Firms To Watch: Immigration

Greenwoods Legal ramped up its focus on immigration in late 2021 with the hire of new practice head Matthew Lynch from PwC LLP - he advises clients from the firm's Peterborough and Cambridge offices from the firm's London base.

Immigration in East Anglia

Ellisons Solicitors

The firm is extremely efficient and commercially minded‘, remarks a client of Ellisons Solicitors, adding that ‘it takes consideration of what its client is trying to achieve and will always provide advice as to how set goals can be met‘. The firm has a specialist immigration practice that provides comprehensive services to UK-based businesses  seeking to employ foreign nationals, to foreign businesses and entrepreneurs setting up in the UK, as well as to private individuals and families. Practice Sohan Sidhu now leads the practice, former practice head Graeme Kirk having taken on the role of part-time senior counsel. Sidhu has ‘excellent skills of communications which helps calm the clients during a very anxious period‘.

Practice head(s):

Sohan Sidhu

Other key lawyers:

Graeme Kirk


‘The firm is extremely efficient and commercially minded. It takes consideration of what its client is trying to achieve and will always provide advice as to how set goals can be met.’

‘We have worked with Sohan Sidhu for a number of years and he is very knowledgeable of immigration matters. Sohan quickly understands what we are trying to achieve and works quickly to secure positive results.’

‘My clients simply were very pleased with speed and knowledge with wish the practice responded to their needs and expectation. Simply put, my clients could not find another practice which worked in unison to meet their expectations. There were no surprises on the fees or scope of work agreed at the outset.’

‘Sohan Sidhu has delivered on outstanding service to my clients and has surpassed their expectations on more than one occasion. He has performed his work with integrity and his professionalism is easily noticed with the manner in which he has conducted meetings and with written documents.’

‘The team at Ellisons Solicitors focus highly on the quality of client care ensuring that the client’s end goal is always achieved. The team are very knowledgeable in their area of work particularly the immigration department. During the pandemic, the firm was able to successfully continue practice and servicing it’s clients whilst working from home and had no disruptions to clients.’

‘Graeme Kirk is a specialist in their area of work and have assisted many of our clients in acquiring sponsorship license and UK visas. Graeme always thinks outside of the box to ensure the best possible outcomes are achieved and very honest and straightforward in his dealings. He is always available when needed even during out of ours in emergency cases.’

‘The team is highly commendable as they are very timely in their responses and helpful.’

‘I deal directly with Sohan Sidhu and I respect and admire him as a professional and dependable person.’

Work highlights

  • Continuing to provide ongoing immigration advice to a pensions company including regarding the employment of high level engineers. Also providing general immigration advice and compliance advice particularly regarding the employment of Skilled Workers.
  • Continuing to advise an international company on UK immigration matters including assisting existing migrants in securing further leave to remain and also providing compliance advice.
  • Advising client regarding her Tier 1 (Investor) visa application. Application was highly complex as client was relying upon an inheritance received following the death of her husband. Assets were in multiple jurisdictions.

Mills & Reeve LLP

The immigration practice at Mills & Reeve LLP 'provides great advice and are very responsive and understanding'. The firm provides a comprehensive range of services to clients in the education, health, charity, life sciences, technology, sports, and private wealth sectors. Its work ranges from advice on the post-Brexit points based immigration system to applications for Skilled Worker visa and Global Talent visas. Practice head Alex Russell in Norwich is 'able to make himself available at short notice and his advice is always excellent'. Also in Norwich, consultant Tracy Yates is 'very knowledgeable in the law and practice, but also in nuances of the system and things to look out for'. Principal associate Emma Tuck in Cambridge is also recommended for student immigration matters.

Practice head(s):

Alex Russell

Other key lawyers:

Tracy Yates; Emma Tuck


‘The team continue to provide great advice and are very responsive and understanding of the sector. We have a longstanding relationship which has been very productive and useful, going back a number of years.’

‘I primarily have dealt with Alex Russell. His work is consistent and of a high quality. Alex always seems able to make himself available at short notice and his advice is always excellent. Alex has also provided training across the university and been involved in numerous speaking engagements which are always well received.’

‘Extremely knowledgeable and has contacts in the visa service that they could contact with queries which was helpful regarding timescales.’

‘Tracey Yates is very knowledgeable in the law and practice but also in nuances of the system and things to look out for. She gave useful hints and tips on navigating home office systems and bureaucracy, and how to get to the front of the queue for fast track routes. the turned very formal, legal, difficult to understand language and jargon into plain English.’

Key clients

Olympus KeyMed

Anglo Beef Processors

Baxter Healthcare

Red Gate Software

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Trust

Charles River

The Sainsbury Laboratory

University of East Anglia

Work highlights

  • Advised a household name holiday homes rentals business on registering with the Home Office as a sponsor under the points based system for visas in the Skilled Worker and Intra Company Transfer (ICT) categories.
  • Conducted an immigration compliance audit for a leading UK University in preparation for a Home Office audit that the University had been notified would be conducted imminently.
  • Advised professional sports club on visa and related compliance issues relating to the recruitment of international players with International Sportsperson visas.

Stone King LLP

Stone King LLP‘s specialist immigration team ‘explains potential options and outcomes in a way a layperson could understand without being patronising‘. Through a focus on workforce shortages and in-depth knowledge of the education sector, the firm frequently assists teachers to obtain Skilled Worker visas to work in the UK. Partner Julie Moktadir is ‘absolutely fantastic, clearly has a lot of experience and is able to break down complicated legal concepts into straightforward explanations and offer appropriate advice‘. She assisted software development company Optibrium Limited with obtaining sponsorship licence and visa for a Tier 2 worker, despite the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Practice head(s):

Julie Moktadir

Other key lawyers:

Emily Ball


‘At all times I felt informed, heard and in good hands – a completely different experience to other firms I initially reached out to. Stone King were knowledgable, efficient and compassionate. The team working on my case explained potential options and outcomes in a way a lay person could understand without being patronising. They were with me through every step of the process. Everything happened as they said it would, including the estimated cost.’

Given her impressive reputation, I was stunned to be able to reach Julie Moktadir by phone and brief her on the situation without having to wait weeks. Everything happened as Julie said it would. Julie was also a huge source of strength during what was a very stressful time: her expertise, determination, clear thinking and excellent communication was incredibly reassuring.’

‘The process went smoothly from start the finish. The team handled my visa application from start to finish – I felt as if I only had to show up and get my photo taken!’

‘I worked primarily with Emily Ball and Julie Moktadir – both incredibly efficient and very helpful in guiding me through the process.’

‘As a charity, our needs are slightly different from commercial businesses. Stone King had not only the immigration expertise but also understood our needs and restrictions as a charity and were therefore able to offer us advise that was tailored to our needs as an organisation rather than just giving generic advice applicable to the average business.’

‘Julie Moktadir was absolutely fantastic in advising us on our options. She clearly has a lot of experience and was able to break down complicated legal concepts into straight forward, easy to understand explanations and offer the appropriate advice. Pleasure to work with, couldn’t do enough to help us. We wouldn’t hesitate to use her again.’

‘From the beginning, the team made sure they understood what our needs were and clearly explained what we need to minimize the risk of errors or unnecessary work due to miscommunication. Even though it was a relatively small case, the response time was good and the deliverable was high quality.’

‘The partner took time to explain the whole process and set our expectations. We felt assured that they understood our needs and know what they can and cannnot help. The associate we worked with had remarkable attention to detail and she thoroughly reviewing & checking the required documents.’

Key clients

Optibrium Limited

Kingswood School

T4 UK Franchise Limited

Society of the Catholic Medical Missionaries

Swedish Church in London

Tenzo Limited

Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary CIO

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Foundation