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Immigration in East Midlands

Paragon Law

Paragon Law is a niche law firm specialising in immigration law matters. The firm is divided into three departments covering all aspects of immigration law; Kirin Abbas and Thalej Vasishta ‘work seamlessly together’ and jointly head the business and workers department, advising corporate clients on immigration issues regarding their workforce. Nigel Smith heads the personal and family visas department, while the asylum & human rights team is headed by ‘extremely well respectedDeirdre Sheahan. The firm has a niche specialism in advising clients from the higher education sector, acting for several universities.

Practice head(s):

Kirin Abbas; Thalej Vasishta; Nigel Smith; Deirdre Sheahan


‘Always been compassionate and professional. Adapted very well and very quickly to changes enforced by Covid-19 and were able to continue with same empathy and consideration to clients.’

‘All the case workers we deal with are efficient and compassionate and keep us informed. Deirdre Sheahan leads the team and is always responsive and proactive and is extremely well respected.’

‘I’ve worked with Paragon Law across three different businesses. Regardless of the size and importance, the service is the same with no compromise. The team are able to pick up if one person is out.’

‘Thal Vasishta and Kirin Abbas work seamlessly together. They provide up to date training events when required. The fact that I have introduced these people and their business into companies as I’ve joined them speaks volumes.’

‘Very knowledgeable and supportive of those of us new to this field. Strong belief in our mission and values.’

‘Supportive, available, knowledgeable, especially Thal Vasishta and Kirin Abbas.’

Key clients

Potter Clarkson LLP

Vision Express (UK) Limited

Toyota Manufacturing (UK) Limited

Orphan Reach Limited

FareShare Midlands

Romax Technology

University of Nottingham

KTC (Edibles) Limited

Midlands Immigration Group

Envivo Care Group

Work highlights

  • Advised the Midlands Immigration Group, an organisation made up of the career advisers of the 16 universities in the Midlands, on the key changes introduced in 2021 with regards to workers and sponsorship in readiness for the universities to advise their international students.
  • Advised the optical retailer Vision Express (UK) Limited on adding their UK franchise stores and European subsidiaries to their skilled worker licence.
  • Reviewed/audited the skilled worker licence of Potter Clarkson LLP, added European subsidiaries and related businesses to the licence, advised on business travel requirements to EU member states relevant to the business and advised on the trade in services provisions in the EU/UK Trade agreement.

Shoosmiths LLP

Specialist immigration lawyer Rachel Harvey ‘has excellent knowledge and experience’; she heads the Nottingham immigration practice at Shoosmiths LLP, which is integrated into the employment department in order to offer full-service advice to corporate clients. The team also offers advice to individuals on all immigration matters while corporate clients are assisted in regards to sponsorship licenses as well as obtaining visas for new employees or existing staff, among others with respect to Brexit. Emma Morgan heads the business immigration department nationally and Paul Stokey heads the Manchester immigration team.


‘The service that Shoosmiths provided to us was excellent, very proactive and supportive throughout the process.’

‘I have nothing but praise for the manner in which we were supported. Rachel Harvey was very proactive, responsive and supportive. She has excellent knowledge and experience and always went the extra mile.’

‘The services we receive from Shoosmiths are great quality and very professional.’

‘I have been working with Rachel Harvey since the end of 2019 and she has always been extremely knowledgeable, thorough and helpful when dealing with sponsorship queries. She has helped in setting up a sponsorship licence and has been providing ongoing advice and guidance in relation to immigration issues and sponsorship casework. She makes me feel at ease and since I enjoy working with her, I haven’t looked for any other alternative companies.’

‘We have used this team as part of a larger piece of work and they have proven to be connected and joined up across the different parts of the organisation.’

‘Rachel Harvey has been able to give clear and succinct advice, and has taken me through a process about which I knew nothing at all, in a very easy and straightforward way. Her patience and honesty in answering my many, many questions has been greatly appreciated, in addition to the technical advice on how we view the company structure in terms of applying for licenses and the implications of different options.’

‘Our Shoosmiths contact we work with is very professional, extremely knowledgeable and always supportive. She always strives to give the best possible service and always works with us to develop solutions and deliver results.’

Key clients

CityFibre Holdings Limited

South Staffordshire College

New Chapter


Groupe PSA


LK – Individual


AG – Individual

Modulr Finance

Sears Health Care




VCG (Vodat)

Blenheim Chalcot

Work highlights

  • Offered extensive advice and assistance to CityFibre Holdings Limited with their recruitment of senior individuals within the organisation and also in providing the HR and recruitment teams with detailed advice on the new immigration rules.
  • Assisted a company in preparing an urgent sponsor licence application so they could employ a US national under the skilled worker route as a matter of urgency.
  • Provided extensive training sessions on the new immigration rules to Ikea’s senior leadership and management team and provided Ikea with tailored immigration advice to bring senior members of staff into the UK on a variety of visas including ICT visas.

Cartwright King

Rita Kotecha heads the immigration department at Cartwright King, which covers both personal immigration work as well as corporate immigration. Individuals are assisted with matters pertaining to entry clearance applications, applications regarding spouses, partners, dependants and children and European applications with respect to Brexit regulations. Corporate clients are assisted with sponsorship licenses and are offered advice and assistance regarding good practice to prevent illegal working. Among the clients are also local authorities, charitable organisations and domestic violence support agencies.

Practice head(s):

Rita Kotecha

OTB Legal

Set up in 2019, OTB Legal is a ‘modern, innovative firm’ and specialist immigration practice which has advanced accreditation of the Law Society Immigration and Asylum Scheme. Mark Lilley-Tams, ‘an exceptional lawyer’, heads the personal immigration team and is experienced in judicial review proceedings, among others for individuals who were refused a British passport by the passport office. Director Sally McEwen gives ‘very clear instruction’ and focuses on sponsor licence applications as well as Start-Up and Innovator visas, among others.

Practice head(s):

Mark Lilley-Tams; Sally McEwen


‘Mark Lilley-Tams was incredibly helpful and decisive in what was a complex immigration application. OTB Legal was the fifth immigration law firm we consulted with and the only one that gave us a clear and concise direction to pursue.’

‘This is a modern, innovative firm. They have implemented an excellent system enabling swift initial interaction with new clients which enables swift client contact and enables efficient and effective sign up. They strategically utilise social media platforms to publicise their work. They have received significant recognition with industry awards for a relatively new firm.’

‘Mark Lilley-Tams is an exceptional lawyer. Bright, engaged, pro-active and determined. He manages his time effectively, is responsive and personable.’

‘OTB Legal is a great team of professional and dedicated solicitors who pleasure to work with. A friendly and efficient approach to the client. With no hesitation, I would highly recommend OTB Legal to everyone who needs support with immigration cases and let them do what they do best.’

‘I want to highlight Sally McEwen. We appreciate the professionalism, approachability and transparency of our solicitor. During all our cases we were kept informed about every step done and any news or changes in UK Immigration law all the way through the process. Very clear instruction and very kind and warm support at the same time from her side.’

‘Very thorough knowledge of a new type of visa – the Innovator visa, which is complicated and sensitive.’

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors’ immigration practice has a strong focus on immigration, asylum and judicial review claimant matters and is one largest providers of publicly funded immigration services. The ‘very professional and friendly’ team is headed up by director Alexis Masolo, who specialises in, among others, representing unaccompanied asylum seeking children, applications under the European Economic Area regulations and complex asylum-based matters and frequently handles judicial review cases for claimants.

Practice head(s):

Alexis Masolo


‘I am very happy to have engaged with Duncan Lewis Solicitors on my immigration matters, there is an amazing team work that if I needed something there is always someone to assist. From the beginning, I was told about the process step by step for me to understand fully. We were in a difficult situation because of the COVID-19 pandemic and everything was to be done online and through the phone and because I was pregnant at that moment it was not possible to visit the office, but I never felt any difference; the help I got was outstanding and impressive.’

‘This firm is dedicated to the job they do, compared to other solicitors. They give feedback about my case on a regular basis through email or phone calls. They are friendly and willing to listen. I can call and speak to my solicitor anytime without going through any protocol, unlike other solicitors.’

‘They were helpful and they answered any questions we had.’

‘When we asked them to take action, they did it as fast as they could. And they kept us updated.’