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Based in central London, Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors is one of the UK's leading specialist immigration, human rights and nationality practices, acting for businesses on various matters including the full spectrum of the points-based system as well as individuals in personal immigration matters. Civil litigation, family, corporate and employment law are also specialisms.

The firm: Founded in 1985 in Kensington and now operating from offices in Holborn, the firm is a specialist immigration practice which has experienced great growth in its business immigration practice. It is recognised as one of the leading immigration practices in the UK across the last 30 years since its foundation.

Very few firms specialising in the field of Immigration, Asylum, Nationality and Human Rights can boast of;

  • having 33 years of experience
  • being founded by long-serving Immigration Judges
  • submitting approximately 4,500 successful applications to date
  • overseeing over 3,000 cases in litigation in this area of law
  • being trusted by numerous media outlets for expert opinion
  • receiving more than 40 judicial compliments in written judgments/determination in the last 3 years alone
  • carrying out over 240 appeals in-house in the last 3 years alone
  • having a proven track record at the Court of Appeal and above

The firm acts for company and commercial clients on business immigration matters and has UK football clubs playing in the Football League, leading care homes, medium to large pharmacies, tobacco companies and large restaurant franchises among its clientele. The firm also deals with investors, innovators, business persons and other individuals across the spectrum of the UK's points-based system.

The immigration department is led by Dr Bernard Andonian and Dave Vasoodaven, two of the most experienced immigration practitioners in this country, specialising in all aspects of UK immigration law with a particular emphasis on immigration litigation. Dr Bernard Andonian also sits as a part-time judge of the First-Tier Tribunal (IAC) and calls on more than 30 years as an experienced solicitor in this field. Dave Vasoodaven is an experienced practitioner whose practical knowledge in the subject is broad, and he has extensive experience in immigration litigation where he has dedicated his legal career to assisting individuals as well as businesses of all sizes to meet their immigration objectives. In particular, Dave Vasoodaven's business pedigree has ensured that the firm has attracted a diverse clientele striking a balance between business immigration and individual immigration.

The firm's immigration litigation practice is extensive. Mr Fadi Farhat heads up the appeals and public law department where it has seen unprecedented success over the last 18 months and in-depth knowledge has been vital to the firm's success. His well pleaded grounds of claim and in-house advocacy continue to receive judicial praise. Under Mr Farhat, the firm seeks to handle matters (in terms of drafting and pleading) in-house from beginning to end. Mr Farhat also handles the firm's advocacy at tribunal level. For example, Judge NMK Lawrence on 29th August 2018 stated in a written determination;

“…Mr Farhat approached the appeal in the most professional manner, in a manner any ‘officer of the court’ should.”

“One does not see representatives of his calibre in this jurisdiction often. I am grateful to him”

Over the course of the last year, the firm has also seen to several injunctions preventing removal including out-of-hours applications to the duty judge. The firm also has a prominent public law practice in the High Court in relation to business immigration including high-profile challenges to the revocation of sponsor licences.

Mr Henry Lau is a new addition to the team and has settled well into the firm's practice. Mr Lau provides pragmatic advice and his meticulous focus on evidence ensures that all his clients benefit from applications and pleadings which have a solid foundation. Mr Jahed Morad is a "go-getter" and a hard worker who will fight tooth and nail for his clients.

Types of work undertaken: The firm undertakes work across the whole spectrum of immigration, human rights, asylum and nationality law (where it has even handled applications sensitive to national security). The firm prides itself on the successes that it has achieved over the years and the ground-breaking cases that are attributed to its endeavours. The firm is renowned for a number of successful decisions of the High Court such as Shah and Islam (in the House of Lords) and Baumbast and Rolet (European Court of Justice) which broke new legal ground on issues of asylum and European law respectively. The firm's immigration litigation practice is extensive and due to its success in the handling of human rights appeals, deportation appeals, removal and detention matters, the firm receives frequent instructions in these areas of law.



  • Number of UK partners: 2
  • Number of other UK fee-earners: 8
  • Breakdown of work %
  • Immigration : 
  • Corporate Commercial: 
  • Family Matrimonial: 
  • Intellectual Property: 
  • Employment Law: 
  • Human Rights: 
  • Civil Litigation: 
  • Conveyancing: 
  • Wills Probate: 
  • Notary Public: 

Above material supplied by Gulbenkian Andonian Solicitors.

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