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Who Represents Who

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Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP is a powerhouse in immigration law. The firm has seven US offices and 11 international platforms, all of which focus exclusively on corporate immigration law, and its highly experienced lawyers attract praise for offering ‘proactive solutions’ to a wide range of immigration matters. From Dallas, managing partner Jeremy Fudge and Kortney Gibson are advising a global internet technology company on the full scope of immigration issues involving over 60 countries. Gibson also manages some of the largest immigration programs in the US, with the telecoms sphere a notable sweet spot. From Houston, Roberto Caballero specializes in managing immigration programs for large oil and gas companies. In San Francisco, David Berry is assisting a multinational military contractor with immigration issues. Vernadette Antonio, who attracts praise for her ability to ‘think outside the box’, is also recommended in San Francisco; she oversees the office’s global visa practice and handles multinational immigration matters for clients from the aerospace, construction, hi-tech and engineering sectors. Washington DC-based Lynden Melmed acts for clients in immigration-related audits and federal investigations. Senior counsel Jeffrey Gorsky is also recommended in the Washington DC office. In March 2017, senior counsel Kelli Duehning, who was previously the managing attorney of the Western Law Division of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), joined the San Francisco office.

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Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy has an excellent reputation in the immigration arena. The firm operates across the globe, with 40 offices across 20 countries, including 16 offices in its US network. All practitioners in the US offices focus solely on immigration law and handle the whole spectrum of visa applications, including services for accompanying family members, compliance matters and strategy issues. New York-based name partner Austin Fragomen is an authority in the immigration space. Atlanta-based Daryl Buffenstein is also a notable expert in the field and has a track record in writing immigration legislation. Other key names include Cynthia Lange, who leads the firm’s hi-tech practice from Silicon Valley, and Bo Cooper in the Washington DC office, who heads up the firm’s government strategies and compliance group. Shawn Orme recently left the firm.

Full service firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s practice provides ‘comprehensive immigration support’ to clients, particularly in corporate immigration matters, and has notable strength in M&A-related work. The group also handles compliance issues, visa applications, program development and strategic planning. The ‘extremely knowledgeable’ team houses ‘experienced industry experts’ that provide ‘timely and accurate’ advice; Los Angeles-based ‘immigration law expertAngelo Paparelli continues to represent clients in the hospitality industry in high-stakes cases. Boston managing partner Russell Swapp chairs the national practice alongside Atlanta-based James King, who is noted for having a ‘great body of immigration knowledge’; the duo continue to shape the firm’s immigration management programs. King recently overturned a Department of Labor denial of a labor certification on behalf of a technology firm; the application was initially denied on the basis of the employer’s unquantified minimum requirements. Atlanta-based Gabriel Mozes is also recommended; he has expertise in H1-B third party placement matters and PERM program issues. On the pro bono side, in January 2017, Washington DC-based senior counsel Dawn Lurie and Atlanta-based senior counsel Sharon Poorak assisted travelers detained at the Washington DC and Atlanta airports following the issuance of Executive Order 13769, which placed a restriction on the number of individuals re-entering the US. In 2017, the firm strengthened its team via the acquisition of Leon Rodriguez to its Washington DC office; Rodriguez brings a wealth of knowledge from his previous role as the former director of USCIS.

Akerman LLP’s immigration team assists a broad range of clients from across the hospitality, restaurant, media, communications, banking and manufacturing sectors. The group’s workload includes PERM planning, compliance issues, naturalization and citizenship matters and EB-5 applications. Orlando-based Thomas Raleigh has a strong track record in handling immigration work for corporate and private clients seeking to expand their businesses in the US. Miami-based Maria Casablanca is chair of the practice.

Baker McKenzie LLP is revered as ‘one of the most reputable global immigration practices - a perfect fit for major international companies seeking a full-service immigration solution’, according to clients. The ‘incredibly responsive’ team attracts praise for its ‘expert knowledge’ and ability to provide ‘practical and pragmatic solutions’. The group is largely housed in Chicago, although immigration specialists are also located in the Washington DC and Miami offices as well as across the firm’s extensive global network. Chicago-based group head Betsy Morgan is ‘extremely knowledgeable’; she is advising Caterpillar and the Mozilla Corporation on global immigration and related issues. The ‘highly responsive and knowledgeable’ Ginger Partee, also based in Chicago, led a team comprising immigration, employment, litigation and data privacy experts to advise clients on the search and seizure of electronic devices procedure carried out by US Customs and Border Protection, as well as international immigration and border control authorities. In Washington DC, Shannon Donnelly is noted for her experience in assisting clients from the financial services sector with global business immigration matters; she leads the team’s management of the Royal Bank of Canada immigration portfolio for the US, Canada, Australia and Asia-Pacific regions. Miami-based associate Laura Garvin, who provides ‘a wealth of knowledge on immigration and gives very practical advice’, is also recommended.

Duane Morris LLP’ practice houses ‘solid lawyers’ with comprehensive knowledge of the whole spectrum of immigration work, including contentious matters, corporate transactional support, removal issues, compliance audits and in-house training; the group has seen a significant uptick in work permit, global visa and residence applications. Washington DC-based department head Denyse Sabagh leads a six-partner team that represents a varied client base of start-ups, multinationals and medium-sized companies, particularly from the education, technology, media, retail, financial services and life sciences sectors. Representative clients include CNSI, Apollo Education Group, Inova and Zensar Technologies. San Francisco-based Lisa Spiegel is ‘very knowledgeable’ and recently assisted US Core Holdings with filing a successful L1-A application for the chief operating officer from their affiliate company in Taiwan.

Texas-based immigration boutique Foster LLP handles the full gamut of immigration matters from its three offices in Houston, Austin and Rio Grande Valley. From Houston, firm founder and chairman Charles Foster heads up a large team that assists clients with the full spectrum of global compliance management, non-immigrant and permanent residency matters, visa issues and contentious work. EB-5 visas are a cornerstone area of expertise and the firm is viewed as a leader in immigrant investor visa petitions. The client roster includes educational institutions and sports teams. Other key names in the team include Austin-based Robert Loughran, as well as Judy Lee and Avalyn Langemeier, both based in the Houston office.

Greenberg Traurig LLP’s practice has expertise across the full spread of immigration services, with a notable specialty in advising multinational corporations on strategic immigration planning regarding relocation of personnel, both into and out of the US. The group also receives recognition for its strength in corporate immigration matters, policy development, visa issues, compliance matters and contentious work. Laura Reiff has an excellent reputation in the space and splits her time between the firm’s McLean and Washington DC offices. Reiff chairs the practice alongside McLean-based Martha Schoonover, who is also a high-profile name in the group. Kate Kalmykov, who splits her time between New York and New Jersey, Atlanta-based Ian Macdonald and McLean-based Pamela Mak are other key names.

The ‘professional and customer service-oriented’ team at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP has solid expertise across a broad spectrum of business immigration matters. Counsel Theodore Ruthizer has an established track record in advising corporations, financial services companies and NGOs across the cycle of hiring, transfer and retention of foreign national professionals, investors and performing artists, as well as assisting clients with global workforce planning and mobility issues. The practice chairs are Matthew Dunn, who assists corporate clients with immigration matters and represents high-net-worth foreign individuals seeking permanent resident status via EB-5 visa applications, and Mark Koestler, who is noted for his expertise in advertising, media and technology and represents more than one-third of the 50 largest US advertising agencies in hiring and retaining extraordinary talent. Special counsel Allison Gray is ‘professional, hard working and always willing to go the extra mile’. The team is based in New York.

The ‘highly responsive’ team at ‘top-rate’ firm Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. handles a diverse range of immigration matters for financial services clients, construction companies, sports teams, universities and tech companies, with EB-5 applications and financing matters cornerstones of the practice. Department chair Susan Cohen is noted for her extensive expertise in the space; she leads advice to Thomson Reuters and Fast Retailing on cross-border matters, contentious issues and visa and green card applications. Douglas Hauer combines his expertise in both corporate and immigration work to advise investors and developers on EB-5 matters. Other representative clients include AscendAmerica and Informa plc. Immigration section manager Kevin McNamara has over 20 years of experience in employment-based immigration matters. Special counsel Angel Feng is ‘very knowledgeable’. All named lawyers are based in Boston.

Full-service firm Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP draws upon its international network to assist clients with the full gamut of global mobility matters. Washington DC-based Eleanor Pelta chairs the firm’s global immigration practice alongside San Francisco-based James Vázquez-Azpiri. The practice combines its expertise in US-related matters with a deep knowledge of corporate immigration matters, foreign employment laws, non-US visas and work permits, and taxation issues. Clients come from a broad array of sectors and industries, including technology, financial services, retail, hospitality, life sciences and energy. Representative clients include Choice Hotels, Seagate, Samsung Research America, Deutsche Post DHL and Fujitsu America.

Specialist labor and employment firm Ogletree Deakins’ large immigration practice represents domestic and multinational companies across the full range of immigration matters. The group handles compliance issues, temporary employment visas, corporate support and residency applications. The firm maintains a joint venture with Emigra and continues to work alongside the corporate immigration consultancy to advise clients on global immigration strategy, case management and visa preparation. Andrew Merrills heads up the practice from the Raleigh office. Other key names in the team include Greenville-based Rebecca Sigmund, who focuses on temporary working visa and permanent residency matters for professionals, and Denver-based John Combs, who specializes in inbound immigration and related tax and export control matters. Since publication, New York-based Maria Gandarez has joined Pryor Cashman LLP.

Proskauer Rose LLP’s practice encompasses high-stakes immigration matters, day-to-day issues and transactional support. David Grunblatt, who is regarded by many as an authority on immigration law, has expertise in the I-9 program and regularly assists clients with complex corporate-related matters. Grunblatt co-leads the Newark-based practice with special immigration counsel Valarie McPherson, who handles employment-based non-immigrant visas and assists clients with the EB-5 visa process. The group’s wide-ranging client base includes financial institutions, universities, multinational corporations, religious institutions and nonprofit NGOs.

Cozen O'Connor’s immigration practice assists corporations and high-net-worth individuals across a broad range of immigration matters, including visa applications, M&A due diligence, global mobility issues, audits and compliance matters. EB-5 visa matters are a key area of expertise for the group. Miami-based Scott Bettridge heads up the team; he represents individuals and companies in the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and assists corporate clients with global workforce mobility immigration matters. Representative clients include Banco Itaú International, RWS Entertainment Group and Spirit Airlines. Philadelphia-based Frances Rayer, Miami-based of counsel Randall Sidlosca and associate Michael Stevenson, also in Miami, are names to note.

The ‘quick-to-respond’ immigration team at Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. attracts praise for its ‘very commercial’ advice across the full spectrum of corporate immigration matters. New York-based Robert Groban leads the group, which has a dominant presence in the healthcare space and a solid client base in financial services, technology, hospitality, restaurants and fashion. Also in New York, the ‘always available’ Pierre Bonnefil is noted for his expertise in enforcement matters. Newark-based Jungmin Choi and New York-based associates John Hamill and Jennifer Taler are also recommended.

With 33 offices in its US network, labor and employment boutique Fisher & Phillips has the capacity to assist clients with the full range of immigration issues. The large team has expertise in visa procurement, compliance matters and global migration strategy and has a solid track record in permanent residency matters. Seattle-based Davis Bae and Atlanta-based Shanon Stevenson chair the practice; Stevenson specializes in immigration matters within the information technology industry. Atlanta-based Kim Thompson has notable expertise in EB-1 category cases for clients such as scientists, internationally recognized academics and Olympic athletes; she is also recognized for her solid experience in governmental agency discrimination charges, as well as audits and investigations. Denver-based Jocelyn Campanaro is highly experienced in representing sports team and athletes, notably from the hockey and equine fields.

Ford & Harrison LLP’s practice has strength across all facets of immigration law, ranging from start-up advice for new companies to visa services, volume immigration management, citizenship and naturalization, compliance training and expatriate tax. Los Angeles-based Geetha Nadiminti Adinata heads up the practice; she specializes in permanent and temporary work visa matters and I-9 compliance issues. Key areas of strength for the group include mandates from the travel (particularly aviation), healthcare and technology sectors. Clients have included Imerys, CCP North America and Hi-Rez Studios. Minneapolis-based Charles Roach is also a key name in the team.

The ‘timely and accurate’ team at Hogan Lovells US LLP assists a client base encompassing major corporations, universities, NGOs, research institutions and media entities with traditional visa and immigration matters. Group co-lead Beth Peters is also a director of the firm’s international trade and investment group and has solid expertise in advising clients on complex export-related immigration matters; the roster includes 21st Century Fox, Washington University and Facebook. The ‘excellentAleksandar Dukic jointly chairs the Washington DC-based group and is noted for his expertise in security and compliance-related immigration matters. Dukic is assisting Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles with employee transfers under the E-2 visa category to support the company’s expansion in the US.

Mayer Brown’s practice houses a ‘thoughtful, responsive and knowledgeable’ team which is ‘very well versed in immigration law’. Based in Washington DC, the group handles visa and work permit applications, PERM program issues, M&A due diligence, compliance matters, enforcement issues and policy development. Department lead Elizabeth Stern ‘instils confidence with her deep subject-matter expertise and positive attitude’. Stern and the ‘very talented’ Grace Shie are advising the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce on various immigration matters. American Express is another key client for the firm. Other names to note include Paul Virtue and associate Timothy D’Arduini. In May 2017, counsel Lisa Pino, formerly a senior counselor at the Department of Homeland Security, joined the group; she specializes in global mobility issues.

McDermott Will & Emery LLP’s ‘very organized’ practice is led by New York-based Joan-Elisse Carpentier, who has a solid track record in advising on citizenship matters, immigrant and non-immigrant visas, government audits, compliance programs and providing transactional support. The client base includes financial institutions, manufacturers and media and entertainment entities and individuals. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Carpentier recently assisted renowned artist Alexander Klingspor with obtaining an O-1 visa for freedom of travel to and from the US. Other recent highlights include successfully representing Enstar in a blanket L transfer petition to bring a team of 14 foreign staff to the US to work in an area requiring specialized technical expertise. Other representative clients include Sonar Entertainment, CBS and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

The cornerstone of Pryor Cashman LLP’s practice is sports-related immigration work; the ‘quick, reliable and thorough’ team acts for a broad range of athletes, teams and leagues, including the ECHL. The group also has strength in advising clients from the aviation, fashion, education, pharmaceutical, financial services, technology and entertainment sectors on immigration issues. The ‘exceptional’ Colleen Caden chairs the New York-based team and attracts praise for her experience in immigration planning, corporate support and policy development matters. Avram Morell is well known for assisting financial services clients with global mobility issues, compliance matters, foreign talent recruitment and I-9 procedures and audits. Since publication, Alice Stock has joined the National Labor Relations Board as an associate general counsel, while Maria Gandarez has joined from Ogletree Deakins.

Baker & Hostetler LLP has a solid track record in handling matters involving compliance audits, permanent residency visas and temporary work visas for clients from within the sports, IT, engineering and healthcare industries. The group assists IndyCar and Nascar drivers and business professionals with visa and green card matters. Columbus-based litigator Matthew Hoyt has expertise in employment law, contentious matters and traditional business immigration matters; he successfully acted for a Canadian lifestyle photographer in obtaining an O1-B visa on the basis of extraordinary ability. The other key names in the practice are immigration specialist James Levine, based in the Atlanta office, and Houston-based counsel Pamela Nieto.

Houston-headquartered Bracewell LLP’s ‘excellent’ immigration practice benefits from the firm’s prominent reputation in the energy space; the practice’s workload is dominated by mandates from oil and gas as well as power industry clients. Nonetheless, the group also has solid experience in handling work from the life sciences, healthcare and technology sectors, with religious organizations a recent addition to the client roster. San Antonio managing partner Victoria Garcia heads the group and is adept at handling the full spectrum of business immigration matters. Garcia has been advising Sirius Computer Solutions, NuStar Energy and Food Safety Net Services on a range of immigration matters, including the preparation of non-immigrant visas, applications for employment- and family-based permanent resident status and citizenship, compliance trends and government auditing. Garcia is also assisting The General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists with the preparation of R-1 visas for worldwide transfers of its employees. Houston-based senior counsel Nelli Nikova is also recommended.

Boston-based Chin & Curtis LLP’s practice is dedicated exclusively to immigration law. The firm handles permanent residency and naturalization issues, policy drafting, compliance matters and non-immigrant visa applications. The group’s wide-ranging client base includes start-ups, major multinational companies, schools and universities, and research institutions, as well as individuals such as investors and entrepreneurs. Managing partner Philip Curtis is recommended, with over 30 years of experience in the sector. Other key names in the team are Lorie Lunn, Miki Matrician and senior counsel Francis Chin.

Dentons’ practice focuses on business immigration matters on behalf of employers, investors, professionals and entrepreneurs, with applications for all types of business visas and the global movement of personnel. With group head Matthew Schulz based in Silicon Valley, a major pipeline of work for the practice is from technology companies. However, it is also adept at representing clients in agribusiness, entertainment and financial services. Representative clients include Driscoll Strawberry Associates and ROC-Connect. Recent work includes advising Clarke Financial Partner on corporate and immigration strategies for companies and high-net-worth individuals in Vietnam in order to expand their business presence in the US.

Dykema Gossett PLLC’s practice handles a comprehensive spread of temporary and permanent visa processing procedures, immigration sponsorship, asylum matters, naturalization issues and labor certification applications. The group also has notable strength in contentious work; the caseload includes database errors, worksite enforcement and removal issues. Michigan-based litigator James Aldrich, who has an established track record in representing clients before USCIS and other government agencies, heads up the practice. Kathleen Campbell Walker moved to the El Paso office of Dickinson Wright PLLC in July 2017.

Jackson Lewis P.C.’s practice covers the gamut of immigration work, including regulatory compliance, non-immigrant and immigrant visas, outbound immigration, transactional support matters and policy advocacy. Omaha-based Amy Peck and Reston-based Michael Neifach co-lead the team; Neifach recently successfully assisted nonprofit organization Panthera with obtaining an O-1 extraordinary ability visa for the organization’s new CEO, a prominent individual in the field of environmental and species conservation. Austin-based Maggie Murphy is also recommended.

New York-based Laura Devine Attorneys LLC is the US associate office of pre-eminent British immigration boutique Laura Devine Solicitors. The firm’s ‘responsive’ practice is well-known for advising on cross-border issues between the UK and US, and it is noted for its strong relationships with government bodies in both countries. The group assists clients from the business, finance, media, technology, fashion and entertainment industries, among others, with several high-profile high-net-worth individuals also appearing on the roster. Managing partner Anastasia Tonello heads up the team. In 2017 Jennifer Stevens was made up to partner and Jessica Churchman left the firm.

Full-service firm Vedder Price’s practice has notable strength in visa procurement matters, handling temporary and permanent applications for clients from nearly every continent. The group also draws upon other departments’ expertise within the firm when called upon to handle immigration matters arising from corporate deals. Gabrielle Buckley co-chairs the team from Chicago and continues to advise Mercedes-Benz US on immigration matters including non-immigrant visas, I-9 compliance, contentious matters and permanent residency applications. Other representative clients include Bank of Ireland, Dyson and ZS Associates. Counsel Sara DeBlaze, who co-chairs the practice with Buckley in Chicago, is also recommended.

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