Leading Individuals

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Rising Stars

Immigration in West Midlands

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors fields a large team that has significant experience in immigration, asylum, human rights and judicial review claimant matters. It is co-led by Ahmed Aydeed and Darren Middleton who excel in advising on publicly funded immigration issues. The group has developed a number of specialisms such as representing vulnerable clients who are victims of torture or trafficking in asylum and human rights matters as well as on detained asylum cases. It is also recognised for its work with unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. In addition, the group is skilled at representing claimants in judicial review proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Ahmed Aydeed; Darren Middleton


‘The unique features of this practice is their attention to detail and how thorough they are with clients cases. They go through every detail with a fine tooth comb before advising their clients, they ensure that the advice that is given is nothing but the best’.

‘They are extremely knowledgeable about the law and keep up to date with any new developments within the law. I feel other firms would have difficulty matching this level of service that Duncan Lewis Solicitors provide on a daily basis’.

‘Mr Darren Middleton has gone the extra mile ensuring every detail of my case has been looked at. His actions of professionalism and dedication towards my case have made me feel listened to, understood and respected’.

‘Very responsive team, excellent on asylum work‘.

‘Duncan Lewis team is very enthusiastic and helpful. A big thanks to Darren Middleton who worked really hard on my case. He is a responsible solicitor’.

‘Duncan Lewis Solicitors have a highly professional, experienced and dedicated team that supported me, assisted me and provided me with focused advice and representation‘.

‘Duncan Lewis Solicitors have provided me an excellent service in assisting me with my immigration legal matter. Mr Middleton handled my case with complete precision and professionalism whilst explaining the details and obstacles throughout the case’.

Key clients






Work highlights

  • Acting in a case that was important because as a result of the decision, the law now means that many recognised victims of trafficking seeking asylum in the UK will be granted discretionary leave to remain.
  • Issued a judicial review against the Secretary of State for the Home Department, challenging its decision to access, use and continue to access EDC’s information, stored on the Salvation Army database.
  • Advising on a matter whereby the High Court ruled that the government had unlawfully cut support during the pandemic for survivors of trafficking.

Sydney Mitchell LLP

Andre Minnaar  has recently been promoted to the partnership. Minnaar and Melissa Southall  are part of a  ‘great’ team of ‘fantastic communicators‘ at Sydney Mitchell LLP. The group specialises in private fee-paying immigration matters of a personal and human rights-based nature. It has also recently been expanding its offering to include corporate immigration matters. The team receives plaudits for its work on all types of entry clearance applications, renewal applications and appeals. Minnaar is a skilled tribunal advocate with a strong LGBTQI following. Southall has extensive personal immigration experience and frequently advises clients on spouse visas, applications for children, asylum issues in addition to European applications to citizenship.

Practice head(s):

Andre Minnaar

Other key lawyers:

Melissa Southall


‘A very professional and approachable team that provides high quality advice. Andre Minnar is spectacular. He is attentive and creates a trusting relationship’.

‘Andre Minnaar took care of my case. He is clearly an expert in his field and is very reassuring. I would highly recommend him to anyone requiring immigration services’.

‘The team is really special – they go above and beyond to give clients the best possible outcome. They’re super knowledgeable about immigration law and can explain it in a way that anyone can understand’.

‘I’ve worked closely with Melissa Southall, who has been instrumental in achieving successful outcomes in my case. Her attention to detail, strategic thinking, and dedication to her clients are truly unparalleled’.

‘Melissa is an exceptional Solicitor – excellent in every respect. She is clear thinking, knowledgeable, well organised, proactive, a good listener, understanding, a great communicator, and tenacious’.

‘Melissa Southall – this lady knows what the job she does is all about. She makes sure you’re the centre of the process. She is always open to talk to you and discuss every iota of what we need to know. She is diligent, professional, knowledgeable, patient oriented, cheerful and so on and so on’.

‘Melissa Southhall was very transparent, she understood my needs, listened always made time when I had any issues or worries she was dedicated in helping me achieve my desired goal’.

‘What has really stood out about Andre is that I have felt totally comfortable that he is a very skilled, knowledgeable solicitor, who knows exactly how to achieve results. He is very professional and business like but at the same time very personable. I always know he is totally committed to achieving the outcome I need’. 

Work highlights

  • Andre Minnaar made a successful application for entry clearance of a pre-flight spouse and 2 children one who was over 18 years of age to join a recognised refugee and sponsor from Iran.
  • Andre Minnaar successfully made an application for settlement of a spouse having completed 60 months leave to remain, although the couple had separated a few months before he became eligible to apply.
  • Melissa assisted a young adult with refugee status who was in Foster Care, with an application to be reunited with his three minor sisters who fled Afghanistan and are currently alone, vulnerable and sheltering in Iran. The case involved many hurdles but applications were eventually submitted and the results are awaited.


Tom Brett Young leads 'a friendly and approachable' team at VWV, which specialises in both business and personal immigration matters. He has a vast range of experience in acting for multi-national companies, SMEs, start-ups, HE and independent schools on a wide range of immigration matters. Other key clients include high-net-worth individuals. A significant part of his work is advising employers and education providers on their compliance duties as sponsors of worker and on student visa applications. Senior associate, Talitha Degwa, has a primary focus on corporate immigration matters in the technology sectors.

Practice head(s):

Tom Brett Young

Other key lawyers:

Talitha Degwa


‘Tom Brett Young provided an excellent service, being prompt to respond, clear in the responses and patient with multiple queries’.

‘Tom Brett Young is extremely responsive, which is an asset in the industry that I work in. He works very well with us to meet our demands. They are proactive often offering guidance on recent changes in the law’.

‘Speed, accuracy, responsiveness, kindness. Strong team with great reputation. Talitha is a conscientious and service-focussed lawyer’.

‘Good quality, bespoke advice with a solid legal approach, from a regional base’.

‘Talitha Degwa – thorough, practical, capable and unfussy approach’.

Talitha –  is a fountain of knowledge and I would go as far as to say she is an expert in business immigration, private immigration whether on personal matters or human rights’.

‘Very competent and efficient team, effective and helpful advice. Tom Brett Young provides excellent service‘.

Tom Brett Young is an exceptional Partner on immigration and has consistently provided us with high quality, commercial, pragmatic advice on any immigration issue we encounter. He is always on hand when needed and approachable‘.

Wright Hassall LLP

Head of department at Wright Hassall LLP is Matthew Davies, who has a strong client base in sectors such as retail, advertising, financial and professional services. Davies has been busy advising some law firms on their internal immigration issues as well as providing business immigration advice to their clients. He is particularly adept at handling sensitive cases where there is a crossover between immigration and employment law especially in relation to illegal working and dismissals. The practice works closely with its corporate and employment departments to manage sponsor license applications and sponsor migrant status.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Davies

Other key lawyers:

Tracie Udall


‘Matthew Davis is excellent – he gives solid practical advice in a timely and cost effective manner’.

‘Really good quality service, we have been working with them for a number of years, they understand our wants and needs and anticipate this in our interactions’.

‘I work very closely with Tracie Udall, she is extremely knowledgeable and supportive in all cases we deal with. I have confidence in her abilities and know that she will guide us through processes in an efficient and compliant way’.

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP advises a substantial number of clients on their immigration issues in the public health sector. Under the direction of Ashley Norman, it also acts for various commercial services clients, university sector clients and has been working with some major City and US law firms on a range of immigration matters. Norman advises on diverse matters such as immigration compliance and audits as well as on right to work issues. Rajinder Bhambra joined, as a legal director, from Harrison Clark Rickerbys.

Practice head(s):

Ashley Norman

Other key lawyers:

Rajinder Bhambra


The knowledge within the team has been second to none, inspiring confidence in the advice. The advice given is also done in such a way that is is fully understandable regardless of whether you have immigration experience or not‘.

‘Friendly individual who is down to earth and supportive with what we are trying to achieve, explains the situation in a manner that is professional and understandable, alerts us to risks and how to overcome those’.

Key clients

Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

Camden & Islington NHS FT

David Koma Limited

Stone House Home Limited

Virgin Healthcare

Local Authority

A Wealth Management Subsidiary of a Private Asian Bank

Royal United Hospitals Bath

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Head of department at Shakespeare Martineau LLP is Tijen Ahmet. Ahmet specialises in business immigration matters and is particularly recognised for her work on UK sponsorship under the points-based system. Ahmet divides her time between the London and Birmingham offices and has extensive experience of working with multi-national businesses on a whole host of issues. She regularly advises global clients’ HR and mobility teams on international recruitment.

Practice head(s):

Tijen Ahmet


‘The team was very welcoming and responsive to our requirements’.

Key clients

European real estate client

Transport client

A higher education university

Games manufacturing client

Peak NDT Limited

Work highlights

  • Supported an Italy-based real estate client with preparing their UK operations to transfer specialist staff from their overseas operations to the UK, including Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, German, Austria and Czech Republic.
  • Supported a transport client with the transfer of staff to the UK to support with the growth of a multi-million pound project.
  • Providing high level support to a university client with sponsorship of higher education teaching professional, and right to work queries for international students, as well as general compliance of their worker sponsor licence.

The Wilkes Partnership

Pam Sidhu heads the practice at The Wilkes Partnership. Sidhu, who was recently promoted to partner, is an experienced employment and immigration law practitioner who works mainly for employer clients. She has particular knowledge of advising on skilled worker sponsorship matters, sole overseas representative visas, business visitor visas as well as frontier worker permits.

Practice head(s):

Pam Sidhu


‘Very helpful, fast reacting, extremely knowledgeable’.

‘Clear and precise communication, detailed knowledge’.

‘Strong people, excellent coordination and cooperation, quick reactions and excellent availability; clear legal communication about administrative questions’.

‘They are reliable with information about chances to get work visa’.

‘Pam Sidhu is very capable and knows all about immigration and changing laws’.

‘I have had great experience with Wilkes so far, especially their response times, transparency, clarification (to someone who is not familiar with UK matters) is really good’.

‘I have been assisted by Pam Sidhu, who has been exceptional. Her expertise on immigration matters, detailed explanation on the very last bit and understanding of our needs has been amazing’.

‘What I liked the most was Pam’s guidance as she provided all the available options but highlighted what would make most sense for us given our company’s outlook’.

Key clients

Sit SteuerungsTechnik GmbH

German Christmas Company


Margetts Limited

Ramfoam Limited


Simportal Limited

Star Group Live Limited

CEC Solar GmbH

Hofats GmbH

Advena Medical Limited

Caeser LLC

Lunar HR

Hanson Lawrie

HUF Haus GmbH & Co KG

Manke Markets UK Limited

Vector Corrosion Technologies


Stratasys Solutions

Limited/Stratasys Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advice on all UK immigration and employment law issues for an international company.
  • Adviser to a fast growing global events company on international employment and immigration issues arising from the deployment of staff across the globe in order to design, build and de-rig stage infrastructure for major world events.
  • Advised a German engineering company on immigration permissions for approximately 200 workers needing entry to the UK for the purpose of working on a contract to install machinery and software for a new warehouse for Amazon UK.