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Cartwright King has a specialist immigration team that provides an ‘absolutely superb’ service to business and individuals, covering sponsorship licences, civil penalties, and human rights and asylum cases. The Nottingham-based Anna Thurston leads the practice, with Melissa Southall and Andre Minnaar the key figures in the Birmingham office. Southall is ‘an incredibly meticulous lawyer’ who ‘doesn’t give anything other than straight advice’ and has specialist expertise in asylum and child rights cases. Recent highlights include successful spousal visa applications and representing an individual arrested for fraudulent immigration documents.

Wright Hassall LLP provides an ‘excellent’ service to clients seeking commercial immigration advice. Matthew Davies, who joined the firm from Fox Williams LLP, leads the practice following the retirement of former practice head Marian Dixon. Davies, supported by senior associate Tracie Udall (who ‘always provides timely and professional advice’) advised a global food company on their Tier 2 applications and on data capture to prevent illegal working. The team also assisted a healthcare provider with an internal immigration compliance audit. Other highlights included acting for individuals with regards to spousal visas and a Tier 1 investor visa extension application, and representing an individual with an adverse immigration history. Associate Kelly Tomkinson primarily handles corporate immigration work.

At Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, ‘the responses are always prompt and the cost for the high quality of service is reasonable’. Business immigration expert Audrey Elliott leads the practice and combines ‘excellent technical knowledge with a practical, commercial understanding of client requirements’. Elliott provides ongoing advice to longstanding clients on recruitment audits, visa tracking, and compliance with regulations and sponsor duties under Tier 2 of the points-based system. She also assisted a leading UK university with its preparations for a UKVI inspection regarding Tier 2, 4 and 5 compliance. Other recent highlights include acting for a multinational company with regards to an international right to work project to ensure that the client was operating lawfully in all of its offices, and supporting a US client with its European business expansion.

The practice at Freeths LLP was recently joined by John Craig from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP. He brings ‘excellent knowledge, attentiveness and a very good interpersonal style’ and has experience in point-based, EEA and family migration. Craig’s recent highlights include advising a retail client the proposed dismissal of a director based on allegations of illegal working, and acting for a high-profile individual with regards to their relocation to the US. The practice also has expertise in the education sector, where it is handling training seminars for Oxford Brookes University’s EEA staff on options in connection with the implications of Article 50, and assisted an academic with their settlement in the UK, which involved referring the case to the UKVI.

At Shakespeare Martineau LLP, Alan Dark (who splits his time between Stratford Upon Avon and Birmingham) assisted a consulting company with the recruitment of a senior executive from Australia, and acted for a recruitment client on the appeal to a fine issued by UKVI for illegal working. The practice also handles training sessions, advises on spousal visa applications for businesses and individuals, and assists with permanent residency matters under EEA regulations.

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