Leading Individuals

Next Generation Partners

Rising Stars

Immigration in South West

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP is a key port of call for clients from the care, hospitality and, increasingly, the marine sectors. The team handles a wide range of employment and recruitment issues, including obtaining skilled worker visas, and advising major domestic retailers and blue-chip multinationals with respect to sponsoring overseas workers. Exeter-based practice head Kirsty Cooke maintains a broad practice which extends to non-contentious immigration, advising on urgent applications for leave to remain for families on human rights grounds, among other matters. Laura Wonnacott has a particular focus on immigration issues in the marine sector.

Practice head(s):

Kirsty Cooke

Other key lawyers:

Laura Wonnacott; Stephen Moore


‘Kirsty Cooke has been extremely professional – detailed, thorough, respectful, and solution oriented.’

‘Stephen Moore created a comprehensive employment contract relevant to our needs and requirements.’

‘Kirsty Cooke was resourceful and solution oriented in every step of the process. She’s highly engaged and responsive to our needs.’


Key clients

CareTech Community Services Ltd

Lukka Care Homes Ltd

BECO Capital

Ocado Group Limited

Nanusens Ltd

Penhaligon’s Ltd

Rathlin Energy UK Ltd

The Roald Dahl Story Company

The Royal Automobile Club No

McDonald’s (numerous franchisees) Y

The Royal Devon University Healthcare NHS

Foundation Trust

Centrax Limited

SMASH Operations Ltd

Oterra UK Limited

CHARIS Refugees

Capital Arches Group

Work highlights

  • Assisted Centrax Limited with obtaining a Sponsor Licence in order to retain the skill set of a key employee.
  • Providing ongoing support to CareTech on a wide range of immigration issues, including the immigration implications of the acquisition of another care home business.
  • Providing ongoing support to Ocado Group Limited on all immigration issues.

Burges Salmon LLP

From the recruitment and employment of overseas nationals, to immigration audits, to advising on the immigration implications of outsourcing arrangements, the team at Burges Salmon LLP assists major employers with a gamut of issues across the immigration spectrum. Active member of the Employment Lawyers Association Adrian Martin leads the team from Bristol. Katie Hayes, who maintains immigration notes for Xpert HR, is key to the business immigration-based offering at the practice.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Martin

Other key lawyers:

Huw Cooke; Megan Summers; Myra Leung; Katie Hayes; James Edmonds


‘The team are extremely helpful and will always reply in a timely manner, no query or question is too much.’

‘I work closely with Katie Hayes and James Edmonds, and both are a credit to their firm. They both give very detailed and thorough responses to any questions we have related to UK employment law.’

‘The team are forthcoming with latest developments in our business and advised on latest technology for more efficient rights to works checks.’

‘Katie Hayes has been particularly helpful.’

‘The additional webinars and training are first class.’

Key clients

Royal Armouries

Clarivate Analytics

Babcock International Group

University of Bristol

John Lewis Partnership

The Crown Estate

UK Atomic Energy Authority

Horatio Investments Limited

Signet Jewelers


Pure IP Limited

Work highlights

  • Providing the UK Atomic Energy Authority with the full range of strategic and on-going immigration advice.
  • Advising Pure IP, a global cloud communications provider, on all its UK immigration requirements
  • Providing the John Lewis Partnership with strategic and day-to-day immigration advice.

DAC Beachcroft LLP

DAC Beachcroft LLP‘s immigration team is engaged by businesses from both the private and public sector to assist with issues such as sponsorship compliance and compliance with the EU settlement scheme. The team is also well regarded for its ability to assist corporate clients in situations concerning workers whose right to work is unclear or has lapsed. Practice chair Shahjahan Ali, an expert contributor to LexisPSL Immigration and Westlaw UK Insight, is praised for his ‘exceptional’ knowledge of immigration law.

Practice head(s):

Shahjahan Ali


‘Dac Beachcroft LLP is has exceptional services. The staff are able to stand their ground in an argument They have strong communication, good listen and able to read people and situations well.’

‘DAC Beachcroft LLP provide exceptional services, even in complex cases.’

‘We have a great working relationship with DAC Beachcroft and rely on them to support us with complex Immigration issues. They are reliable and also provide a first class service.’

Key clients

Austrian Embassy

Work highlights

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

Willans LLP

Praised for its ‘business-focused‘ guidance, Willans LLP‘s Cheltenham-based team advises businesses on the maintenance of sponsor licenses - as well as assisting with applications for sponsor licenses - and conducting compliance training for both sponsors and employees. Practice head Matthew Clayton leverages his significant knowledge of employment law to provide clients with business immigration advice. His colleague Hayley Ainsworth notably has a proven track record of assisting clients with sponsor license applications.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Clayton

Other key lawyers:

Hayley Ainsworth


‘Willans have always been approachable, responsive, trustworthy and provide sound and business-focused guidance to clients that have limited UK knowledge or experience.’

‘Responsive, knowledgeable and always ready to help. We know our clients will be in safe hands and will receive a complete service.’

‘We were very impressed with how quickly our project was turned around, the results exceeded our expectations.’

Key clients

Kong International UK Limited

Yiangou Architects Limited

Hazlewoods LLP

Abercrombie & Kent Limited

Pentadel Project Management Limited

Schmidt Groupe UK Limited

Hydro Aluminium UK Limited

Trace One Limited

Rodney Melville and Partners Limited

Rakuten Symphony UK Limited

Stroud Care Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Yiangou Architects Limited in making a successful sponsor licence application under the skilled worker route.
  • Assisted Schmidt, a French-based interior manufacturer and retailer, on their application sponsor licence under the skilled worker and senior or specialist worker routes for their UK entity.
  • Continued to support Kong International UK Limited, an information technology company, in the management of their sponsor licence and sponsored migrant workforce of the licence.