Immigration in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP has a strong immigration practice which supports both businesses and individuals. For businesses, the team offers a full set of services, covering visas, sponsorship, compliance with UKVI requirements, the implications of Brexit and integrated HR support relating to immigration. Meanwhile, its individual support offers advice on visa clearance and various naturalisation schemes for high-value individuals, as well as complex UK immigration tax issues. Adrian Martin, who heads the overall employment team, supervises the immigration department which is led by Huw Cooke.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Martin 

Other key lawyers:

Huw Cooke


‘We work with a number of partners and associates at Burges Salmon across different sectors and find all of them excellent in terms of availability, experience and accurate helpful input, counsel and legal advice for our business.’

‘The firm has a good diverse range of experience in the private client space, particularly where there is an international element involved.’

Key clients

Insure & Go/Mapfre

Clarivate Analytics

Babcock International Group

University of Bristol

Horatio Investments Limited

Signet Jewelers

Work highlights

  • Advising a large national retailer on its right to work obligations in light of Brexit and the interplay between immigration and employment law.
  • Advising a US-owned global data company on immigration strategy and preparation for the post January 2021 immigration regime.
  • Assisted an EEA senior executive and her family in obtaining permanent residence status in the UK.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

The immigration team at DAC Beachcroft LLP provides business immigration advice for both public and private sector organisations. Its focuses are in the financial services, healthcare and tech industries. This also includes illegal work prevention for businesses. Personal immigration is also a part of the firm's offering, including advising on the UK points system, the EU settlement scheme, and advising high-net-worth individuals on right to work. The team is led by Shahjahan Ali, whose work covers the full range of employment law.

Practice head(s):

Shahjahan Ali


‘Shahjahan Ali is practical, responsive and a pleasure to work with. Feedback from any of our team who have sought his guidance and any clients we have referred to him has always been very positive. We would have no hesitation in recommending him and he is our first choice when we need help in this area.’

‘Shahjahan Ali was invaluable to me with his experience. He helped me through the entire application process, taking my telephone calls and emails in a timely manner and answering any question I posed. He was professional and respectful in communicating with my husband and I at all times.’

‘Having worked with a number of professional firms in the UK and North America, I valued the individual attention I received from Shahjahan Ali. I am not a large client for his firm, but I still felt like a valued one.’

‘DAC Beachcroft is a large firm, but as a small client I valued the attention I received from Shahjahan Ali. Through the course of my legal matter, I developed a strong personal and professional relationship with him.’

‘Knowledgeable, efficient, provided clear training and advice on immigration for the team, and supported with answering our questions.’

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP's immigration team provides key support to national, international and regional companies employing non-UK workers. The team has seen a growth in Brexit-related instructions from businesses and individuals, advising on EEA matters, EU nationals' right to work, and the EU Settlement scheme. It also offers support acquiring Tier 1 and 2 visas, assisting companies in sponsorship matters, and immigration issues regarding corporate transactions. Kirsty Cooke leads the team and acts for a number of clients in the care and healthcare sectors.

Practice head(s):

Kirsty Cooke

Other key lawyers:

Laura Wonnacott

Key clients

The Roald Dahl Story Company

Penhaligon’s Limited

Rathlin Energy Limited

Moortec Semiconductor Limited

AccessESP UK Limited

TLC Group Limited

Caretech Community Services Limited

Homelync Limited

The Una Group

Private Individuals

Work highlights

  • Advised Rathlin on numerous immigration matters including recruiting into shortage occupation roles and transferring skills from specialist individuals based in Canada.
  • Advised Homelync on obtaining a Sponsor Licence in order to recruit suitable expertise from outside the EEA to fill key roles within the business.
  • Advised The Roald Dahl Story Company on the immigration aspects of recruiting a non-EEA national to lead a new project in the UK.


VWV offers a broad array of regulatory support relating to UK immigration. The team's independent school client base has seen significant growth, with work including student visa support and support for schools whose licenses are at risk of suspension following a home office visit. Beyond that, the firm offers support to corporate and individual clients, with work including supporting migrant workers, advising on changing visa tiers and assisting high-net-worth individuals with immigration. Tom Brett-Young leads the nationwide immigration practice, while Judith Hockin coordinates out of Bristol.

Practice head(s):

Tom Brett Young

Other key lawyers:

Judith Hockin


‘They offer a specialism in immigration work related to schools and students ’

‘I felt comfortable with their service and billing structure. As the pandemic forced everyone to work from home, no in-person meeting occurred, but emails and phone calls sufficed for the help that I was looking for.’

‘Judith Hockin was pleasant to work with and was always professional, but friendly, in our interactions. While most of our interaction was via email, she always made herself available for phone chats when things felt too complicated for me to go over via email. Overall, I was happy with the level of service received from Judith and VWV and would confidently recommend them to colleagues or friends.’

‘I have always received sound advice, presented in a way that I know how to apply it to a school environment in terms of both the process needed and how to share with my colleagues.’

‘Judith Hockin provides me with professional advice, in a personal way. I always know Judith will respond quickly to a request for information. She is always happy to speak on the phone which I find very helpful should I need to run my understanding of something by her. ’

‘When specialist immigration advice and guidance is required, Judith is our go to person. She handles complex immigration queries with sensitivity and professionalism and is a pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Northern Ballet School

St Benedict’s School Ealing

University of Exeter

Bristol Cathedral

Glendower Prep School

Cabot Learning Federation

Work highlights

  • Assisted Glendower Prep with switching an employee visa from a Tier 5 to a Skilled Worker Visa.
  • Helped train longstanding client Cabot Learning Federation with regards to the Skilled Worker Visa category.
  • Helped train New Hall School Trust in matters involving Tier 4 visas.