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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 > Yorkshire and the Humber > Human resources > Immigration > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings



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For many, Bankfield Heath Solicitors is ‘at the forefront of asylum and immigration work in the North of England; the firm is a cut above and consistently delivers outstanding results for clients’. From its Leeds, Sheffield and Wakefield offices, the firm covers the full range of immigration law matters regionally as well as nationally. Key figures include the Sheffield-based Arnie Higgins, who is ‘a dynamic innovator with a sharp intellect’ and is singled out for her work in asylum and human rights cases, as well as representing victims of human trafficking; and the ‘formidable’ Ish Ahmed in Leeds, who is noted for his ‘deep understanding’ of business immigration matters. Laxmi Limbani in the Wakefield office has a particular focus advising Iranian nationals on asylum claims.

Carter Thomas Solicitors is singled out as providing ‘that extra bit of listening, care and explanation that engenders the client’s trust and makes them feel comfortable’. Nichola Carter provides ‘extremely well-considered guidance; she pitches her guidance perfectly and clearly, and is always probing in her question to our members’. The boutique immigration firm handles matters for a wide-ranging client base that includes an education provider with Tier 4 licences; high-net-worth individuals seeking to enter the UK as investors; and investors, entrepreneurs and businesses holding or applying for Tier 2 sponsor licences. Key work in 2016 included assisting a UK university with retaining its sponsor licence, obtaining a sponsor licence in a short timeframe for a US tech company, and advising a number of EEA nationals and their families on applications for UK permanent residence status following the Brexit vote.

The team at Howells handles an array of immigration matters, including asylum claims, human rights cases, family migration, and European and points-based system cases. Nadeem Ahmed heads the practice, which has a strong track record in human trafficking and domestic violence cases. Key matters included acting for the claimants in a Judicial Review of a decision by the Upper Tribunal to refuse permission to appeal against an immigration claim, and representing a client sentenced to 22 months’ imprisonment under threat of deportation.

The immigration practice at Kingswell Watts Solicitors is ‘very knowledgeable, approachable, accommodating, always provides the most appropriate advice, and is great value for money’. Corporate immigration has been a key area of growth for the practice, which has been handling an increasing amount of Tier 2 sponsorship applications and Tier 1 entrepreneur applications. The firm also handles immigration matters for individuals, including EEA dependent applications, spousal applications and nationality applications. Ilyas Bulbulia heads the team and is praised for his ‘approachability, knowledge and willingness to take the time to research the correct guidance’.

Christopher Cole is the key figure at Parker Rhodes Hickmotts; he is highly regarded for his expertise in human rights and asylum cases.

Simpson Millar LLP is noted for its track record handling legal challenges on human rights matters, including detention and deportation cases, as well as handling Judicial Review matters concerning naturalisation refusals and human rights-related decisions. Emma Brooksbank heads the immigration practice; her clients include the University of Leeds, which she has been advising on Tier 2 and Tier 5 applications, including an application for leave to remain under Tier 2 for a Syrian national employed by the university. Other key work included acting for care home operator Villa Care Limited in Judicial Review proceedings challenging the Home Office’s decision to revoke the client’s sponsor’s licence and seeking the reinstatement of the licence and Tier 2 visas for three employees.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP handles a range of business immigration matters for national and multinational clients. Louise Lightfoot is the key figure in Leeds; her expertise covers visa applications and extensions, intra-group transfers, and business visitor rules, among other contentious and non-contentious immigration matters. Additional areas of expertise for the practice include Tier 2 applications, applications for indefinite leave to remain, and advice on the requirements of resident labour market tests.

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