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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 > South East > Human resources > Immigration > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



Index of tables

  1. Immigration
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

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Birketts LLP fields a 'top-class' immigration team that is rated for its 'strong know-how, excellent advice and  good value for money'. 'Very knowledgeable' practice head Janice Leggett is singled out as 'an excellent adviser who provides fast responses and advice that is accurate and to the point'. The practice acts for a range of corporate clients, from SMEs to multinationals such as Just Eat, on the full spectrum of immigration matters, including assisting with sponsor licence applications, Tier 2 and Tier 5 visa applications, and advising on the position of EU workers post-Brexit. Recent work includes acting for new client Intersil on a number of Tier 2 visa applications, and on the process to achieve an Overseas Employment Certificate for a worker based in the Philippines. In an illustration of Leggett's track record in UK commercial film production matters, she continues to act for the Advertising Producers Association  on its members' immigration requirements.

Clarkslegal LLP's immigration team is 'prompt in its responses, accurate in its advice and offers great value both in terms of time and costs'. The practice handles business immigration matters for a number of FTSE 100 businesses and financial services organisations, in addition to being particularly active in obtaining visas for representatives of overseas companies and acting for senior staff members and their families on obtaining dependent visas. Clients include Jardine Motors Group, for which it is assisting with immigration issues related to Chinese and Singaporean nationals employed by the client and sent to the UK for shadowing purposes. Other recent work include acting for a multinational corporation on the sponsor licence process related to the client's objective to sponsor a number of highly skilled employees from its overseas branches. Monica Atwal heads the practice, which includes Afeefah Shabbir, who is praised for her 'deep understanding of business immigration matters'.

Dentons' immigration practice attracts praise for its 'vast experience in the field', with Verity Buckingham singled out for her ability to 'provide clear answers to all issues raised, no matter how big or small'. The practice handles the full range of business immigration matters, from assisting with sponsor licence applications and acting as Level 1 users, to advising on temporary and permanent visa applications for EU nationals and their family members. It also acts for high-net-worth individuals and entrepreneurs on private immigration matters. In an illustration of the practice's cross-border credentials, Buckingham acted for on two overseas business representative applications, which was complicated by the applicants' 50% shareholdings in the client's overseas business. Other recent work includes advising Yamabahce on a Tier 2 sponsor licence and on completing the Resident Labour Market Test for a business development manager; assisted Quercus Investment Partners with securing a Tier 2 sponsor licence and advising on special provisions applying to migrant workers switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2.

Clients consider Penningtons Manches Cooper to be 'a top-level firm with excellent experience in immigration matters'. The immigration practice has a particular focus on the technology, education and healthcare sectors, where it regularly handles the immigration aspects of spinouts, among other matters. In an illustration of its education track record, Bain acted for Merton College on a Tier 2 sponsor licence and on the recruitment of its first Tier 2 migrant, which involved liaising with the UKVI to resolve a question over whether the role qualified for sponsorship as it involved a mixture of academic research and religious ministry. In addition to business immigration matters, the practice also acts for individuals in private immigration matters; recent work includes assisting an individual with the preparation of a permanent residence application on behalf of his Greek mother. Duncan Bain joined Bower & Bailey.

Stevens & Bolton LLP's immigration team is 'very strong, very thorough and provides effective guidance and solutions throughout the process'. The practice's business immigration expertise covers Tier 2 applications (including advising on the Resident Labour Market Test, obtaining certificates of sponsorship, entry clearance and sponsor compliance), and acts as Level 1 Users for a number of clients. It also handles Tier 5 and sole representative applications, among other immigration matters. Practice head Kerry Garcia ('sharp, responsive and to the point') is continuing to advise Asahi UK (previously called Miller Brands UK) on sponsor licence issues arising from the sale of Miller Brands  to Asahi's parent company, as well as advising on Tier 2 applications to transfer staff and bring across new hires. Other clients include Godiva UK, for which it is advising on immigration matters arising from a complex re-organisation; Air Navigation Solutions, for which it obtained a sponsor licence application for a New Zealand national under Tier 2; and Diebold Nixdorf (UK), for which it provided strategic advice in connection with transferring Tier 2 migrants into another area of the business.

Aston Bond's immigration expertise covers work permits, marriage and business applications, asylum and settlement in the UK, and human rights-related issues. Ravinder Kaur is the key contact.

B P Collins LLP's immigration practice provides 'very good all-round service' and has 'great knowledge of the law, the client's business and the market generally'. Practice head Chris Brazier is singled out for providing advice that is 'straightforward and responsible'; he has wide-ranging knowledge of the points based system and sponsor licensing, among other business immigration matters, and also assists individuals. He is assisted by senior associate Kathryn Fielder, who has extensive experience in obtaining sponsorship licences as well as assisting sponsored employees with obtaining visas once their licence is granted. The practice's clients cover a range of sectors, with an emphasis on architecture, financial services, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and retail.

Barnes Harrild & Dyer has an extensive track record in immigration, human rights and asylum law. Senior partner Paul Turner leads the team, which is routinely called on to handle cases before the Immigration Tribunal, through to the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court.

Pitmans LLP benefits from strong connections with UK Trade and Investment and the Thames Valley, Hampshire and Dorset Chambers of Commerce, making the firm a natural choice for overseas businesses seeking to engage in inward investment in the region. The immigration practice's specialisms include handling Schengen travel visas; Tier 2 and Tier 5 sponsor licence applications; Tier 1 applications for highly skilled workers, investors and entrepreneurs, and applications for indefinite leave to remain. Recent work includes advising a management consulting firm on the ongoing management of its sponsor licence, as well as on the implementation and maintenance of an appropriate HR system to enable the client to discharge its sponsorship obligations. Jonathan Gray heads the practice and has a longstanding track record of assisting clients in the technology, oil and gas, entertainment and hospitality sectors.

Clients 'love working with' Doyle Clayton's immigration practice, thanks in part to its ability to 'break down complex processes in an easy to understand way; it combines in-depth legal knowledge with practical, commercially-focused and tailored advice delivered in plain English'. Victoria Burnip splits her time between Reading and London and acts for a sizeable list of commercial clients, as well as a growing number of individuals on immigration matters. The practice has experienced significant growth in cross-border work, and continues to advise both longstanding and new commercial clients on their sponsor licence applications.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors excels in public law immigration matters, where its team 'is not afraid to challenge accepted norms, take risks in advancement of its client's case and push boundaries in the client's favour'. The practice acts for businesses and individuals on the full range of personal immigration, asylum and human rights, and nationality matters, as well as assisting high-net-worth individuals with points based system applications and appeals. In an illustration of its public law expertise, the practice acted in the lead case challenging removals to Bulgaria under the Dublin III Regulations. Key figures include Bahar Ata, whose 'understanding of immigration issues, especially asylum support and EEA law, is second to none'; Ahmed Aydeed, who has extensive experience in asylum claims and unlawful detention matters;  and the 'outstanding' Zofia Duszynska, who demonstrates 'extraordinary commitment to clients and up-to-date knowledge of relevant law'.

Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP's immigration practice attracts praise for its 'professionalism and experience', with newly promoted partner and practice head Ashlee Campbell considered 'a pioneer in this area'. The firm's track record in this area covers immigration cases under the Legal Aid Scheme; its close relationships with social service departments in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Thurrock as well as charitable organisations such as The Red Cross ensuring a steady stream of Legal Aid work. The practice also handles applications across all tiers of the points based system and entrepreneur applications.

Clients of Herrington Carmichael LLP 'always receive a consistently high level of service' from the immigration team, which is praised for its 'excellent knowledge of immigration law and the procedures and processes behind it, ensuring that all avenues are considered so as to mitigate against any risks'. Headed by Imelda Reddington (who is 'highly regarded in the field of immigration law'), the practice has cultivated a firm following among employers nationwide, who regularly instruct the firm on licence application compliance, Brexit-related immigration issues, and ongoing compliance with sponsor duties and recruitment of migrant workers, among other matters.

IBB (Iliffes Booth Bennett) handles an array of immigration matters, ranging from Tier 2 sponsor licensing, sponsor management system compliance, and acquiring Schengen visas, to advising on security clearance and leave to remain applications for key executives. The practice acts for start-ups, SMEs, multinational corporations, high-net-worth individuals, and families, with notable strength in the technology, pharmaceutical, retail, automotive and manufacturing sectors. It is also active in  cross-border work involving transfers of personnel between countries, particularly the US. Clients include Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, for which the practice handles its Tier 2 sponsor licences. Richard Devall heads the team, which includes Ed Marchant, who has a wealth of expertise handling applications under the points based system. Aleksandra Yuskina left the firm in April 2017.

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