Immigration in South West

Burges Salmon LLP

Burges Salmon LLP advises clients on all aspects of business immigration, including recruitment of overseas nationals, immigration strategy, sponsor licenses, immigration audits, UKVI breaches, corporate transactions and outsourcing arrangements. Clients include domestic businesses and international corporations, as well as high net worth individuals and their dependents. Adrian Martin heads up the wider employment group, which encompasses the immigration practice.

Practice head(s):

Adrian Martin

Other key lawyers:

Suzanna Harvey

Key clients

Computershare Investor Services

Insure & Go/Mapfre

Bank of Ireland

Avon Rubber

Clarivate Analytics

Babcock International Group


University of Bristol

Work highlights

  • The firm advises US-owned group Clarivate Analytics on all business immigration issues, including the employment of overseas nationals, sponsor’s compliance, Tier 2 applications, indefinite leave to remain applications and day-to-day advice.

Ashfords LLP

Ashfords LLP's immigration team advises on all aspects of recruitment and employment issues for foreign nationals, as well as advising on non-contentious immigration issues for high net worth private individuals. The firm regularly acts for UK companies employing workers from outside the EU, as well advising individuals on their rights to work in the UK. The team also supports a wide range of multinational clients. Recent mandates included assisting clients with obtaining Tier 2 sponsorship rights, visa applications and corporate support. Senior associate Kirsty Cooke leads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Kirsty Cooke

Other key lawyers:

Laura Godfrey

Key clients

Penhaligon’s Limited

Rathlin Energy UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Penhaligon’s Limited on Tier 2 sponsorship issues and providing right to work guidance
  • Advising  Rathlin Energy (UK) Limited on Tier 2 sponsorship issues and cross-border working arrangements.
  • Assisting a client with protecting their immigration status as partner of an EEA national.
  • Advised a foreign national on obtaining a fiancé visa and an appeal against a Home Office refusal.
  • Advised a client on recruiting a team leader under Tier 2 of the points based system.

Clarke Willmott LLP

Clarke Willmott LLP's immigration team sits within the wider employment practice, and advises businesses on employee transfers and foreign migrant sponsorship. It also assists individuals with visa issues. Immigration disputes are another pillar of the practice. Team head Alex Jakubowski regularly advises Tier 1 entrepreneurs and investors. Tim Copplestone is another key figure, who assists clients with sponsor licensing, Right to Work issues and compliance. He also has specialist expertise in the sports sector, and has represented professional sports players and clubs in immigration matters.

Practice head(s):

Alex Jakubowski

Other key lawyers:

Tim Copplestone


Everybody in the immigration team at Clarke Willmott was very positive and communicated well. The team worked tightly and we highly recommend them

Tim Copplestone is very professional , efficient, responsible and works very hard. He offers professional credibility through fantastic work, and we are very satisfied with him

Key clients

Bandai UK Limited

Jiangsu Guotai International Group Shanghai Import and Export Co Limited

Kong Company Limited

ClearView IP Ltd

Talent International Limited

Cave Veterinary Specialists

Ghwain Tech Co. Limited

Microdesk Inc. and Microdesk Ltd

Somerset County Cricket Club

Riversand Technologies UK Limited

Work highlights

  • Ongoing advice to Jiangsu Guotai International Group Shanghai Import and Export Co Limited in relation to obtaining permission for the client’s UK representative to extend her visa in order to establish a UK presence for the client.
  • Advised Kong Company Limited on its Sponsor Licence and Tier 2 (General) visa extension application, and later departure, for their key sponsored migrant.
  • Ongoing support to Cave Veterinary Specialists on Tier 2 (General) visa applications and sponsor license applications.
  • Advising prominent commercial employers on conducting Right to Work in the UK checks
  • Advised the client, a high net worth entrepreneur, on immigration options for UK entry.


VWV's immigration practice operates at a national level, but also maintains a strong market presence in Bristol. Its sector coverage spans a wide range of areas, with a particular emphasis on issues concerning independent schools, higher education institutions and technology companies. One specialism involves assisting independent schools with regulatory compliance audits and handling threatened actions arising from alleged breaches of Tier 4 sponsor guidance. The team works closely with the employment team on migrant worker issues, and acts alongside the corporate group on restructurings and reorganisations. Associate Judith Hockin is the key name in Bristol.

Practice head(s):

Tom Brett Young

Other key lawyers:

Judith Hockin

Work highlights

  • Advised an independent school threatened with the revocation of its Tier 2, 4 and 5 sponsor licence.
  • Assisted a client with a successful application for a Tier 2 sponsor licence.
  • Assisted a client with proving that his mother, a Canadian citizen, had been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain status.
  • Carried out a review of a client’s compliance with Tier 4 rules, and subsequently assisted with updating processes and policies.
  • Advised members of staff from several universities on the EU Settlement Scheme and alternative immigration options