The Legal 500

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United Kingdom > London > Human resources > Immigration

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Immigration: business
  2. Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay
  3. Leading individuals

The ‘extremely professional' team at Bates Wells Braithwaite acts on business and personal immigration matters. Department head Philip Trott, who is ‘a top notch immigration lawyer' and has ‘an encyclopaedic knowledge of the area', led advice for a theatre director and choreographer on obtaining a Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) visa. Senior associate Christopher Randall, who is an ‘expert', is a key name on human rights issues, with particular expertise representing domestic workers. Associate Tom Ketteley is also recommended.

‘First-rate' firm Kingsley Napley LLP has ‘made some excellent strategic hires', recruiting Marcia Longdon, who ‘displays an excellent understanding of the needs of corporate clients', from Ernst & Young Global Limited in January 2014. On the business side, the firm is active in advising high-net-worth individuals, particularly from the world of sport and performing arts, and providing immigration advice following mergers and acquisitions. On the human rights side, the firm’s work includes challenging refusals, submitting judicial reviews and preparing applications for overstayers. Department head Nicolas Rollason has ‘fantastic judgement and client skills'; Ilda de Sousa is ‘highly effective' and ‘instils confidence'; and Elspeth Guild is an ‘expert' on EU free- movement issues.

Boutique firm Laura Devine Solicitors is recommended for its ‘impressive industry knowledge, practical advice and value for money', and its ‘strong' links with the US, where it has a New York office. Highlights include advising on an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) application and an Article 8 appeal on limited leave to remain, and acting for corporate clients on sponsor licences. The firm remains particularly strong in representing clients in the entertainment industry. Department head Sophie Barrett-Brown and Laura Devine are ‘very good'; Natasha Chell is an ‘expert'; and Vanessa Ganguin is ‘excellent'. Chell, Ganguin and Paul Samartin were promoted to the partnership in May 2013.

The ‘excellent' Magrath LLP is ‘trusted' by clients, and led by the ‘extremely knowledgeable, commercial and pragmatic' Ben Sheldrick. Highlights for the team include advising on a right to work investigation and on indefinite leave to remain issues. Tilly Oyetti, who has particular expertise on Tier 2 matters, and Zulaykha Bhaijee, who focuses her practice on private-client Tier 1 entrepreneur work, were both promoted to the partnership in December 2013. Chris Magrath is also recommended.

Julia Onslow-Cole leads the team at PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP, which acts for high-net-worth individuals and corporate clients. Highlights include advising on ILR and naturalisation applications. Jurga McCluskey is ‘knowledgeable'. Anjali Greenwell, who was promoted to the partnership in July 2014, is ‘proactive'.

Tony Haque leads the team at Baker & McKenzie LLP, which represents multinational companies and high-net-worth individuals. The firm is experienced in advising on investor and entrepreneur visas and intra-company transfers.

‘Highly successful start-up' Carter Thomas Solicitors has a focus on the educational and technology sectors, including acting for entrepreneurs and investors. The firm gained the University of Cambridge as a new client. Principal Nichola Carter, who is ‘excellent', ‘dynamic' and ‘energetic', has ‘an unparalleled reputation in the sponsor licensing sphere, and is the true doyenne of Tier 4 sponsorship'.

Caron Pope leads the four-partner team at Fragomen LLP, which has strengthened its focus on the Japanese market with the recruitment of Reika Haque from Ernst & Young Global Limited. Senior associate Helen Smith joined the firm in June 2013 from Kingsley Napley LLP.

Gherson is ‘particularly experienced in sensitive and high-profile cases', and advises on issues including applications and appeals that fall outside the rules; ILR and naturalisation applications; judicial reviews of Home Office policy; and rights under the Refugee Convention. On the business immigration side, the firm’s work includes advice on applications made under the points based system, and Tier 1 and Sole Representative visas. Lisa Amos heads the business immigration practice, and Kathryn Bradbury leads the general immigration team. Principal Roger Gherson is recommended for his expertise in advising on business immigration.

The ‘good' team at Mishcon de Reya is particularly ‘strong' on acting for private clients, and is active on Tier 1 (investor) applications, appeals and citizenship applications. Kamal Rahman’s team advises on issues such as naturalisation and ILR applications, and economic citizenship of St Christopher and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda.

Tracy Evlogidis’ team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has particular expertise representing clients in the retail, media and entertainment sectors, and acts for corporate clients and high net worth individuals. Key areas include advising on crisis management for multinational companies; conducting audits; and assisting on sponsorship applications, Tier 2 applications and business visitor visas.

The ‘outstanding' Alison Stanley leads the ‘highly skilled' team at Bindmans LLP, which is ‘able to draw on the human-rights and public-law expertise of the firm as a whole'. The team is active on nationalisation cases, and receives instructions from local authorities on the registration of children in their care, and unaccompanied children, as British nationals. Liz Barratt, who is ‘excellent', is representing an 18-year-old, whose application to register as a British citizen was refused, on a judicial review of good character requirements. The firm also acts for charities and unions. Ashley Fleming, Emma Cohen - who is experienced on family immigration matters - and Roberta Haslam are also recommended.

Gulbenkian Andonian is ‘a well-established, reputable and highly competent firm, with expertise across all areas of immigration law'. Dave Vasoodaven, who ‘obtains excellent results', obtained an injunction on behalf of an Iranian civil rights protestor, preventing her deportation to Iran. Bernard Andonian and Teni Shahiean ‘prepare their cases to a very high standard'.

The ‘highly competent and effective' team at Squire Patton Boggs goes the ‘extra mile'. Department head Annabel Mace ‘inspires' clients, and is leading advice to WPP on transferring employees to locations around the world as part of a fellowship programme. Supinder Sian is ‘totally reliable, trustworthy and very easy to talk to'.

Taylor Wessing LLP provides a ‘high level of service'. Key client sectors include technology, digital media and financial services. Senior counsel Charlie Pring, who is ‘highly responsive' and leads advice to North American clients, acted for a US national in applying for, and securing, a Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. Sean Nesbitt heads the department, and senior counsel Vikki Wiberg focuses her practice on Chinese and Asian clients.

Bird & Bird LLP is recommended for its ‘good response times' and ‘knowledge of regulations'. The firm represents Control Risk on all immigration issues, and recently advised on an application for ILR and, separately, on switching from a Tier 1 (Post Study Work) to a Tier 2 visa. Jonathan Goldsworthy heads the team

Clyde & Co LLP provides an ‘excellent service' and ‘goes the extra mile' for clients. Department head Jonathan Chaimovic is ‘excellent' and experienced in matters including sponsor licences, applications in and outside the points based system, applications outside the UK Immigration Rules, and citizenship and political asylum applications.

Matthew Davies leads the team at Fox Williams LLP, which has particular expertise advising clients in the financial services, technology and professional services sectors. New clients include a US software company and a Canadian energy company.

The ‘very professional' team at Lewis Silkin LLP displays an ‘excellent knowledge of immigration law', and acts for Bath Rugby Club, Pentland Brands and Dunnhumby. Andrew Osborne leads the team, and Antonia Grant provides ‘practical' and ‘commercial' advice.

Pat Saini, who displays a ‘high degree of professionalism and integrity', leads the ‘excellent' team at Penningtons Manches LLP. The firm acts for Navitas Holdings on sponsor licensing and risk-management issues, led by Saini, and Tier 4 compliance support and training.

Edward Wanambwa leads the ‘competent' team at Russell-Cooke LLP, which advised on securing a Tier 2 (ICT) long-term staff extension visa for a senior executive.

Marian Dixon leads the team at Wright Hassall LLP, which includes the respected Peter Dixon and provides a ‘professional' service. Highlights include advising on ILR applications, an application for a Tier 1 (Investor) visa and an application for naturalisation as a British citizen.

Bircham Dyson Bell advises on business visitor visas, sponsor licences, appeals and overstay matters. Jesper Christensen leads the business team, and Alastair Collett heads the human rights, appeals and overstay team. Tim Hayes is a key name.

The ‘excellent' Gillian Koshi Blavo leads the ‘exemplary' team at Blavo & Co Solicitors Ltd. The firm represented a paralympian in a claim for asylum, and acted for a theatre director in a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) application.

The ‘very good' team at Doyle Clayton Solicitors is led by Owen Jones, who was promoted to the partnership in 2013. Jones led advice to long-standing client Advent Capital Holdings on Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange) visa applications, and the transfer of international staff under the Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer arrangements. Associate Victoria Burnip is recommended for her ‘thoroughness and professionalism'.

The ‘very good' Duncan Lewis Solicitors is valued for its ‘commitment' to clients, especially in human rights, where it is currently advising on a deprivation of British citizenship case in the Court of Appeal. On the business side, the firm has advised on several Tier 2 visas. Vicash Ramkissoon is ‘exceptional', and Adam Tear and James Packer are recommended. Toufique Hossain, who was promoted to the partnership in 2013, is ‘very committed to his clients'.

Fisher Meredith LLP provides a ‘faultless' service, and represents clients in deportation and asylum matters, and on Tier 1 (Investor) and (Enterpreneur) and Tier 2 sponsor licences. Department head Robert Sparks is ‘excellent', and solicitor Gulcin Kashano* is ‘extremely intelligent'. *Gulcin Kashano is now at PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP.

The ‘excellent' Rose Carey leads the team at Speechly Bircham LLP, which is ‘extremely professional' and represents Cobb Europe, Quayle Munroe and Regenersis. Since publication, Charles Russell LLP and Speechly Bircham LLP have merged to form Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.

Angharad Harris leads the ‘commercially minded' team at Watson, Farley & Williams LLP. Highlights include advising on an application for British nationality and a Tier 1 (Investor) application.

Department head Tim Gilbert at Travers Smith LLP led advice to Icon Film Distribution on its registration as a sponsor, a ‘resident labour market’ test, an application for a restricted certificate of sponsorship and a successful Tier 2 (General) visa application.

Specialist immigration practice Wesley Gryk Solicitors LLP has particular expertise acting for unmarried and civil partners, and advising on asylum and refugee matters. Barry O’Leary is ‘excellent' and founding partner Wesley Gryk is also recommended.

Matthew Davies and Michael Hanley are key names in the team at Wilson Solicitors LLP, which advises on areas including human rights, deportation and removal, detention and human trafficking.

The ‘excellent' David Webb at DJ Webb & Co is an ‘experienced practitioner'.

Also noted for their immigration law capabilities are Bonheur Legal, CMS, Hudson McKenzie, Lawrence Lupin Solicitors, and Mills & Reeve LLP.

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Legal Developments in London for Immigration

  • Personal accounts and auto-enrolment: looking ahead

    The government plans to introduce a new national ‘personal accounts’ pension system in 2012. From October of that year, all employers will be required to auto-enrol eligible employees into either the government’s new personal accounts scheme or, if it meets certain ‘qualifying’ criteria, the employer’s own pension arrangement.
    - Eversheds LLP

Legal Developments in the UK

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  • Home Office announces extension of support service for SMEs

    An online support service for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) which need to recruit skilled overseas workers has been extended until 28 February 2014. The pilot was launched by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) in partnership with the Greater London Authority (GLA) and provides a step by step guide to sponsoring an overseas worker. This service is available via the GLA website.
  • Penningtons Manches' immigration team considers new changes to the Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance

    The Home Office has recently published new Tier 4 Sponsor Guidance, version 12/13. This guidance is to be used by all prospective and existing Tier 4 sponsors from 11 December 2013.
  • Finding the 
right words

    In the recent case of Newbury v Sun Microsystems [2013], the defendant argued that an offer to settle proceedings was ‘in principle' only and that a binding contract could not be formed until further terms had been agreed and a formal contract had been signed. It supported this argument by referring to a statement, in the offer letter, that the settlement was to be ‘recorded in a suitably worded agreement'. 

  • Behind the corporate veil: is that all there is?

    That companies have an existence entirely separate to that of their shareholders and directors is a foundational principle of English law and commerce.

  • Playing fair with penalty clauses

    It is often difficult to predict what will be recoverable as damages for breach of contract. To provide some certainty, parties will often seek to agree the sum that will be payable in the event of specified breaches. 

  • Restoring environmental damage: putting a price on ecosystem services

    On 7 August 2009 a 40-inch pipeline ruptured, spilling 5,400 cubic metres of crude oil into the soil and groundwater of La Crau nature reserve in southern France, a habitat protected under French and European law. The operator had to excavate and replace 60,000 tons of soil, install 70 wells to pump and treat groundwater and 25 pumps to skim oil from surface water, at a cost in the region of €50m. However, this was just the primary remediation (that is, restoring the site to the state it would have been if the damage had not occurred). The operator was also required to compensate for the damage to the habitats and the loss of the ecosystem services that would otherwise have been provided by La Crau nature reserve. Measures included purchasing land outside of the nature reserve and contributing to its management for a period of 30 years (over €1m), monitoring the water table for 20 years (over €500,000), monitoring fauna over three years (€150,000) and rehabilitation in accordance with best available ecological techniques (nearly €2m). Overall, the compensatory restoration (to compensate for the amount of time that the ecosystem was impacted) and complimentary restoration (to compensate for elements of the ecosystem that had been permanently lost) came to more than €6.5m. 

  • The role of arbitrators in EU antitrust law

    In May 2014, it will be ten years since Regulation No 1/2003 entered into force. When the legislator of the European Union adopted this Regulation on 16 December 2002, its main objective was to decentralise the enforcement of the two main provisions of EU antitrust law, Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU)). Where do the arbitrators fit in this picture?

  • New Immigration Bill, October 2013: cause for concern or appeasing public sentiment?

    The year 2013 has seen a string of reforms to the immigration system by the current coalition government. On 10 October, the government published a Bill aimed at continuing its drive to reduce net migration figures. 

  • New Schengen EU Regulations: impact on short-stay visa visitors

    The publication on 26 June 2013 of the European Union Regulation EU 610/2013 modified the incumbent Regulation EU 562/2006 in relation to third country nationals (ie non-EU citizens) and those travelling on a short-stay visitor visa, as well as those who do not require a visa to enter the Schengen area, Romania, Croatia and Bulgaria. Exceptions include EU and EEA nationals travelling to other EU/EEA states within the Schengen area together with foreign nationals holding either long-stay or residence permits for their destination Schengen countries.

  • New revised guidelines for administrators in pre-pack sales

    Pre-pack sales by administrators are now used frequently enough for most people in business to be aware of them and many have come across them in their business lives. A small amount of controversy still attaches to pre-packs, but it is probably right to say that they are now an accepted part of the UK business scene as a useful means of rescuing a business in difficulty and preserving some or all of the jobs connected with the business.
    - Druces

Press Releases in the UK

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