Immigration in Scotland

Drummond Miller LLP

Edinburgh-based David Brown heads up the team at Drummond Miller LLP, which is recognised by peers and clients alike for its 'substantial' expertise handling the full spectrum of business and personal immigration law. Janey Armstrong heads the team in Glasgow.

Practice head(s):

David Brown; Janey Armstrong

Other key lawyers:

Humphrey Ndubuisi

McGill & Co

'Strongly recommended' specialist immigration law firm McGill & Co attracts praise for its broad offering, encompassing all aspects of immigration and nationality law including, among others, corporate and business immigration, sponsorship licensing, family migration, inter-country adoptions, European Union free movement law and British nationality law. The 'superbGrace McGill heads the 'impressive and highly skilled' team, which includes the 'engaging and personableDarren Stevenson, who has been increasingly active working for TV and film companies, and the 'extremely knowledgeable, diligent and responsiveJohn Vassiliou, who was promoted to partner in November 2018 and manages the firm's Edinburgh private client casework.

Practice head(s):

Grace McGill

Other key lawyers:

Darren Stevenson; John Vassiliou


Leading immigration firm in Scotland.

They are clear communicators as well as responsive and thorough.’

Darren Stevenson has a strategic understanding of the immigration system.

The team’s in-depth knowledge of immigration law paired with its pragmatic approach allows its clients to resolve immigration situations effectively.’

They don’t waste time.

Pragmatic and proactive team ensuring successful results.’

They get to the core of the issue and clients know they are in safe hands.

Grace McGill has well earned her reputation for her work. She delivers a skilled and accurate service and is always available to assist.

High-class unit.

John Vassiliou has an incredible understanding of the client’s needs and never dismisses any concern. He is also a pleasure to work with.

Morton Fraser

With particular expertise in business immigration, Morton Fraser's strength lies in advising clients, including multinational companies, on Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applications, Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) applications in the digital technology sector and Tier 2 sponsor licence suspension and revocation issues. As another key area of expertise, the team routinely handles relocation company work and assists individuals with personal immigration matters. David Hossack is the main contact.

Practice head(s):

David Hossack

Other key lawyers:

Stuart McWilliams


‘Morton Fraser, Immigration Division is highly professional in its approach – the team members recognise the emotion of the client and work empathetically yet in a focused and practical manner.  The language used is easy to understand for those outwith the legal arena.  Speedy responses are always available. Where there are individual challenges the team look for ways in which to overcome these proactively’.

‘Warm yet professional, highly knowledgable and up-to-date, empathetic and speedy responses to queries’.

‘We only ever dealt with Esther Bury and Stuart McWilliams. They were both communicative and helpful at all times’.

‘Stuart McWilliams was punctual and delivered on time. His communication was clear and honest. He had all the knowledge and experience we needed. For the tasks for which we engaged him we couldn’t have asked for more’.

Key clients

AGS 360 Solutions

Axis Productions


TF Snacks

Televerde Europe

Full Creative

CSWind (UK)


EMS Employee Mobility Solutions


Work highlights

  • Represented a GP in a Human Rights claim, following refusal of her indefinite leave to remain application.
  • Advised a British national living abroad on a complex nationality case due to the use of a sperm donor to conceive his daughter.
  • The team continues to act as the immigration advisors for the relocation company AGS 360. This service involves providing ongoing immigration advice and preparing a range of visa applications for its clients, primarily BMW.
  • Advised Axis Productions on Tier 2 and Tier 5 visas alongside certificates of sponsorship, rights of spouse and ancestry visa holders while also advising its US chairman on possible business visa options to relocate to the UK.
  • Providing advice to a higher education institution on post-Brexit rights for EU staff.

Anderson Strathern

Paul Brown's team at Anderson Strathern is best known for advising public and education sector clients alongside private sector companies on Brexit-related matters and other business immigration law issues arising from the employment of foreign staff. In other work, the practice also assists individuals with a wide range of immigration and citizenship issues.

Practice head(s):

Paul Brown

Key clients

Edinburgh Napier University

Glasgow Caledonian University

Glenmorangie/ LVMH

INEOS Infrastructure (Grangemouth)

University of the West of Scotland

Fairview International School (UK)


Hawick Knitwear

University of St Andrews

Edinburgh Napier University’s Business School

Work highlights

  • Advising Edinburgh Napier University on its sponsorship duties, both as an employer under Tier 2 and as an educational establishment under Tier 4, and particularly on the issues arising from Brexit.
  • Advising Glasgow Caledonian University on its sponsorship duties, both as an employer under Tier 2 and as an educational establishment under Tier 4, and particularly on the issues arising from Brexit.
  • Advising Glenmorangie/Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy on its sponsorship duties as an employer under Tier 2 and on compliance with UK immigration law, and particularly on the issues arising from Brexit.
  • Advising INEOS Infrastructure (Grangemouth) on its sponsorship duties as an employer under Tier 2 and on compliance with UK immigration law, and particularly on the issues arising from Brexit.
  • Advising the University of the West of Scotland on its sponsorship duties, both as an employer under Tier 2 and as an educational establishment under Tier 4, and particularly on the issues arising from Brexit.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP's 'very approachable and remarkably responsive' immigration group is part of the firm's employment law practice and puts significant emphasis on corporate immigration work, most notably in the energy, higher education, retail, infrastructure, sport and financial services sectors. Euan Smith and 'pragmatic and calm' legal director Joanne Hennessy are the main contacts.

Practice head(s):

Euan Smith; Joanne Hennessy


The team has detailed knowledge and experience of immigration law as well as the process and approach usually taken by the Home Office.’

Provides tailored and practical advice.

Nothing is too much work for the team.’

Key clients


Thales UK

Hymans Robertson

MOL Energy




Work highlights

  • Advised Thales UK on the sponsor licence structure for its company set-up.
  • Advising SSE on all aspects of corporate immigration law, including the right to work, Tier 5 and the Tier 2 sponsorship processes.
  • Continued advice to GfK on all aspects of corporate immigration law, including right to work, Tier 5 and Tier 2 sponsorship processes and indefinite leave to remain.
  • Advising MOL Energy on all aspects of corporate immigration law, including EEA applications, Tier 2 applications and Brexit-related matters.
  • Continued advice to Elutions on all aspects of corporate immigration law including Tier 2 applications and sponsor licence compliance duties.

Burness Paull LLP

'Very good contact for immigration work' Jamie Kerr joined Burness Paull LLP from Thorntons Law LLP in September 2018 and now heads the firm's 'very organised and helpful' immigration practice. It primarily deals with corporate and business immigration matters and has strong focus on advising inward investors as well as oil and gas and technology sector players.

Practice head(s):

Jamie Kerr


Experienced practitioners in immigration law with the resources of a commercial firm.

Jamie Kerr is sensible, savvy and well attuned at what will work at court.

Extremely knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Scottish Television (STV)

Scottish Enterprise

BW Offshore (UK)


Savannah Petroleum

Consumer Club

The Blair Partnership

Work highlights

  • Providing advice to Scottish Enterprise on Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visas, sole representative of overseas business visas, Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) and Tier 5 visas.
  • Advised BW Offshore (UK) on obtaining sponsor licences to enable the client to be set up as an employer for overseas nationals.
  • Advised Savannah Petroleum on relocating key staff to the UK and on the immigration implications of purchasing key assets of another major company.
  • Provided advice to Consumer Club on immigration and visa requirements associated with the entity’s plans to expand and establish a commercial presence in the UK.

Weightmans LLP

The Weightmans LLP team advises bluechip, multinational and university clients on various business immigration matters including Tier 2 visa and sponsor licence applications as well as Brexit-related issues.