advises clients in the financial services sector. The group is led by Caron Pope, who is experienced in handling all applications under the PBS, with particular expertise in assisting Eastern European and Chinese clients with Tier 1 (investor) applications. Clients recommend the ‘outstanding’ Natasha Catterson and Nadine Goldfoot.

Lewis Silkin LLP’s practice is led by Andrew Osborne, who specialises in handling Tier 1 investor and entrepreneur applications under the PBS, aswell as intra-company transfers and Tier 5 applications for skilled migrants. Senior associate Diana Okoeva specialises in US immigration and nationality law.

Russell-Cooke LLP’s ‘very diligent’ practice is ‘courteous, helpful and a pleasure to deal with’. On the corporate side, the practice handles the immigration aspects of complex and high value transactions, as well as Tier 4 sponsorship work, while on the personal immigration side, the team advises on judicial reviews, appeals and overstays, with particular expertise in the adoption of children abroad. The team includes ‘superb’ barrister Tom Bradford and fellow associate Nisha Patel, who is ‘an excellent communicator’. Edward Wanambwa heads the team.

Proactive, fast and professional’, Taylor Wessing LLP’s cross-departmental team advises on a broad range of matters, including the immigration aspects of corporate transactions and Tier 2 compliance. Clients recommend senior counsel Charlie Pring, who primarily acts for North American businesses, entrepreneurs and other high-net-worth individuals. Sean Nesbitt leads the group.

Bird & Bird LLP’s ‘very efficient’ team is led by ‘effective’ senior associate Jonathan Goldsworthy, who acts for high-profile clients across a wide range of industry sectors, and primarily assists US organisations with establishing and expanding their UK and European operations. Clients include Infosys Technologies and Nuance Communications.

Boutique firm Bonheur Legal specialises in advising software and technology clients on intra-company transfers, as well as Tier 1 (exceptional talent) visa applications. Clients recommend the ‘patient and dedicated’ Charlotte Hervet. Founder Thierry Hervet leads the practice.

Headed by the ‘proficient’ Jonathan Chaimovic, Clyde & Co LLP handles Tier 2 sponsorship licences for clients in the insurance and oil and gas sectors. Clients include Glencore, Universal Music Group and Ophir Energy.

Very fast and thorough’, Watson Farley & Williams LLP acts for both high-net-worth individuals and corporates, with a growing focus on assisting performers with Tier 5 (creative and sporting) visa applications. It is led by the ‘responsiveAngharad Harris.

Wright Hassall LLP’s ‘very good’ team is experienced in handling complex ILR and Tier 1 (general) extension applications for high-net-worth individuals, as well as Tier 2 applications for clients in the charity, financial services and education sectors, among others. Marian Dixon, who provides ‘accurate timely advice’, heads the practice. Matthew Davies joined from Fox Williams LLP.

Bircham Dyson Bell provides ‘an extremely high level of service’ to high-net-worth individuals and SMEs. Clients recommend associate Tim Hayes, who is ‘highly responsive, personable and detailed’, practice head Jesper Christensen, and Alastair Collett leads on personal immigration.

DavidsonMorris’ ‘very responsive and professional’ practice advises clients in the finance, sports, medical and charity sectors, with particular expertise in sponsor licence renewal work. Led by group head Anne Morris, it acts as sole immigration law provider for the British Medical Association.

Doyle Clayton’s ‘business-focused’ team primarily advises employers on sponsor licences, with strong experience in PBS applications. ‘Highly recommended’ practice head Owen Jones successfully assisted Yamaha Music Europe with two Tier 5 temporary worker applications to allow two musicians to enter and perform in the UK. Anita de Atouguia was promoted to partner in 2015.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors’ ‘dynamic and very well-organised’ group specialises in acting for clients in judicial review proceedings before the High Court, as well as handling Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal cases. On the business immigration side, the team advises SMEs on compliance and sponsorship licence applications under the PBS. Clients recommend the ‘hardworking’ Adam Tear and ‘knowledgeableJames Packer. Other key names include Ayan Yalchin, Vicash Ramkissoon and ‘genuine star’ Toufique Hossain.

Fox Williams LLP’s practice is now led by Sacha Schoenfeld following the departure of Matthew Davies to Wright Hassall LLP. The team often acts for clients in the technology, financial services and professional services sectors.

The ‘incredibly talented’ team at Travers Smith LLP is highly experienced in advising clients on sponsor licence applications and compliance issues. It primarily acts for clients in the financial services sector, including Western Union, Monarch Alternative Capital and Bank Negara Indonesia. The group is led by employment head Tim Gilbert, who handles Tier 1 (entrepreneur), Tier 2 (general) and Tier 2 (intra-company transfer) applications.

Clients rate Gulbenkian Andonian’s ‘incredible depth of knowledge’ and its ability to conduct its own advocacy. The practice has strong experience in appeals and judicial review applications, and the ‘intelligent, resourceful and efficientBernard Andonian, who is now a consultant, sits on the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal. Clients also recommend Dave Vasoodaven and Hayk Sayadyan.

Excellent at asylum and human rights cases’, Lawrence Lupin Solicitorsachieves excellent results in particularly complex cases’. Founder Lawrence Lupin specialises in judicial reviews concerning the deportation of skilled workers. Clients also recommend ‘meticulous’ associates Tamana Aziz and Stefan Vnuk, both of whom have experience acting for clients before the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

The ‘exceptionally good’ practice at Fisher Meredith LLP is headed by Robert Sparks, who conducts his own advocacy before the Immigration and Asylum Chamber, and has been involved in cases before the Court of Appeal. Clients recommend associate Mariam Khaliq.

Wilson Solicitors LLP’s ‘highly professional and very experienced’ team handles the full range of asylum and nationality matters, often acting for clients before the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and Court of Appeal. Clients recommend the highly regarded Anita Vasisht, who has particular expertise in high- profile extradition cases. Matthew Davies heads the practice.

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