Immigration in West Midlands

Sydney Mitchell LLP

Senior associate Andre Minnaar heads the team at Sydney Mitchell LLP. Minnar along with Melissa Southall are lauded for their work in private fee paying immigration matters of a personal and human-rights based nature. The practice is skilled at assisting on all types of entry clearance applications from abroad as well as country extension applications, renewal applications and appeals. Minnaar is an experienced tribunal advocate. Southall provides extensive personal immigration advice to clients on matters such as spousal visas, applications for children, asylum and European applications for citizenship. 'Great customer service and attention to detail. All the work was completed perfectly'.

Practice head(s):

Andre Minnaar

Other key lawyers:

Melissa Southall


‘Sydney Mitchell takes time to really get to know its clients. The lawyers spend time getting every little detail and are always on standby to answer any question how big or small. They stand out due to the amount of time they invest in to their clients. They are on your journey with you from start to finish and always on hand to answer questions. It’s the personal touches like this that make it stand out’.

‘ I was impressed with the efficiency and professionalism of Melissa Southall. She demonstrated a very good knowledge of the immigration system. In particular, the legal reasoning for support of my application. It demonstrated her precise knowledge of the immigration laws and provided great supporting reasons for approval of my Spousal Visa application’.

‘Very good service, clear instructions were given from the start about the cost which had not changed at the end. Very good service when you call for advice or to arrange an appointment. Diverse range of specialists so you can get the best advice and support’.

‘Melissa Southall had an excellent approach where advice and support were made tailored to your own needs. I have found her very clear about her advice. She had a very respecting manner. She has been very prompt in replying to our questions’.

‘Melissa Southall works in a extremely methodical manner and the precision of information provided and general advice has made the difficult process of managing the immigration processes considerably easier than we might of expected. Melissa demonstrates empathy and a personal approach in understanding our family position’.

‘The level of service, commitment and dedication received by Andre Minnaar was absolutely fantastic ‘.

‘Andre Minnaar has been extremely helpful throughout my case. He treated my case as if it was his own with passion and commitment. The level of dedication which was seen was outstanding and helped me feel I was in the right hands finally throughout my case. The results achieved were fantastic and clearly prove that Andre’s hard work has paid off! I would like to thank Andre’.

‘When I approached Sydney Mitchell I had read amazing reviews about its immigration specialists and in particular Andre Minnaar. When we met with him and spoke about our case – it was a breath of fresh air. He told us all options available and was very honest with our chances. He was always available to answer queries and approached us when he felt we needed to add additional information to help build our case. I truly believe all of this enabled us to get the outcome we did’.


Under the leadership of Tom Brett-Young at VWV its immigration practice continues to thrive. In 2020 it received a steady flow of instructions from employers spanning a diverse range of sectors such as financial services, healthcare, fashion, tech law, charities and education. Its independent schools client portfolio is expanding as it acts for various independent day and boarding schools in addition to working with numerous higher education institutions.  Its corporate immigration practice has been busy too advising multinational companies on matters such as skilled worker sponsorship issues. Brett-Young is recommended for his work on  both business and personal immigration.

Practice head(s):

Tom Brett Young


‘Tom Brett Young is superb. He is highly responsive, knowledgeable and diligent. He also provides exceptional, practical advice’.

‘Very knowledgeable – they provide concise, easy to understand legal advice and opinions. Tom Brett Young provides top quality legal support on both complex and straightforward matters’.

‘Tom Brett Young provides clear, straightforward and commercial advice and does so in a tight timeframe where necessary. I particularly value the fact that he doesn’t hesitate from saying that an area is unclear or that he isn’t entirely sure of the answer if there is room for doubt’.

‘Tom Brett Young is very impressive, he helps people navigate through the problems and then comes up with a pragmatic solution‘.

Wright Hassall LLP

Wright Hassall LLP has a well-established reputation under the direction of Matthew Davies. Davies has a strong client base of leading names in retail, advertising, food and confectionary as well as financial and professional services and communications. He is recommended for his work where there is a cross-over between immigration and employment law especially cases where there are allegations of illegal working. The practice also advises some major law firms on their internal immigration issues and the group has been working closely with its corporate and employment departments by advising on the management of sponsor licence applications and on sponsor migrant status.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Davies

Other key lawyers:

Tracie Udall


‘Always available when there are queries, very supportive and transparent on steps within the case management process. Very approachable and knowledgeable. ’

‘Tracie Udall is extremely reliable, transparent and efficient in dealing with immigration queries and cases’.

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP has a strong national offering that is particularly known in the NHS, healthcare and university sectors. It had a busy year advising on the implications of Brexit and has won some significant new clients recently in addition to having strong links with Magic Circle law firms. Ashley Norman leads the team out of Birmingham. Norman regularly advises clients from different sectors on immigration compliance and audits, certificates of sponsorship as well as right to work issues. Associate Jaspal Basra advises numerous organisations with a particular focus on universities and NHS trusts.

Practice head(s):

Ashley Norman

Other key lawyers:

Jaspal Basra


‘The team is  knowledgeable and experienced with issues that affect the HE sector’.

Key clients

De Montfort University

Birmingham City University

Kingston NHS Healthcare Trust

Charlie Goldsmith Associates

Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group

Royal Free NHS Trust

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a large immigration offering across the UK; the Birmingham team has significant experience in immigration, asylum and judicial review claimant matters. Its particular strength lies in the provision of publicly funded immigration services. The team has developed a number of specialisms representing vulnerable clients such as victims of torture or trafficking as well as detained asylum cases. It has substantial experience of representing clients in judicial review immigration cases before the High Court and in unlawful detention cases. Practice head Ahmed Aydeed is highly regarded.

Practice head(s):

Ahmed Aydeed


Very capable and experienced immigration and public law teams‘.

‘I am very grateful to have found Duncan Lewis – the lawyers have helped me in an incredible way, with each step that we progress in the process they are always there giving all possible support. In addition to all the assistance they give me with the help of interpreters, as I have difficulties with the English language, they always did the best for my case, and always gave me comfort and security’.

We were impressed with the service we received from the Duncan Lewis team; the lawyers always treated us with great respect, from the beginning always fighting for our case, and above all, treating us with equality and affection‘.

‘Good collaboration between senior and junior colleagues’.

‘Dedication and determination’.

Work highlights

  • Represented a client in a case that raised important issues in relation to individuals who have been exploited for the purposes of terrorist activities from being recognised as victims of trafficking.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP

The national immigration practice at Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP is led from Birmingham by the hugely experienced Audrey Elliott, who 'has a wealth of knowledge on both UK and cross-border immigration and employment'. The firm has a strong focus on combining its employment and immigration specialisms to offer a more rounded service to clients, which include major companies in the retail, food and drink, logistics and energy sectors.

Practice head(s):

Audrey Elliott


‘The team’s knowledge is unsurpassable in terms of the ability to commercially advise on immigration considerations. Due to the fact they keep employment considerations at the heart of immigration advice, I feel safe as a client that the advice I have been given has weighed the balance of risk and commercial need.’

‘Audrey Elliott is a standout partner for me. She has a wealth of knowledge on both UK and cross-border immigration and employment which she applies both in direct advice and in managing large multi-jurisdictional work. She has a natural warmth to her work with me as a client and gives clear and pragmatic advice on complex issues.’

Key clients

Next Plc

Unipart Group Limited

Associated British Foods Plc (including Twinings, Allied Bakeries, West Mill, Jordan Ryvita, Speedibake)

Unipart Group Limited

Cadent Gas

Work highlights

  • Advised Next on its people strategy in relation to Brexit.
  • Advised Unipart on its people strategy in relation to Brexit.
  • Advised ABF on its people strategy in relation to Brexit and provided day-to-day immigration support.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP acts for businesses across a diverse range of sectors with specialist expertise in the education sector. It advises leading UK universities and further education colleges on sponsor licence management as well as on the recruitment of specific  skills from overseas. The group also frequently advises on the prevention of illegal working practices in the UK. Head of team Tijen Ahmet divides her time between London and Birmingham and routinely advises multinationals on skilled worker sponsor licences in the education, creative and healthcare sectors.

Practice head(s):

Tijen Ahmet


‘Very through and responsive service’.

‘Tijen Ahmet is very knowledgeable and thorough when providing advice. Tijen supports practically with us to help us with unique challenges’.

Work highlights

  • Advising a Russell Group university and supporting the staff under the EU Settlement Scheme. Delivering bespoke training schedule to support university with European staff beyond Brexit.
  • Acting for a leading university with sponsor licence renewal and conducting a comprehensive compliance audit, implementing new systems for right to work checks under the weight of the pandemic restrictions.
  • Supporting a healthcare provider with refusal of sponsor licence and securing sponsor licenses for their care homes to enable the recruitment of overseas nurses through pandemic.