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Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Work 020 7923 4020

London: Crime, fraud and licensing

Crime: general
Crime: general - ranked: tier 4

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors' 'hardworking' and 'committed' team covers a range of serious crime matters, including cases involving high-value money laundering, fraud, large-scale drugs conspiracies, sexual offences and murder. Hardeep Dhaliwal, Rubin Italia and Nicholas De Freitas share leadership of the practice.

Practice head(s):Hardeep Dhaliwal; Rubin Italia; Nicholas De Freitas


'Hardeep Dhaliwal runs a very tight ship; he has great people skills and is a formidable solicitor'.

'Rubin Italia is an extremely talented lawyer with a wonderfully warm and kind manner. Clients love him and completely trust his judgement'.

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London: Human resources

Immigration: business - ranked: tier 5

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Immigration: human rights, appeals and overstay - ranked: tier 1

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors houses an 'extremely large and effective team of lawyers where all aspects of immigration and asylum law are covered.' The firm has a large judicial review claimant practice, representing vulnerable claimants on immigration and civil liberties. It is well-versed in personal immigration, asylum, human rights and nationality law. The firm handles a significant portion of publicly funded work, handling a range of issues such as detention, bail, deportation, appeals and EC law. The team offers specialist expertise in representing vulnerable clients, such as victims of torture or trafficking, on asylum and detention-related matters, and is regularly engaged on politically sensitive cases. The team is also instructed by high-net-worth individuals on PBS applications and appeals. The business immigration team is instructed by SME clients on PBS matters, sponsorship licence applications and it also represents high-net-worth individuals on Tier 1 entrepreneur and investor visas. Director Toufique Hossain is an 'inspirational leader' and has developed a 'very talented and committed team'.

Practice head(s):Ayan Yalchin; Vicash Ramkissoon; Tamana Aziz; Bernadette Adusei; Gabor Nagy; James Packer; Jenna McKinney; Rohena Wallace; Zofia Duszynska; Alex Peebles

Other key lawyers:Stefan Vnuk; Sulaiha Ali; Krutika Patel; Sheroy Zaq; Lewis Kett; Vilash Gami; Fahad Ansari; Krisha Prathepan; Krishma Bathia; Kawther Al-Aaraji; Raja Uruthiravinayagan; Jamie Bell; Howard Cheng


The team is incredibly friendly, supportive and hardworking.

Vicash Ramkissoon is fantastically supportive; he has superb communication skills and is able to find solutions when barriers emerge.

Jamie Bell is very hardworking; he is compassionate, passionate and always gives 100%.

Fahad Ansari is incredibly committed and dedicated to each and every client.

The firm has a strong and large immigration team which is capable of handling all kinds of cases.

Sulaiha Ali has the courage to confront difficult and complex cases, the skill to deliver first class representation, and the diligence to get the best outcome possible.

Kawther Al-Aaraji is intelligent and careful in her professional practice.

The firm has a very strong presence in this area of the law and it makes a notable contribution to the field.

Howard Cheng is incredibly hardworking and competent.

Stefan Vnuk is an exceptional lawyer; he is utterly dedicated and committed to his clients and this work.

Zofia Duszynska has great experience in trafficking cases and is a real fighter for her clients.

The team is highly effective in bringing and maintaining cases against the Home Office.

It is a leading firm in immigration and asylum matters.

The firm's unique strength is that it has highly experienced individuals who are able to deal with every aspect of a claim.

James Packer is a great tactician; he has great judgement and he always keeps his eye on the bigger picture.

The firm is committed to promote and pursue the human rights of the clients it represents.

Work highlights

  • Advising Total Security Services on a range of immigration compliance issues.
  • Represented joint applicants, who faced removal from the UK to Afghanistan, in challenging the legality of the Secretary of State for the Home Department's removal policy.
  • Instructed on a test case challenging the Immigration Detention Pay Regime, which sees detainees paid £1 per hour for carrying out critical work.
  • Instructed on a case to challenge the use of segregation in immigration detention, known as 'removal from association'.
  • Instructed on an appeal to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission against a decision to deprive the appellant of his British citizenship on the grounds of national security.
Leading individuals

Toufique Hossain - Duncan Lewis Solicitors

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London: Insurance

Personal injury: claimant
Personal injury: claimant - ranked: tier 5

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors handles a wide range of complex and often high-value personal injury cases, and has a niche specialism in accidents at work claims. Acting against local authorities for slips and trips in public space, road traffic accidents as well as asbestos-related illnesses are some of the team's other areas of specialism. Julie Leslie, whose expertise includes life-limiting injuries, heads the Dalston office; while the team based in Harrow is led by Rebecca Thomas, who has experience in dealing with claims relating to fatalities.

Practice head(s):Rebecca Thomas; Julie Leslie

Other key lawyers:Nilma Shah; Shabana Masood


'It is the breadth of work that the firm as a whole undertakes that makes the team unique.'

'It gives personal attention to clients of every description, is far removed from the 'factory' experience so common to many other firms and blends compassion for injured and often vulnerable clients with diplomatic realism to guide them towards sensible settlements.'

'The personal injury team is able to draw on the knowledge of other teams so as to best advise their clients.'

'Rebecca Thomas knows what needs to be done in order to gather what is required to best present a case.'

'Julie Leslie understands that her clients come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and that many of them have difficulty participating in the litigation process.  She appears to work tirelessly to guide them through the process, without ever expecting too much from them.'

'Shabana Massood is learning fast and undertakes work well above her years with considerable success.'

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London: Private client

Court of Protection
Court of Protection - ranked: tier 2

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a multi-disciplinary team that advises on mental health, community care, clinical negligence and public law. The group has strength in cases where there is overlap between the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act as well as deprivation of liberty safeguards. It routinely advises vulnerable clients and their families on best interest welfare decisions relating to residence, contact and medical treatment. It is also skilled at advising on property and affairs disputes in the Court of Protection and the High Court as well as assisting clients and their carers on other issues such as how to receive help from social services. Alex Peebles and Rachel Caswell are the names to note.

Practice head(s):Alex Peebles; Rachel Caswell

Other key lawyers:Helen Cummings


'Alex Peebles is leading a team that can do work from the most basic section 21A to the most complicated section 16 case. It has great experience in cases where the Mental Capacity Act and the Mental Health Act collide'.

'Alex Peebles is excellent, hardworking and has excellent judgement'.

'Alex Peebles is thorough and makes sure that I understand things clearly'.

'Alex Peebles  is legally brilliant; really intelligent. His analysis of the legal issues in a case is first-class'.

'Rachel Caswell has been helpful and realistic – fully prepared to fight the appropriate points but also willing to give clients unpalatable (but correct) advice when their case is weak'.

'Helen Cummings is efficient and knowledgeable, as well as personable. She is also committed to and experienced in this area of work'.

'Helen Cummings works tirelessly to ensure that cases are presented to the highest standard. She deals with each case with the care and attention as though it were her only case'.

'The team is hardworking and imaginative. It is results driven but without losing focus on being client friendly'.

'Duncan Lewis's commitment to its clients is second to none. The team always goes the extra mile for its clients'.

Next Generation Partners

Alex Peebles - Duncan Lewis Solicitors

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Family - ranked: tier 5

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a broad range of expertise. It has an established Islamic and Shariah law department that specialises in Islamic divorce and financial settlement. The practice also has considerable expertise in other areas such as representing domestic abuse victims under legal aid to advising on complex financial matrimonial matters. It routinely advises on complex children law matters and deals with emergency applications to freeze parties’ assets in both the High Court and the county courts. The team is also well versed in obtaining female genital mutilation protection orders.

Practice head(s):Adeeba Naseem; Alia Lewis; Ravi Kaur Mahey; Sheena Donlon; Sara Upton; Emine Mehmet; Forida Hakim; Kathy Walker; Laila Bhunnoo; Sophie Fretten; Vanket Appalakondiah


'Duncan Lewis has a broad breadth of experience and knowledge. It is able to represent any client who comes through its door whether that is someone who is a victim of domestic abuse and financial control or through to the super wealthy'.

'It represents those in most need and does this with integrity. The solicitors always appear well supported by other staff'.

'Alia Lewis is very efficient and competent. She has vast knowledge and is an excellent advocate in court. She is also sensitive and supportive to children and adults who have special needs'.

'Alia Lewis works hard, is extremely diligent and extremely knowledgeable. She is also very personable and warm'.

'Adeeba Naseem provides realistic and practical advice whilst remaining empathetic. Clients adore her because she fights fiercely for them, whilst managing their expectations appropriately'.

'Ravi Mahey is outstanding'.

'Have worked with Emine Mehmet and Ravi Mahey who are very efficient, tenacious and have excellent insight into the needs of the client'.

'Ravi Mahey was very professional and Alia Lewis was excellent at keeping me on track'.

'Laila Bhunnoo is very efficient, knowledgeable, and hardworking'.

'Laila Bhunnoo is very helpful and knowledgeable. Laila very much has the best interests of the child at the forefront of her work and is excellent at advocating on their behalf'.

Work highlights

  • Instructed to represent a woman in divorce and financial matters.
  • Representing 13 year old and 10 year old brothers (through r16.4 guardian) on father’s application for enforcement of a CAO (spend time with) that was granted in January 2017.
  • Represented seven year old girl represented through her r16.4 children’s guardian on the father’s application for enforcement of a CAO (spend time with).
  • Represented 13 year old girl represented through her r16.4 children’s guardian on the father’s application for enforcement of a CAO (spend time with).
  • Represented a mother in an application for a Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order (FGMPO).

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London: Public sector

Administrative and public law
Administrative and public law - ranked: tier 4

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors acts on judicial review claims challenging the treatment of vulnerable groups, with specialist expertise in representing migrants, asylum seekers, detainees, people with disabilities and LGBT prisoners. The team regularly acts on challenges to government policies and bodies including the Home Office, with recent actions concerning the treatment of religious minorities in the prison system and the unlawful detention of migrants. A high-profile matter saw Toufique Hossain challenging the Secretary of State for the Home Department’s failure to investigate abuse at the Brook House Immigration Removal Centre. Further mandates involved judicial review challenges to HMRC and local authorities regarding tax and levy disputes. The firm is also involved in challenging the government’s reduction to legal aid funding.

Practice head(s):Alex Peebles; Bernadette Adusei; James Packer; Jenna McKinney; Rohena Wallace; Toufique Hossain; Trevor Hatton


'Toufique Hossian has built a strong team with clear aims dedicated to improving the rights of migrants within the detention system and victims of trafficking'

'Highly experienced individuals with the ability to deal with every aspect of a public law claim'

'One of the best law firms in the country for the cross-over between immigration, administrative and public law'

'The future of legal aid will benefit from the lawyers Toufique Hossian has trained'

'James Packer is outstanding; very intelligent, very knowledgeable and very committed'

'Kate Newman is a bright star for the future - a mature and wise solicitor'

'James Packer has great judgement and he always keeps his eye on the bigger picture'

'Kate Newman is extremely dedicated and highly recommended for complex judicial review claims'

Work highlights

  • Representing four of five appellants challenging their detention contrary to Articles 28 and 2(n) of the Dublin III Regulations.
  • Representing two individuals facing removal to Afghanistan by challenging the Secretary of State for the Home Department's 'removal window' policy.
  • Acting on a legal challenge to the Secretary of State for the Home Department's immigration detention centre pay regime, arguing breaches of Article 14 of the ECHR and Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010.
  • Acting as the claimant in a claim for a judicial review into the Legal Aid Agency's refusal to backdate legal aid certificates.
  • Instructed in a unique challenge to the use of the lock-in regime and room conditions at the Brook House Immigration Removal Centre.
Next Generation Partners

Toufique Hossain - Duncan Lewis Solicitors

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Civil liberties and human rights
Civil liberties and human rights - ranked: tier 4

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a particular focus on immigration, asylum, migrant workers and refugee rights work, handled by a team of specialists which includes the 'impressive' Toufique Hossain and Zofia Duszynska, who are based in the Harrow office. The team is also adept at judicial reviews and conducting emergency injunctions for their clients. Tamana Aziz advises on business immigration and public law expert Jamie Bell is praised for his ability to 'quickly demonstrate care, commitment, openness and warmth'.

Practice head(s):Toufique Hossain; Zofia Duszynska

Other key lawyers:Tamana Aziz; Alex Peebles; Jamie Bell; Fahad Ansari; Lewis Kett


'Duncan Lewis is one of the leading legal aid law firms in the country. They are involved in many of the most important cases concerning immigration and human rights.'

'Duncan Lewis' team have a wealth of experience in unlawful detention challenges. They have excellent contacts with experts and NGOs, are on top of changes in practice and policy, and bring creative and important challenges, which develop the law in this area and have a meaningful impact on an extremely vulnerable group.'

'Toufique Hossain has done a fantastic job of building his team, identifying high-profile strategic litigation and running it well. He is an excellent strategist.'

'Toufique is great, very commercially minded and a tenacious lawyer.'

'Never before have I experienced such diligence, rigour, passion and genuine care as Jamie Bell provides.'

Work highlights

  • Representing the appellant in an appeal to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) against a decision to deprive him of his British citizenship on the grounds of national security.
  • Representing a client in a first-of-its-kind case against the Secretary of State for the Home Department challenging the use of segregation in immigration detention, known as “removal from association”.
  • Representing a client in an important and unique challenge to the use of the lock-in regime and room conditions at Brook House Immigration Removal Centre.
  • Representing a client in a test case challenging the immigration detention pay regime, which sees detainees paid £1 per hour for carrying out critical work which is essential for the running of the immigration detention centre.
  • Representing the applicants, who faced removal from the UK to Afghanistan, in a case challenging the Home Office's "removal window" policy set out in chapter 60 of the Enforcement Guidance and Instructions. This is the first legal challenge against this aspect of the policy.

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London: Real estate

Social housing: tenant
Social housing: tenant - ranked: tier 2

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors' social housing team is mainly spread across offices in Croydon, Dalston, Harrow and Lewisham. It covers the full range of housing disputes, including disrepair cases, possession proceedings involving Equality Act defences, homelessness appeals and judicial reviews. The firm's commitment to access to justice is reflected by its significant involvement in pro bono work, and it is also acting for a number of participants in the Grenfell Tower inquiry. Manjinder Kaur Atwal is assisting an assured tenant with defending a possession claim and bringing a counterclaim against a landlord property development company, as well as the sole director of and shareholder in the landlord. Atwal is also defending a client against a possession claim concerning a shared ownership property under Article eight and Article 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights in a potentially precedent-setting case concerning the role of social landlords in possession proceedings for shared ownership property brought by a mortgagee. Other recommended individuals are Dianne Cowie, James de Vere Moss, Chinedu Orogbu, Bernadette Chikwe and Subbiah Sivapunniyam.

Practice head(s):Bernadette Chikwe; Dianne Cowie; James de Vere Moss; Subbiah Sivapunniyam; Chinedu Orogbu; Manjinder Kaur Atwal

Work highlights

  • Represented a secure tenant in possession proceedings brought by a local authority landlord, and in a counterclaim for disrepair at the property.
Next Generation Partners

Manjinder Kaur Atwal - Duncan Lewis Solicitors

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Legal Developments in the UK

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
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