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Immigration in North West

Brabners LLP

Brabners LLP has extensive technical expertise in business immigration with work relating to sponsor license and visa applications. The firm has expertise across a number of sectors such as life sciences, pharmaceuticals, food manufacturing, engineering, care and construction and acts for a range of clients from PLCs and SMEs to technology firms and start ups. Brendan McAleese advises multi-national companies on license applications, skilled worker visas and EU settlement schemes. Laura Darnley departed for Ward Hadaway LLP in August 2023, although Ikram Malik recently joined from JMW Solicitors LLP as head of business immigration.

Practice head(s):

Ikram Malik

Other key lawyers:

Brendan McAleese


‘Brabners are both extremely professional and knowledgeable on Immigration matters. They have a friendly, supportive and helpful manner, unlike other firms we have dealt with in the past. They are very transparent about fees from the outset and keep you informed if any matter will cost any extra.’

‘This is a practice that takes time to get to know its clients and support them and their customers. If your contact can’t answer your question then they will find someone in the team who can help.’

‘They are a really approachable team and they know how speak to clients at the right level so nobody drowns on legal vocabulary. My contacts are specialists in employment law. They always provide the right guidance and feedback from their services is always positive.

Key clients

Müller UK and Ireland Limited

Alfred H Knight International Limited

Peak 15 Limited

Hill & Smith Holdings Plc

Apex Molecular Limited

Bryter Limited

Nanoplexus Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Müller UK & Ireland LLP on all their immigration needs, including Skilled Worker and Global Business Mobility visas.
  • Advised Alfred H Knight International Limited on the immigration law requirements for all international assignments to the UK from their extensive overseas network.
  • Advised Peak 15 Limited with utilising the UK visa process to help them with recruiting and retaining care workers to fill long standing vacancies.


DWF provides the full spectrum of business immigration services for multi-nationals, FTSE 100 and AIM-listed businesses. The firm advises academic institutions and students in respect of worker visas in addition to acting for high-skilled migrants for start-up visas. John Dorney  advises on migrant recruitment and employment options with particular experience in the haulage and consumer sectors. Laura Winstanley is well-versed in work checks and immigration visa matters.

Practice head(s):

John Dorney

Other key lawyers:

Laura Winstanley


‘John Dorney is extremely knowledgeable and clear in his advice. We have taken great reassurance in dealing with him and would not hesitate to approach him for advice on immigration matters once again.’

‘Very responsive and keen to find the most appropriate person to support with our issues.’

Key clients



Fusion Furniture Solutions Limited

Gruppo Campari


Munnelly Group PLC

NES Fircroft

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Scott Logic

Seda UK

Work highlights

  • Advised a client over bringing non settled employees to the UK to carry out business activities.
  • Advised a client over its response to a Home Office penalty notice for unlawful working and its options with regard to objecting, appealing or mitigating the decision.
  • Advised a client over its reporting obligations in respect of a recent change of group structure and control.

Shoosmiths LLP

Shoosmiths LLP regularly advises employers on everything from compliance and right to work checks to applications for sponsor licenses. The practice also assists employers on the rules for business visitors and visit visa applications. Emma Morgan co-heads the team and acts for clients across the logistics, education, engineering and telecoms sectors. Other co-head Rachel Harvey is recommended for her experience in both corporate and personal immigration affairs.

Practice head(s):

Emma Morgan; Rachel Harvey


‘A very diverse team of highly intelligent, very knowledgeable people. Nothing was ever too much, happy to do as much or as little as required by the client. Communications are in plain English with no legal jargon.’

‘Warm, friendly, approachable, knowledgeable and down to earth. Always kept up to date and followed up with to ensure everything was going to plan and deadlines met.’

‘The team are very helpful and knowledgeable.’

‘I have found that all of those that I have dealt with at Shoosmiths have been taken the time to explain issues clearly in non-legal jargon so as to be easily understandable. They have been readily available and provided great advice.’

Key clients

South Staffordshire College

CityFibre Holdings Limited

MV Fruehauf

University of Northampton

The Francis Crick Institute

Fulcrum Infrastructure Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted a research and education institute with upskilling the HR and People team and provided training on right to work and sponsorship.
  • Advised CityFibre Holdings Limited on strategic new hires and employees seeking to switch visa category.
  • Acted for MV Fruehauf in obtaining an urgent sponsor license application and skilled worker visa.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP advises private and public sector organisations on matters pertaining to sponsorship under the Points Based System, illegal working, EU Settlement Scheme and Brexit. Shahjahan Ali acts for a range of clients from educational institutions and charities to investors and entrepreneurs.

Practice head(s):

Shahjahan Ali


‘The team provide a high level and professional service. We have built up a strong relationship over the last few years and trust them with all of our immigration issues and advice. The team work to a really high standard and are thorough with cases and applications. They are always happy to help.’

Work highlights

  • Advised the Austrian Embassy – Commercial Section and its contacts in connection with post-Brexit business activities in the UK.

Latitude Law

Latitude Law is a boutique practice with experience in covering skilled worker visas in addition to short-term sponsorships. Practice head Gary McIndoe is well-versed in guiding businesses through sponsor licensing and related regulatory processes. Mohammed Hafejee has a specialism in the arts and entertainment sector. Gemma Tracey departed to JMW Solicitors LLP in 2024.

Practice head(s):

Gary McIndoe

Other key lawyers:

Mohammed Hafejee


‘Just on it. Always helpful and clear and caring.’

‘The team at Latitude Law are personable, engaging, proactive, solution-focused and highly competent.’

‘I trust the fact that the team will creatively and intelligently deal with complex issues with a sense of ownership and a commitment to delivering an outcome. I have great confidence in their seriousness and skill.’

‘The team have been very helpful on the area of immigration. Their advice, insights and articles help to keep our clients informed of the latest visa regulations and changes.’

‘Latitude Law are a first class immigration team with quality individuals throughout. They advise on all aspects of immigration law from business applications to protection claims.’

‘Gary McIndoe leads from the front and has unparalleled experience and knowledge. Gary provides no nonsense advice which cuts to the heart of the matter.’

‘Latitude Law has always the ‘go-to’ immigration firm of the North West. They take their time to get the know their clients and the issues at hand and are very pragmatic and practical in their approach.’

Key clients

Dominion Bierrum Ltd

Graitec Ltd

Thornton & Ross Ltd

McCown & Evans LLP

Substance Over Form Ltd

Lizmontagens Thermal Technologies Group s.a.

J. Christof Gesellschaft m.b.H.

Egger (UK) Ltd

Auto Trader Group plc

Salesians of Don Bosco

Congregation of the Passion of Jesus Christ

NFC Health & Social Care Ltd

CognitiveScale Inc.

Strong Drive Ltd

Ulverston Community Enterprises Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for McCown and Evans LLP, San Francisco in providing UK-inbound support.
  • Acted for Graitec Ltd in overhauling the sponsor licensing presence, including urgent addition of a skilled worker tier to its existing senior/specialist tier.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP carries out a range of corporate immigration work including mainstream sponsorship options for workers, right to work policy and applications. The practice is lead by Shara Pledger; she joined from Latitude Law at the start of 2022 and specialises in sponsor licensing options for entrepreneurs and those with high net worth in addition to options for UK businesses recruiting foreign talent.

Practice head(s):

Shara Pledger


‘Shara Pledger is exceptional. Her response time is very quick, her explanations clear. Everything looks simple with her.’

‘The team at Pinsent Masons were highly responsive to our requirements and navigated through the tricky visa process in a professional manner.’

‘The partner involved spent time working alongside our in-house staff to educate them on the application process and assist in interpreting the detailed nature of information required.’

Key clients

Balfour Beatty


Accord Business Partnerships Limited

OSM Offshore Aberdeen Limited

New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering

Vattenfall Wind Power Limited

Norge Mining

MPT Ashtead

Hymans Robertson

Work highlights

  • Provided ongoing support and training to Balfour Beatty in respect of UK immigration options and compliance.
  • Assisted Syngenta across multiple matters, facilitating recruitment and temporary transfer of workers via visa sponsorship.
  • Supported multiple clients in the offshore shipping and energy sectors in respect of post-Brexit immigration options, visa concessions, and sponsorship-free recruitment.

Ward Hadaway LLP

Ward Hadaway LLP is regularly instructed to assist with applications to become a sponsor for skilled worker, global business mobility and temporary visas. Flora Mewies advises on sponsor management compliance and co-leads the practice with Harmajinder Hayre who is well-versed in the retail and transport sectors. Laura Darnley joined from Brabners LLP in August 2023.

Practice head(s):

Harmajinder Hayre; Flora Mewies

Other key lawyers:

Laura Darnley; Arshia Hashmi


‘Ward Hadaway take a collaborative approach to their work, making it an enjoyable practice to work with.’

‘Flora Mewies has gone above and beyond to deliver a business focused approach to solving complex issues for our company.’

‘We have a huge amount of trust in the expertise and guidance that Ward Hadaway provide.’

‘Arshia Hashmi is responsive to my needs and gives clear guidance and support as needed.’

Key clients

VUR Village Hotels

Wellburn Care Homes Limited

Mourik UK Limited

The Alnwick Garden Trust

North East Autism Society

Morningside Healthcare Limited and Morningside Pharmaceuticals Limited

GN Hearing UK Limited

KAEFER Limited

Akereos Capital Limited

Newcastle United Football Club

Work highlights

  • Assisted Wellburn Care Homes Limited in their application for a sponsor licence to cover each of its 14 care homes in rural North East England.