Immigration in West Midlands


VWV has a national immigration practice, which is led in Birmingham by Tom Brett-Young. Although the specialist team has expertise in immigration issues across a wide range of sectors, the practice has a particular emphasis on the pharma, life sciences and technology industries. Another cornerstone of the practice is work for clients in the education sector;  the firm is increasingly sought out to advise clients in the independent school and higher education space on issues such as Tier four compliance, among others.

Practice head(s):

Tom Brett-Young


Tom Brett-Young stands out for his encyclopaedic knowledge, pragmatism and genuine desire to get the best possible outcome for clients. Tom has gone the extra mile by helping upskill our team and has achieved some fantastic outcomes for our clients‘.

Tom Brett-Young is the most helpful and proactive solicitor I have ever worked with – no question is too big or small, and he is able to break down legal jargon and extensive and confusing home office guidance into simple terms‘.

Tom Brett-Young covers the entire range of matters from corporate to personal immigration and is an experienced practitioner‘.

Work highlights

  • Advised a charitable organisation that was threatened with the revocation of its Tier 5 Charity Worker sponsor licence.
  • Secured a visa for a Californian technology business’s EMEA sales rep.
  • Provided Tier 2 sponsorship and visa application support for a rapidly growing online and mobile gaming company.
  • Advised a pharmaceutical company on a Tier 2 sponsor licence application.
  • Secured a visa for the UK representative of a New Zealand trade association which requires a representative in the UK to represent the interests of its members as the UK prepares to leave the EU.

Wright Hassall LLP

Wright Hassall LLP has a notable base of household-name clients, which spans sectors such as retail, advertising, food and professional services. In addition, in the legal industry, it advises leading law firms on their internal immigration issues, and also provides business immigration advice to their clients. Team head Matthew Davies is a fully admitted member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and has strong ties to US immigration law practices.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Davies

Other key lawyers:

Tracie Udall; Kelly Tomkinson

Bevan Brittan LLP

Bevan Brittan LLP is renowned for its public and third sector focus. Its specialist business immigration team works closely with clients such as universities, local authorities and NHS trusts. The practice is also diversifying into other areas, and is increasingly generating work from housing associations, international corporations, SMEs and charities. Ashley Norman, who is the main partner in Birmingham, has recently been active in a significant number of Brexit-related queries.

Practice head(s):

Jodie Sinclair (London based)

Other key lawyers:

Ashley Norman; Bhavika Badola; Jaspal Basra

Key clients

London School of Economics & Political Science

Royal Free Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Kent County Council

Swansea University

North Bristol NHS Trust

Camden and Islington NHS trust

Work highlights

  • On behalf of London School of Economics & Political Science, the firm developed and presented a bespoke series of briefings to EU and EEA national employees of the institution on the legal implications and options arising from the Brexit vote.
  • Advised and supported a university in respect of ensuring compliance with its Tier 2 & 5 Sponsor Licence obligations.
  • The firm advised an NHS foundation trust on its plans to recruit overseas nurses from the Philippines in order to meet its resourcing requirements moving forwards due to the existing nursing shortages within the UK labour market.
  • Advised a university on right to work issues that needed to be considered in relation to engaging postgraduate students during vacation periods once oral viva submissions had been made but no result was yet confirmed.
  • Advised an NHS trust on a complex case of an overseas migrant worker who had been engaged by the trust under a Tier 2 work visa as a nurse but whose right to work was in question following updated guidance issued by the UK Visa and Immigration in respect of overseas nurses.

Duncan Lewis Solicitors

Duncan Lewis Solicitors fields a large team nationally. In Birmingham, it is known for acting for claimants in significant immigration (including related judicial reviews) and asylum matters. Niche specialisms include representing vulnerable clients/victims of torture or trafficking in asylum and human rights matters, as well as immigration cases involving detentions. Ahmed Aydeed  and Sangita Shah are the names to note.

Practice head(s):

Sangita Shah; Ahmed Aydeed


It is one of the ‘go-to’ firms for immigration. The number and diversity of its cases means that it is able to pick up on systems challenges and wider challenges to policies and law in the UK‘.

DL has some excellent individuals who are prepared to go the extra mile for clients and provide a truly excellent service‘.

Ahmed Aydeed is a fantastic lawyer with in-depth knowledge of the area of immigration and trafficking law. He has a great sense of strategic litigation and is a very clear legal mind and thinker‘.

Ahmed Aydeed is very tenacious, committed and keen. He will absolutely go to the limit for his clients and is not afraid to tackle novel legal points‘.

Ahmed Aydeed is very experienced in immigration and trafficking law and is a very clear thinker‘.

‘The team led by Ahmed Aydeed is excellent. Good team and excellent paralegal support. Knowledgeable and thorough‘.

Work highlights

  • Represented a gay man who was set to be removed to Bangladesh.
  • Acted for the claimant in an unlawful detention claim, challenging the failure of the defendant to provide him with a Rule 34 compliant assessment, as required by the Detention Centre Rules.
  • Acted in a matter that involved dealing with a complex trafficking and unlawful detention case through judicial review.
  • Represented a Vietnamese national who was trafficked to the UK.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP

Shakespeare Martineau LLP acts for businesses across a wide range of sectors, but is particularly noted for its expertise in the education sector. The team has been successful recently in challenging numerous substantial civil penalties notices issued to businesses, as well as decisions to suspend or revoke sponsor licenses. It has extensive knowledge of British nationality law and permanent residency applications for European nationals. Legal director Tijen Ahmet, who is the head of the practice, divides her time between Birmingham and London.

Practice head(s):

Tijen Ahmet


The firm has a knowledgeable and accessible team, which possesses a personal touch. It keeps you informed of progress when an issue is taking a while to resolve‘.