Duncan Lewis Solicitors > Leicester, England > Firm Profile

Duncan Lewis Solicitors
1ST FLOOR, SUITE 1, 60 CHARLES STREET
LEICESTER
LE1 1FB
England

Employment > Immigration Tier 3

Duncan Lewis Solicitors‘ Leicester team has significant expertise in immigration, asylum, and judicial review claimant matters. Alexis Masolo is the key figure and routinely conducts appeals before the Immigration Asylum Chamber, advises and assists unaccompanied asylum seeking children, and also handles entry clearance matters.

Practice head(s):

Alexis Masolo

Testimonials

‘Alexis Masolo always goes above and beyond. She’s excellent at what she does and very understanding.’

‘The exceptional reception was one of the main reasons why I chose to deal with this company. Everything related to my case was explained very professionally.’

‘Alexis Masolo has incredible communication and ensures that the clients are fully aware of their case, and uses interpreters and translation where necessary to ensure this communication is clear.’

‘Alexis Masolo communicates brilliantly with us as professionals, and with the clients directly. She is patient and kind and explains everything clearly to the clients to ensure they are aware of their case, and what progress it has made.

‘Alexis Masolo works incredibly hard to get a positive result for our clients, including sourcing psychological reports and other evidence where necessary. Alexis uses interpreters and translation services to ensure that our clients fully understand their case.’

Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general Tier 3

Duncan Lewis Solicitors brings ‘excellent client service’ to a broad range of serious crime issues including sexual offences, drug crimes and murders. The department is experienced working with child defendants, and act on complex matters involving county line groups. Rubin Italia has extensive knowledge of public law and immigration, Hardeep Dhaliwal specialises in criminal fraud, and Nicholas De Freitas covers violent crimes extending from rape and sexual assault to motoring offences. Associate Olivia Amy Rose is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Rubin Italia; Hardeep Dhaliwal; Nicholas De Freitas

Other key lawyers:

Olivia Amy Rose; Linda Barker

Testimonials

‘Excellent client service – they take detailed interest in clients’ welfare.’

‘A huge team with experts in every field.’

‘Duncan Lewis Solicitors have years of experience in dealing with complex, heavy crime from allegations of serious fraud to multi-kilo drug supply, as well as homocide, violence and serious sexual offences. Cases are read in detail and fully understood. Tactical considerations and well thought-through before practical and realistic advice is advanced.’

Private client > Court of protection Tier 3

Duncan Lewis Solicitors fields ‘a thorough, knowledgeable and professional team’ with Gillian Alysia de Freitas and Angela Sandhal at the helm. It advises on a broad array of matters from disputed capacity and best interest matters to specialising in cases that overlap the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act as well as deprivation of liberty safeguards, section 16 cases and inherent jurisdiction matters. Rachel Caswell recently moved to Irwin Mitchell.

Practice head(s):

Gillian Alysia de Freitas; Angela Sandhal

Other key lawyers:

Ben McGuckin

Testimonials

‘Knowledgeable team. Client centred. Goes the extra mile. Professional, whilst being very good with vulnerable clients’.

‘Ben McGuckin – is such an excellent solicitor, he is diligent, extremely knowledgeable and always goes the extra mile for his clients. Ben shows genuine compassion for his clients and has a good rapport with them. He listens and really gets to know the client’. 

‘Angela Sandhal was absolutely fantastic. She handled the case really well. She is empathetic, understanding and very efficient and all issues were handled brilliantly – she was very patient’.

‘Strong team in this area, good depth of knowledge and experience’.

‘Ben McGuckin – very good indeed for his seniority, I expect him to go from strength to strength. Handles complex cases very well. Angela Sandhal – strong partner, supportive of her staff’.

‘Ben McGuckin is an excellent solicitor, very thorough and thoughtful and keen to ensure his client’s case is advanced as much as possible’.

‘Angela Sandhal is the kind of solicitor that judges instantly defer to. She is unflappable yet manages to get opposing solicitors (particularly in public bodies) to do what she needs them to’.

‘Ben McGuckin is a very capable individual, who possesses a level of professionalism and confidence of a much more experienced solicitor. Ben is always well prepared, provides careful consideration to difficult points and is not afraid to rock the boat where needed. A future star’.

Public sector > Administrative and public law Tier 3

Duncan Lewis Solicitors regularly engages in high profile strategic public law litigation, with a particular focus on vulnerable claimants in cases relating to prison law, court of protection, mental capacity and social welfare issues. They firm has also been successful in representing Grenfell Tower core participants and assisting individuals in the Windrush Scheme. Toufique Hossain leads the area of immigration in public law, with experience conducting high profile class action challenges. James Packer litigates across test cases concerning access to the Courts, unlawful detention and enforced removals. Rohena Wallace is a name to watch for her work in representing vulnerable clients.

Other key lawyers:

Ahmed Aydeed; Bahar Ata; Claire Ryan; Gergana Pentcheva; James Packer; Nazia Khan; Rohena Wallace; Toufique Hossain; Vilash Gami; Zofia Duszynska

Testimonials

‘Toufique Hossain has brought innovative challenges that have ensured the Home Office adhere to fair practice in such areas as immigration applications, detention and removals; and his challenges in these fields have helped clarify important points of ethics and law.’

‘Bahar Ata’s immigration team in the Luton office are an exceptional team in a crowded field. The team has been involved in numerous notable cases in the higher courts, and stands out because of its extraordinary commitment to their clients, particularly when they represent vulnerable individuals.’

‘They are very well-known for their work in providing high-quality representation to vulnerable asylum seekers who arrived by “small boat” and who resist return to European countries that they have passed through before coming to the UK. Bahar Ata’s team have persistently and expertly challenged removal.’

‘They stand out because of their extraordinary commitment to their clients. They give vulnerable individuals a voice they may otherwise lack, and as a result, they succeeds in winning the cases of clients where others may not. Their dedication to their clients is unflinching.’

‘Bahar Ata has an expert eye for spotting the winnable issues in unattractive cases. She is brilliant, inspired, energetic and compassionate, but she is also safe and reliable.’

‘The teams led by Toufique Hossain and James Packer are exceptional in ability and reach. Bahar Ata has great experience in asylum cases including the most complex.’

‘We make a lot of referrals to this team, especially knowledgeable on detention work and challenges related to immigration detention. They are also very keen to do strategic work in this area and we regularly partner on challenges together.’

‘Duncan Lewis in London have many very fine lawyers. James Packer is an outstanding public lawyer formidable in negotiation and a tour de force as an advocate in his own right.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for the claimant in a test case brought by a confirmed victim of modern slavery challenging the refusal to grant her leave whilst she pursues an asylum claim.
  • Representing the claimants in a judicial review challenge of an unlawful Home Office decision which has wider implications for the many children stranded in the detention camps in Syria who were born after their parents were deprived of their citizenship.
  • Represented the claimant in a judicial review brought against the Lord Chancellor, which culminated in the publication of changes to the Immigration and Asylum Specification of the Standard Civil Contract, which now sets out remuneration for legal aid providers to provide 30 minutes of free advice to an immigration detainee in prison without reference to their eligibility to legal aid.

Public sector > Civil liberties and human rights Tier 3

Duncan Lewis Solicitors is differentiated by its sizeable judicial review claimant offering, with a particular focus on immigration and unlawful detention. The firm is increasingly developing this expertise on an international platform, with recent challenges to UK government practices in Libya and Eritrea. Toufique Hossain is a ‘high profile‘ presence in the team, and takes the lead on representation of vulnerable asylum seekers, many of whom are victims of torture, sexual abuse and trafficking. James Packer is another key contact; he regularly conducts test cases concerning enforced removals from the UK and decisions to refuse legal aid.

Other key lawyers:

Ahmed Aydeed; Bahar Ata; Claire Ryan; Gergana Pentcheva; James Packer; Jenna McKinney; Nazia Khan; Rohena Wallace; Tamana Aziz; Toufique Hossain; Vicash Ramkissoon; Vilash Gami; Zofia Duszynska

Testimonials

‘Toufique Hossain is a high profile solicitor who remains at the forefront of immigration public law work, working with a committed and able team.’

‘Have access to a huge number of potential civil actions through long years of work preventing removals and securing release from detention. A big team with big capacity. Brave and inventive in the points they take.’

‘DL are running most of the most important immigration and immigration-detention related cases. That is down to Toufique Hossain and his unique ability to identify and foster talented younger lawyers. All his team speak of that ability.’

‘Duncan Lewis is able to provide a high quality service that includes bringing ground breaking cases on legal aid. I am not aware of any other firm that can do such a high volume of legal aid work while maintaining such high standards. They also show great commitment to their clients.’

‘Duncan Lewis Solicitors have a great depth of experience in this area. They have been involved in some of the most important cases in this area in the last 10 years.’

‘Their public law team is extremely active in both judicial review claims for unlawful detention and civil claims for false imprisonment. They are also heavily involved in the trafficking arena, both in claims for judicial review and civil/human rights claims. They are incredibly well prepared, dedicated and really know their stuff.’

‘James Packer is one of the most astute lawyers I know. He is utterly fearless, fighting for his clients with tenacity, even when the odds seem stacked against him. He has an extremely high level of knowledge and exceptional judgment. He is strongly recommended for tactical high level litigation.

‘The firm is extremely visible in the sector and has an excellent team of solicitors who are extremely hard working and conscientious. They prepare the cases very well and have a clear understanding of the principles and issues in question.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for the claimant in a test case brought by a confirmed victim of modern slavery challenging the refusal to grant her leave whilst she pursues an asylum claim.
  • Representing the claimants in a judicial review challenge of an unlawful Home Office decision which has wider implications for the many children stranded in the detention camps in Syria who were born after their parents were deprived of their citizenship.
  • Represented the claimant in a judicial review brought against the Lord Chancellor, which culminated in the publication of changes to the Immigration and Asylum Specification of the Standard Civil Contract.

Crime, fraud and licensing > General crime and fraud Tier 3

With an office in Harrow, Duncan Lewis Solicitors has seen a steep increase in county line drugs cases and modern slavery defence work, which has led to a niche in this area. More widely, the team is instructed on a variety of serious criminal matters and gang-related crimes. Rubin Italia and Nicholas De Freitas lead the team, and consultant solicitor Simon Connolly is an ‘absolute star on confiscation law‘.

Practice head(s):

Rubin Italia; Nicholas De Freitas

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Excellent individual client care, very diverse client base. Experts in dealing with the most complex criminal cases.’

‘Linda Barker – very experienced, loyal client base, would do anything to help clients. User friendly, pleasure to work with.’

‘Olivia Amy Rose is up and coming, very diligent, and focused.’

‘Rubin Italia is a first class lawyer. Excellent client care, attention to detail, and plenty of strategic nous.’

‘Fantastic expertise on confiscation and fraud. Solicitors who know the law inside out.’

‘Simon Connolly is an absolute star on confiscation law.’

‘The firm covers the full range of criminal work and remains a market-leader in both private and legal aid work. The firm has a wealth of experience with an expertise in fraud work.’

Dispute resolution > Debt recovery Tier 3

Duncan Lewis Solicitors, based in Harrow, represents both claimants and defendants and handles mandates relating to recovery actions, asset freezing orders and fraud litigation. ‘Business-savvy commercial litigator‘ and practice co-head Anthony Okumah has a wealth of experience in insolvency and bankruptcy litigation, emblematic of the team’s deep bench in claims against financial advisers. Dispute resolution expert Sobashni De Silva also co-heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Sobashni De Silva; Anthony Okumah

Testimonials

‘A heavyweight civil legal aid practice.’

‘Anthony Okumah is a star player – a hard-hitting, business savvy commercial litigator.’

Work highlights

  • Assisted a Libyan national with a claim (under the Common Law) in the Courts of England & Wales for the recognition and enforcement of a Libyan court judgment.
  • Assisted a distributor of anti-bacterial wet-wipes to pursue a claim against a UK retail supplier for the refusal to accept contractual delivery and failure to pay invoices.
  • Assisted Gatehead Properties Limited in recovering a significant sum from a leaseholder with a habit of non-payment of service charge and ground rent.

Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 3

Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a strong focus on claims against solicitors who are alleged to have given negligent advice regarding property disputes. Directors Anthony Okumah and Sobashni De Silva lead on many of these cases, each being members of the Professional Negligence Lawyers Association, bringing with them over a decade of experience. They are supported by associate Kulwant Sokhal, who works largely on financial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Sobashni De Silva; Anthony Okumah

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Excellent ability to work in a cross disciplinary fashion which is a boon for professional negligence claims when the underlying claim sometimes needs to be unpicked.’

‘Kulwant Sokhal is incredibly responsive and doesn’t let anything slip through the gaps. Manages to keep a high level overview of a case but doesn’t get tripped up on the detail.’

Work highlights

  • Assisted client with bringing a professional negligence claim against his former solicitor in connection with a property matter.
  • Assisted client with bringing a professional negligence claim against his former solicitor who assisted the client with a conveyancing matter.

Private client > Family: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Tier 3

Abbid Majeed and Meena Kumari lead the family and child care offering at Duncan Lewis Solicitors from Bradford. The team’s workload includes advising on complex financial matters. The team specialises in domestic abuse cases, and has expertise in forced marriage and FGM. In addition, it advises on complex private children matters, including emergency protection and adoption cases, often internationally. The wider firm prides itself on its cross-cultural awareness, which strengthen its ability to provide support in unorthodox family matters.

Practice head(s):

Abbid Majeed; Meena Kumari

Other key lawyers:

Sophie Hussain; Talat Manir

Testimonials

‘I appreciated the fact that my opinions and feelings were closely taken into consideration prior to any decisions made. I am so grateful to Sophia Hussain, who worked outside of hours to ensure I received the help I needed, and to make sure all work was completed; she supported me more than I expected.’

‘Abbid Majid took time out of his regular work to make sure my case was taken care of.’

‘They have been very forward and clear in setting out steps that should or should not be taken, whilst still giving me the choice to make the decisions that I feel are best for my case.’

‘They are helpful and friendly. They won my case and when I needed advice after completion, they still helped me.’

‘Solicitors are helpful and understanding at this firm. Abbid Majid was very supportive. In court, all the talking was done for me, which made me feel at ease.’

‘Working with Abbid Majeed was a breeze. He went above and beyond to help me understand everything regarding my case and more.’

Work highlights

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Employment > Immigration

Duncan Lewis Solicitors is known across practice areas for its legal aid work, and the immigration and public law team is especially prominent in this area, with experience bringing cases to the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, and the European Court of Human Rights. The firm’s flagship judicial review claimant practice sees it represent clients including the vulnerable and marginalised, and its immigration offering is strengthened by collaboration with its expanding international presence challenging UK government practices abroad. Key team members include Toufique Hossain, who has particular experience handling asylum claims for clients who are victims of torture, sexual abuse, and trafficking, as well as Ahmed Aydeed, Rohena Wallace, and business immigration department directors Tamana Aziz and Vicash Ramkissoon, who provides advice and handle appeals for clients from a range of industries.

Practice head(s):

Tamana Aziz; Vicash Ramkissoon; Ahmed Aydeed; Bahar Ata; Claire Ryan; Gergana Pentcheva; James Packer; Jenna McKinney; Nazia Khan; Rohena Wallace; Tamana Aziz; Toufique Hossain; Vicash Ramkissoon; Vilash Gami; Zofia Duszynska

Other key lawyers:

Fahad Ansari; Stefan Vnuk

Testimonials

‘The firm is dynamic and adapts accordingly to client needs and circumstances.’

‘I really like the service provided by Duncan Lewis, their team is very well prepared, they are very objective and practical, the only thing you need to do is let them do their job and you will know you have chosen the right company. They always serve us very precisely, and when there is a problem they solve it.’

‘Toufique Hossain and his team have quite literally saved the lives of many who faced deportation without their cases having been fully considered, and who faced danger and potential death on return.’

‘Toufique Hossain – the big name at DL – in charge of a large, diverse and innovative team finding and executing public law challenges in this area. Ahmed Aydeed – up and coming Director at DL – has made a particular name in anti-trafficking challenges. Zofia Dyszynska has well recognised expertise in anti-trafficking cases and vulnerable clients. Stefan Vnuk is a long established practitioner in immigration law with a highly regarded reputation. Fahad Ansari has a burgeoning practice in national security cases in the High Court and Special Immigration Appeals Commission and has achieved remarkable results.’

‘Great resources owing to size of the team and firm. Some of the solicitors there really go the extra mile. They work round the clock and take on the most challenging cases. They fight to the end.’

‘In public law the teams led by Toufique Hossain and James Packer are exceptional in ability and reach. In privately funded work Vicash Ramkissoon is a very able and punctilious leader who deals with a wide range of clients. Other notable individuals: Bahar Ata has great experience in asylum cases including the most complex and in human rights. Zofia Duszynska is another experienced leader, of high ability, with particular experience in asylum cases. Claire Ryan and Vilash Gami are recent promotions to director, all with substantial ability and competence.’

‘They are willing to take on cases often when other firms have said no, they can do more challenging and complicated work. For immigration cases we make most of our referrals to the director Bahar Ata, whose team really takes a lot of last-minute work – without their support there are a lot of people would have been removed or deported unable to access legal advice. Bahar is really good at getting back to us quickly and if she says no, we know that it is because there really is no capacity in the team.’

Employment > Immigration Tier 1

Duncan Lewis Solicitors fields a sizeable and experienced team of immigration lawyers from its offices in Harrow, Milton Keynes and Luton. The team focuses on personal immigration, and handles high-stakes matters in the areas of human rights, detention, asylum, and civil liberties, with significant experience acting on judicial review cases. Multiple lawyers in the team have experience arguing before the High Court, Court of Appeal, and Supreme Court, including Toufique Hossain, Bahar Ata, Tamana Aziz and Rohena Wallace. Hossain’s clients included survivors of torture, sexual abuse and trafficking, while Wallace is especially recognised for her expertise in European rights law, prison law and terrorism cases. Ahmed Aydeed and Zofia Duszynska are also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

Bahar Ata; Toufique Hussain

Testimonials

‘The breadth and depth of the team makes Duncan Lewis a real market leader for immigration matters. They have capacity across varying levels of seniority, and can act in all aspects of complex asylum, immigration, trafficking and detention matters. They are committed to acting for their vulnerable client base, and holding the state to account, even in a challenging political and financial climate.’

‘The team are committed and passionate about the work that they do. They are a credit to the profession.’

‘A large public law team that responds quickly to potential legal challenges. They are innovative and courageous, working with some of the best barristers and regularly achieving significant and meaningful legal success.’

‘Duncan Lewis are one of the most successful and effective large immigration practices in the UK, working across the range of immigration work. They have a significant presence within and beyond London and operate on a scale that no other firm in this area can match. In recent years they have, in particular, grown their work in the higher courts, acting in a significant number of test cases.’

‘Toufique Hussian and his team are fantastic to partner with on strategic work, and are always keen to take on matters relating to both public law and immigration. The members of his team really do fantastic work and are good at communicating both with their clients to keep them up to date. Toufique is very approachable and always makes himself available to discuss legal questions we may have as an organisation or potential ideas for strategic work.’

‘Bahar Ata is a true advocate for human rights and cares passionately about vulnerable members of society. Her commitment is second to none and she is a true leader in the field.’

‘Tamana Aziz – Incredibly experienced, has a wide breadth of knowledge and extremely good client care skills. She knows how to spot a good legal issue that has legs. Zofia Duszynska – passionate, whip smart, brilliantly organised, at the top of her game.’

Work highlights

  • Acted on a case that established discretionary leave to remain for recognised victims of trafficking seeking asylum in the UK.
  • Acting on a case to establish UK government responsibility for children stranded in detention camps in Syria who were deprived of their citizenship in circumstances but where the Home Office now accepts the deprivation orders left those individuals stateless.
  • Advised on a review culminating in the publication of changes to the Immigration and Asylum Specification of the Standard Civil Contract, which now sets out remuneration for legal aid providers to provide 30 minutes of free advice to an immigration detainee in prison without reference to their eligibility to legal aid.

Private client > Family: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 1

Duncan Lewis Solicitors is one of the largest family law teams in the South East and is split across several offices in Harrow, Milton Keynes and Luton. The practice handles a full range of family law matters from divorce matters and financial settlements to pre-nuptial and cohabitation agreements. The firm is particularly skilled at navigating cases of parental conflict involving elements of domestic abuse and parental alienation. Co-heads Adeeba Naseem and Alia Lewis  specialise in child abduction matters. Other practice leaders Krina Parmar and Ravi Kaur Mahey are well-versed in issues of forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

Practice head(s):

Adeeba Naseem; Alia Lewis; Ravi Kaur Mahey; Krina Parmar

Other key lawyers:

Priyal Patel; Michelle Lubelle

Testimonials

‘I have been instructed as counsel by Duncan Lewis Solicitors a good number of times; I have invariably found the quality of advice they dispense to be excellent and their efficiency in complying with directions and generating briefs and bundles is superbly reliable.’

‘I have been particularly impressed with Priyal Patel, especially in matrimonial finance, whose eye for detail is excellent.’

‘Always been very satisfied with the team in their communication regarding a case and prompt response for any questions regarding a case. Brief is usually very clear and in line with the client’s instructions.’

‘Billing is processing in good time.’

‘Very friendly, professional and put their clients at ease in particular those who are most vulnerable.’

‘Duncan Lewis have a large Family and Child Care Team that are extremely professional, personable and very efficient. I have been working closely with several branches of Duncan Lewis of the Family Team throughout my professional career and I can only speak highly on their practice across the broad. Adeeba Naseem and her team are standout who stand above and beyond the expected standards.’

‘Priyal Patel and Michelle Lubelle are a credit to Duncan Lewis, both deal with complex Children Act and Domestic Violence cases with particular detail and care. They are really responsive to emails and easily reached on the phone when any enquiries are raised by Counsel or a member of the Clerking Team.’

‘The knowledge of the lawyers is great and it is welcomed to have discussions with the team in relation to court outcomes.’

Key clients

F v M [2021] EWFC 4 (15 January 2021) (18 January 2021)

Work highlights

  • This case is now regarded as a leading case in FGM law.
  • We represent the Respondent Mother (who has learning difficulties) in an ongoing complex Children Act matter.

Employment > Immigration Tier 1

Able to access legal aid funding, the 'knowledgeable and professional' team at Duncan Lewis Solicitors is particularly adept at representing often extremely vulnerable claimants in asylum, judicial review and human rights. 'Driven and focused' team head Vinita Templeton 'works tirelessly to ensure a favourable outcome' and has regularly achieved success for clients in judicial review cases where appeal rights had previously been exhausted. Associate Samuel Bass  'builds up relationships of trust and empathy with even the most vulnerable of clients', and as well as his fee-earning work also handles a significant amount of pro bono advice, including his weekly volunteering role for a Welsh charitable organisation that provides free advice and representation to asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants. Bass also regularly conducts advocacy at the First-tier and Upper Tribunal, as does consultant Vanessa Delgado .

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

The team is knowledgeable and professional. The lawyers want the best for their clients.’

The team provides strong attention to detail and to securing as much relevant objective evidence as possible to ensure the client has the best possible chance of success.’

They are committed to doing the best for their clients and keeping in touch with them throughout their case.’

Vinita Templeton never gives up and keeps fighting for her clients.’

Vinita Templeton is driven and focused; she helps her clients over and above the normal call of duty.’

Vinita Templeton is very experienced and works tirelessly, leaving no stone unturned to ensure a favourable outcome for her clients.’

Samuel Bass pays close attention to both the personal circumstances of each individual client and to the objective material needed to support that claim. His preparation is never less than exceptionally thorough and he clearly builds up relationships of trust and empathy with even the most vulnerable of clients.’

Work highlights

  • Acting for a United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestine Refugee recognised refugee from Lebanon who fears a real risk of article 3 ECHR harm on return to the camp, and where it has been accepted by UNRWA in evidence before the UK domestic Tribunals (First-tierTribunal and Upper Tribunal (IAC)) that UNRWA is unable to afford him effective protection.
  • Instructed by a Palestinian client, previously resident in Lebanon, to represent him in his asylum claim and subsequent appeal.
  • Acting for an Egyptian and a Muslim Brotherhood member whose asylum claim was refused at appeal, but was granted permission to appeal and his case was remitted to the First-tier Tribunal. Consequently the firm successfully secured asylum for the client.  

Employment > Immigration Tier 1

Duncan Lewis Solicitors fields a large team that has significant expertise in immigration, asylum and judicial review claimant matters. It is recommended for its provision of publicly funded immigration services and regularly represents vulnerable clients who are victims of torture or trafficking in asylum and human rights matters, as well as assisting unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. Ahmed Aydeed  and Darren Middleton co-head the department.

Testimonials

‘Excellent strategic litigator at leadership level. Ahmed Aydeed- excellent strategic litigator, pleasure to deal with, very innovative thinking‘.

The Duncan Lewis Birmingham office has established a very strong reputation in immigration, led by Ahmed Aydeed. The team works collaboratively and efficiently and is involved in many high profile, leading cases which reflects its high standards and strong work ethic‘.

‘Ahmed Aydeed is highly innovative and has a real eye for spotting chinks in the immigration system that are vulnerable to challenge, and goes at them like an attack dog, to the benefit of his clients’.

‘Does a lot of immigration and public law work. Does that work to quite a high level’.

‘Great expertise re exploitation’.

 

Key clients

JM v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 2514 (Admin) (04 October 2021)

KTT, R (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 2722 (Admin) (12 October 2021)

Mostafa Shahi v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 1676

TN (Vietnam), R. (on the application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department& Anor [2021] UKSC 41 (22 September 2021)

ZV (Lithuania) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 1196 (30 July 2021)

Work highlights

  • Advising on an important case whereby 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.
  • Acting in a case that raised important issues in relation to the SSHD’s breach of their statutory duty in failing to provide adequate cash support payments to asylum seekers in full board accommodation.
  • Advising on a case whereby the High Court ruled that the government had unlawfully cut support during the pandemic for survivors of trafficking.

Dispute resolution > Debt recovery Tier 2

The debt recovery practice at Duncan Lewis Solicitors sits within the firm's litigation group and handles claimant and defender side actions against financial institutions and fraudsters. The group is jointly managed by commercial litigators Anthony Okumah  and Sobashni De Silva, who specialises in cross-border jurisdiction claims and receives instructions from the Middle East. Areas of activity include insolvency matters, including bankruptcy and winding up proceedings, banking litigation and enforcement actions. The team strengthened its bench at the associate level with the hire of civil litigator Oliver Subhedar from Hill Dickinson LLP.

Practice head(s):

Sobashni De Silva; Anthony Okumah

Testimonials

‘Heavyweight litigator Anthony Okumah adds big City skills to a team to watch.’

‘The team is highly responsive and thorough and work exceptionally hard to protect the client’s position.’

‘Sobashni De Silva leads the team very well. She is calm, responsive and always on top of the issues. She is very analytical but at the same time has a creative approach in maximising the client’s case.’

‘Really great at the black letter law, on the details of the case, and on the commercial drivers of the dispute.’

Sobashni De Silva – fantastic at the detail, the law, and identifying what will help the client.’

‘The firm has the benefits of a big firm’s efficiencies and knowhow without losing its original charm.’

Work highlights

  • Instructed by a Libyan national to bring a claim (under the Common Law) in the Courts of England & Wales for the recognition and enforcement of a Libyan court judgment (which had finally been decided in the client’s favour by the Supreme Court of Libya).
  • Instructed by distributor of anti-bacterial wet-wipes to pursue a claim against a UK retail supplier for refusal to accept contractual delivery and failure to pay invoices, causing loss to the client of circa £400k.
  • Instructed by Gatehead Properties Limited, a property developer that owns a number of leasehold properties, to assist in recovering unpaid service charges and ground rent from their lessees.

Real estate > Social housing: tenant Tier 2

Duncan Lewis Solicitors covers a broad range of social housing claims and ‘a high volume of legal aid cases‘ for tenants, including disrepair, homelessness and succession matters. The practice ‘shows strength in depth‘ and has a niche area of expertise in acting for tenants in urgent possession and unlawful eviction cases via the County Court Possession Duty Schemes in London, and has further niche expertise of assisting vulnerable clients through means of Equality Act defences as well as challenges against local authorities by way of judicial review proceedings. ‘Excellent leadersManjinder Kaur Atwal , Dianne Cowie, Bernadette Chikwe and David Head lead the London housing offering and are ‘highly experienced in all areas of housing law‘.

Practice head(s):

Manjinder Kaur Atwal; Dianne Cowie; Bernadette Chikwe; David Head

Testimonials

‘The social housing team shows strength in depth. From TOLATA-related equitable defences to possession claims to Equality Act 2010 discrimination and right to rent (immigration) defences. There is nothing I have not seen the team tackle with care, diligence and an appropriate understanding of the benefit counsel can bring to the table.’

‘Manjinder Kaur Atwal is an exceptional housing solicitor. Her knowledge is broad and her responses to questions are swift and equally incisive. The team has good case handling skills.’

‘Bernadette Chikwe runs a large team and is very much in control. If she is uncertain or wants to discuss matters, she does so openly and is responsive to advice given. She is very much focused on getting the best result for her clients. She runs a diverse team and works with a very diverse client group.’

‘The team are very experienced and knowledgable about all aspects of social housing. They regularly deal with clients who are vulnerable and/or have disabilities, including those for whom English is not their first language.’

‘Dianne Cowie has a vast amount of experience in social housing and excellent judgment but retains a very affable and approachable manner. She always has the client’s best interests in mind and gives sound and sensible advice.’

‘Headed up by some excellent leaders (e.g Dianne Cowie). Responsive to client’s needs and take a robust but realistic approach to litigation.’

‘The Duncan Lewis team are very competent and strong advisers. I am always impressed by their tenacity and ability to run complicated points successfully. They take diversity very seriously and this is demonstrated in their team. I would advise any person seeking housing advice to speak with Duncan Lewis.’

‘Our solicitor believed we had a good case. All clients hope to have a solicitor who believes in the justice of their case and has the skills and experience to win it – we had such a solicitor with the professional self-confidence to secure the Legal Aid funds and recruit outstanding barristers capable of winning. In all the circumstances we do not believe a competitor could have fielded a more accomplished legal team and our family will be forever grateful to Duncan Lewis.’

Work highlights

  • Represented the defendant in a possession claim where the claimant sought possession based on Ground 17 of the Housing Act 1988 in respect of the defendant’s premises.
  • Acted for the claimant in Ibrahim v Haringey LBC [2021], a housing possession appeal matter at the High Court and later at the County Court. The client was unlawfully evicted from the property, and urgent steps were undertaken to reinstate him into the property as the defendants did not follow the correct legal procedure.

Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant Tier 2

Duncan Lewis Solicitors  handles claims resulting from high-value serious or fatal accidents. The Harrow-based team is led by director of clinical negligence and personal injury Rebecca Thomas, who brings over 25 years of experience in claims on behalf of clients who have suffered fatal injuries or injuries which have severely impacted their personal lives and/or ability to work. Solicitor Amy Bennett focuses exclusively on medical negligence cases and is noted for her work in stillbirth and neonatal death claims. Solicitor Ifrah Ahmed works with life-changing injury work, particularly focused on traffic collisions.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Amy Bennett; Ifrah Ahmed

Testimonials

‘They provide a friendly and caring service to their clients. The solicitors are diverse, knowledgeable and determined.’

‘Rebecca Thomas – intelligent, knowledgeable and demonstrates great determination in getting the best results for her clients.’

‘Ifrah Ahmed – compassionate, hard working and excellent client-handling skills.’

Real estate > Social housing Tier 2

Led by Manjinder Kaur Atwal and based in Harrow, Duncan Lewis Solicitors‘ housing team boasts a wealth of experience acting for tenants on a wide range of matters. Atwal has expertise in disputes in areas including possession claims, evictions, disrepair and negligency, and homelessness, where she is supported by solicitor Daljit Singh. Sadaf Mir‘s practice often involves overlapping duties under the Children Act, Care Act, and Equality Act, while Vincent Davis has particular experience with vulnerable clients.  In addition, the team is contracted with the Legal Aid Agency to provide subsidised services to social tenants in England and Wales, and handles pro bono and duty work.

Practice head(s):

Manjinder Kaur Atwal

Testimonials

‘Very friendly and professional – made me feel like I was their only client. Excellent understanding on all matters relating to the case.’

‘There can be few finer client experiences than that of Duncan Lewis’s example of sustained legal conviction combined with outstanding advocacy.’

‘The social housing team has enormous capacity, and is better than most legal aid providers at accepting clients and taking on casework.’

‘Duncan Lewis have a creative, brave and passionate commitment to the needs of its clients in the social housing field. I have seen some excellent arguments advanced on behalf of clients and these have translated into tangible results. Their staff are personable and professional with a real understanding on how best to manage client expectations and work collaboratively with counsel.’

‘Manjinder Kaur Atwal is a real star and showcases her intellect and experience in all cases I have worked with her on.

‘Daljit Singh Shina – exceptionally knowledgeable and a pleasure to work with!’

‘I am very impressed with how Sadaf Mir communicates with clients, especially the kindness and compassion she shows them. Sadaf is able to explain to the clients about their case in a way that they understand and provides them with opportunities to ask questions. Sadaf also gets excellent results for the clients and she is always the first solicitor that I refer to for housing issues!’

‘Vincent Davis is exceptional at dealing with difficult cases, opponents, and even clients. Manjinder Kaur Atwal manages to combine a calming and reassuring presence with meticulous attention to detail and tremendous legal knowledge.’

Key clients

Hughes Jarvis Ltd v Searle & Anor [2019] EWCA Civ 1

Ibrahim v Haringey LBC [2021[ EWHC 731 (QB)

Luton Community Housing Ltd v Durdana [2020] EWCA Civ 445 (26 March 2020)

TM (a protected party by his litigation friend DM) v Metropolitan Housing Trust Ltd [2020] EWHC 311 (QB)

Work highlights

  • Represented the Defendant in a possession claim where the Claimant sought possession based on Ground 17 of the Housing Act 1988 in respect of the Defendant’s premises.
  • Acting for the Claimant in housing possession appeal matter at the High Court and now at the County Court.
  • Acting on a breach of PSED case, and seeking permission sought in the Court of Appeal.

Private client > Family: Birmingham Tier 2

Richard Gray , Krina Parmar  and Rupinder Jagdev  jointly lead the department at Duncan Lewis Solicitors; their team specialises in representing clients who are facing emergency situations and frequently supports on child relocation, sexual harm, safeguarding and domestic abuse issues. It runs a culturally diverse caseload, involving elements of Islamic law, and specialises in international child abduction cases in addition to female genital mutilation cases.

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Rupinder has been fantastic and reassured me throughout my case. Honesty and knowledge of my case getting to know the complete case made Rupinder stand head and shoulders above the rest’.

‘This practice has helped me during the most harrowing time of my life. When you feel at your most vulnerable, the lawyers are able to provide you with the information and expertise to help you through the process. They are accessible and responsive which is key to ensuring you feel updated and involved in the decisions being made. I felt as though they were on my side which at that point in time was so important for me’.

‘Julie McNamara was extremely knowledgeable regarding the area I needed help and support with. She was patient and gave good explanations and presented various options to pursue. She was approachable and accessible and flexible regarding fees. She acknowledged the challenges of my situation and I felt she went the extra mile to support me‘.

‘Rupinder Jagdev is hugely capable and, unlike many instructing solicitors, she makes it her business to consider the evidence; she is very much part of the team when it comes to making decisions and setting the strategy for a trial. Her client care is excellent – she really minds about the lay client. Her communication with lay clients and with those she instructs is superlative and as a consequence she can be relied upon to get things done‘.

‘Solicitors at Duncan Lewis have instructed us in all aspects of care proceedings whether these are allegations of physical harm, emotional harm, sexual abuse, death, neglect, the list is endless. Duncan Lewis was swift and concise with their instructions to counsel and brought counsel onboard early on in the proceedings which aided our clients’ case. They have excellent client service and have a fundamental grasp of both the complex medical and legal issues at play in these complex cases and have the ability to relay that to their clients in an understandable and “user friendly” manner‘.

Rupinder Jagdev is a first rate care solicitor of an impeccable standard. She has commitment not only to her firm but also client’s and barristers alike‘.

‘A big outfit that is well placed to offer depth of experience on a national scale. Adam Bloodworth is responsive and has a balanced approach to his client’s cases. He is a real team player and a pleasure to work with’.

‘Rupinder Jagdev: She goes out of her way for clients, is readily available and also ensures she gives clear cut and appropriate advice. She presents the clients cases very well’.

Work highlights

  •    

Private client > Family Tier 4

Duncan Lewis Solicitors greatest advantage is its enormous size and quality of solicitors as well as its diversity of experience across the firm’. It handles all aspects of family law, with particular specialism in representing victims of domestic violence, handling complex divorce matters and securing financial settlement following the breakdown of a marriage. Other strengths include handling Islamic law cases and complex cross-border matters. The lawyers are ‘friendly professionals who take the time to understand your case’.

Practice head(s):

Adeeba Naseem; Alia Lewis; Emine Mehmet; Forida Hakim; Kathy Walker; Laila Bhunnoo; Ravi Kaur Mahey; Sophie Fretten; Vanket Appalakondiah

Other key lawyers:

Helen Newman; Michelle Lubelle; Priya Patel; Stavri Petrou; Emma Hamilton

Testimonials

‘Emine Mehmet has made me feel comfortable and welcome, with being a transgender women this is very important to me. Duncan Lewis really cares about its clients and does anything in its power to make sure you are up-to-date and understanding with everything going on’.

‘I have worked extensively with Helen Newman on a wide range of international child abduction cases. Helen is a delight to work for—her technical knowledge of the area is second to none, her case preparation is absolutely meticulous, and she is one of a rare breed of solicitors who is able to fight like a tiger when it is time to do so but also to facilitate a pragmatic settlement when the times require’.

‘The team is very communicative, quick in response and clear with its instructions. Its biggest strength is the structure of the teams with outstanding management/directors for example Adeeba Naseeem’.

‘Alia Lewis provides excellent legal advice. She is organised and helpful and responds promptly to queries’.

‘DLewis has a highly diverse ethnic team. All are highly competent and approach client management in a very client focused way. All my instructing solicitors are highly personable and highly professional’.

‘Sophie Fretten is an absolute pleasure to work with. She is savvy, approachable and fights tooth and nail for her clients. Sophie combines her vast experience with a commitment to her clients to provide first class customer service’.

‘I have worked with Ravi Mahey and found her to be insightful, supportive and professional. Ravi is always attentive and is a fantastic representative for children. Being on the Children’s Panel, Ravi is a leader when it comes to child care case work and I am delighted to have worked with her. I would have no hesitation in recommending her to other Children’s Guardians’.

‘Laila Bhunnoo is focused and very able in relation to working with children’s guardians – which is my role – recently we had an unusual case involving care proceedings alongside a parental order – this was complex to navigate – understanding the process use of counsel pro bono but in the end managing to secure legal aid funding for the parental order – was complex – it took positive communication between myself and Ms Bhunnoo to resolve this – with a positive outcome’.

Work highlights

  • Instructed to represent a Mother in an application for a Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order (FGMPO) issued by Hertfordshire County Court.
  • Represented the Mother of a young child who came to the UK herself as a child asylum-seeker from Bosnia in a child abduction case.

Dispute resolution > Commercial litigation: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx Tier 4

Duncan Lewis Solicitors represents a range of different clients in commercial disputes including PLCs, SMEs, financial institutions, government authorities and foreign parties. The firm acts for both claimants and defendants and has developed a specialism for fraud related and financial matters. Civil fraud expert Sobashni De Silva co-heads the practice with Anthony Okumah who handles negligence and property matters.

Practice head(s):

Sobashni De Silva;  Anthony Okumah

Testimonials

‘Sobashni and Tom had been wonderful in listening to our case and providing clear direction with great transparency in a timely manner.’

‘They have been effectively communicating with us and the opposite party and were very punctual in time to provide details and to close the case in our favor.’

‘Sobashni and Tom are two people from Duncan Lewis whom we recommend for their highest standard of professionalism and for going above and beyond to help us resolve our legal dispute.’

‘Excellent response time.’

‘Sobashni De Silva is a stand out partner – excellent with clients and able to cut through the trickiest of instructions to produce clear and focused briefs.’

‘The team I work with always go the extra mile for their clients, diligently working their way through cases to ensure the client has the best chance of success in litigation. They react fast to requests from counsel and are always delightful to deal with.’

‘My main contact is Anthony Okumah who is great to work with, always tempering serious issues with his great humour and always putting in the hours for his clients. More recently I have worked with Annabel Steele whom I find takes great care with her clients and ensures they get the best result. I have recently been very impressed with her approach to negotiating a settlement.’

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Salahedin Bashir Said Bin Hasin in relation to enforcing a Libyan judgment for $2.2M via the English courts.
  • Represented Faiz Dalili, a high profile Afghan political figure, involving a multi-million private security company in Dubai and Afghanistan.
  • Instructed by Salisbury Support 4 Autism Limited in relation to a breach of contract and enforcement of terms of a Tomlin order between the client and London Borough of Barnet.

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 4

The practice at Duncan Lewis Solicitors is led by Harrow-based Caroline Roche, who handles contentious probate matters and specialises in handling Powers of Attorney and proprietary estoppel claims. Solicitor Rourke Rupert Bulbring joined from Wellers Law Group LLP.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Roche

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘An excellent all-round team of practitioners who bring an impressive range of deep and disparate experience to trusts and estates disputes.’

‘Caroline Roche is an adept, intellectually rigorous, thorough and incredibly hard-working practitioner; able and willing to fight or compromise a case when necessary, very user-friendly; clients love her.’

‘Caroline Roche is superb in all matters concerning wills, probate and trusts. She combines excellent legal knowledge with a practical and down-to-earth attitude, allowing clients to make tough decisions from an safe and informed position.’

‘The firm is diverse and keeps up with the competitive market by offering remote meetings where an appointment cannot be arranged in person.’

‘Caroline Roche has been sensitive dealing with any matters that have arisen in my case and has been understanding. When I had any concerns or needed advice, Caroline Roche’s response has been prompt which gives me reassurance with the handling of my case.’

‘I think that the personal touch given by this practice is second to none.’

‘Caroline Roche has been very supportive and engaging. Explaining and informing us every action made on our behalf.’

Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 6

Duncan Lewis Solicitors handles a variety of complex claims, with a focus on supporting vulnerable clients in cases of solicitors negligence. The firm also acts in claims against legal, construction and engineering and financial professionals. Sobashni De Silva has over fifteen years' experience of representing a diverse clientele in a range of claims, while Anthony Okumah  also has expertise in claims against legal and financial professionals.

Practice head(s):

Sobashni De Silva; Anthony Okumah

Testimonials

‘The professional negligence team has an excellent attitude to collaboration.’

 

Work highlights

  • Assisted with bringing a professional negligence claim against a client’s former solicitor in connection with a property matter.
  • Instructed to assist with bringing a professional negligence claim against the client’s former solicitor who assisted the client with a conveyancing matter.
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Duncan Lewis Solicitors, established in 1998, serves both corporate entities and private individuals from a number of offices across England and Wales.

Employing over 600 personnel, Duncan Lewis practices in over 25 areas of law and as the largest provider of legal aid services in England and Wales approximately 70% of the firm’s client base is publicly funded. They hold 11 franchises in: actions against public authorities, child care, clinical (medical) negligence, community care, crime, family, housing, immigration, mental capacity/court of protection, mental health, public law and welfare benefits. Serving publicly and privately funded individuals and corporate entities, Duncan Lewis is committed to providing a reliable and practical legal service to ensure access to justice for all.

The firm is dedicated to excellence in staff training and development and they are permitted by the Law Society to offer close to 100 training contracts in any given training period. They take pride in their commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion; currently 50% of the firm’s staff are from an ethnic minority and its workforce speak over 50 languages; ensuring their staff are able to best serve the clients and communities they assist.

Type of work undertaken
Immigration, public law, civil liberties and human rights: The Duncan Lewis public law department carries out both publicly and privately funded work, representing in immigration and asylum, regulatory fitness to practice, environment and planning cases. The department has a niche specialism in immigration claimant judicial review matters and costs litigation; unlawful immigration detention cases with high-net claims for damages; immigration removal cases; prison law claimant; and the provision of social welfare services.

The department also expertly represents vulnerable clients including victims of torture and/or trafficking in immigration detention-related matters. The department specialises in assisting with asylum applications, in-country asylum and appeals, and experience in all aspects of judicial review claimant work. This includes obtaining emergency orders and other interim relief to prevent breaches of human rights; following up judicial reviews with actions for damages in both the county and high courts; and successfully pursuing judicial review matters to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Court of Protection: Duncan Lewis’ dedicated Court of Protection team offers sensitive and in-depth assistance with the preparation of deputyship applications, preparing powers of attorney, the health and welfare of an individual lacking capacity, financial issues, and disputes – both domestic and international – relating to powers of attorney and deputyship applications.

Business and private immigration: As one of the UK’s leading immigration firms, Duncan Lewis offers assistance in numerous business and private immigration matters including the right to work in the UK; Tier-2 visa applications and appeals; student and graduate visas; spousal visas; and visa overstays. They offer a full service to SME business clients on all aspects of the Points-Based System (PBS), sponsorship licence applications, and immigration strategy/compliance advice.

Family, matrimonial and child care: The family and child care department consists of a number of solicitors who have achieved the Law Society’s Children Law and Family Law Advanced accreditations, and specialise in all aspects of family and both private and public children law matters. The department holds a niche practice in representing victims of domestic abuse and has experience in handling complex divorce and financial matrimonial matters relating to the breakdown of marriages or relationships. They also have an established Islamic law department which specialises in Islamic divorce, Islamic financial settlement and mehr claims under English Law.

Children/public law matters: The team has a broad practice representing parents, guardians, family members and children through guardians in children public law proceedings. They conduct cases on behalf of the official solicitor and are regularly appointed to represent babies and young children. The department has extensive experience representing very vulnerable clients in matters involving parents with mental health issues; young children in care proceedings that involve severe non-accidental injuries; sexual, physical and emotional abuse; drug and alcohol misuse; neglect; factitious illness and rare illness. As a direct result of the team’s diversity they are regularly appointed by guardians to represent children in culturally complex care cases.

Children/cross-border disputes: The firm conducts high-profile international child abduction cases and engages in wardship proceedings for the return of children taken out of the jurisdiction as well as cross-border care proceedings. It is one of only a small number of firms that are on the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) referral list.

Housing: The housing department represents both landlords and tenants and has niche expertise in possession, disrepair, and unlawful eviction cases. It also has a significant presence in County Court possession duty schemes throughout London, enabling them to specialise in defending social tenants in possession and unlawful eviction cases. They offer representation in all proceedings including reviews, appeals and judicial review proceedings relating to homelessness, succession for tenants, and neighbourhood disputes against local authorities.

Criminal defence: The majority of the solicitors within the firm’s crime department are police station representatives and a large number are highly experienced higher court advocates who provide advocacy in serious matters, including murder and rape. The department has a notable practice defending clients in serious and complex criminal cases, particularly gang-related crime and drug importations. They also have expertise in representing clients who have significant mental health problems in insanity defence cases.

In addition, the firm has established practices in motoring law, prison law, and actions against public authorities, and are able to advise on appealing a conviction or sentence.

Commercial litigation and dispute resolution: Duncan Lewis has acknowledged expertise in advising corporate clients on litigation matters, as well as advising private individuals in cases where litigation is an option. The litigation and dispute resolution team provide clear and concise legal advice to resolve commercial disputes for both clients based in the UK, and international businesses. The team works with clients to create a goal-focused vision, prepare strategies and successfully execute solutions to deal with a dispute either by ADR or Court Litigation, whilst minimising cost and risk.

Clinical (medical) negligence: The clinical (medical) negligence team has significant experience acting in an array of claims, varying from accident and emergency failures and GP negligence claims, to misdiagnosis and wrongful death claims. They also act for individuals who have suffered profound and permanent brain, spinal, or neurological injuries and associated disabilities as a consequence of failings in medical care by both the NHS and private hospitals.

Personal injury: Duncan Lewis’ personal injury practice has extensive experience representing clients who have sustained injuries as a result of a range of accidents, including accidents at work, road traffic accidents, accidents suffered abroad, children’s accidents and many more. A particular focus of the practice is acting in claims on behalf of victims of fatal injuries. Other broad specialist areas include claims against local authorities for slips and trips in public spaces; occupiers’ liability; and asbestos related illnesses.

Other areas of law covered: business crime/investigation; charity; commercial property services; community care; debt and insolvency; education law; employment; mental capacity; mental health; regulatory and compliance law; welfare benefits; wills, probate and tax.

Notable cases:

  • Supreme Court success in the immigration nationality case of Hysaj & Ors, R which significantly changed the case law on deprivation and nullity of British Citizenship under the British Nationality Act 1981.
  • In CSM, R (On the Application Of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 2175 (Admin) the High Court found the SSHD failed to put in place systems to protect those with HIV detained by her, in breach of her obligations under Article 3 of the ECHR. This is the first time that a domestic Court found the State to be in breach of its duty to have systems in place to avoid a breach of “inhuman and degrading treatment” (Article 3 ECHR), known as “the systems duty”.
  • In SM v Lord Chancellor[2021] EWHC 418 (Admin) the High Court held that free legal advice must be made available to immigration detainees held in prisons, bringing access to lawyers into line with the legal advice scheme operating in immigration removal centres.
  • In a judicial review against the Lord Chancellor, Duncan Lewis successfully challenged the blanket refusal to provide legal aid funding for judicial reviews where permission was refused on the papers. The result will assist legal aid providers representing some of the most vulnerable in society and should in turn enhance access to justice.
  • The firm is the successful claimant in a claim for judicial review of the Legal Aid Agency’s refusal to backdate legal aid certificates. Their contention in the litigation is that the Legal Aid Agency and Lord Chancellor have failed to recognise that the legal aid regulations must contain an implied power to backdate certificates, or are ultra vires. In response to that claim, the Government has agreed, in open correspondence, to amend the Civil Legal Aid (Procedure) Regulations 2012 to expressly allow for legal aid certificates to be backdated to the date of application for legal aid.
  • In June 2019, clients NN and LP have settled their claims with the SSHD conceded that their policy – which allows identified victims of trafficking to receive support for only 45 days following a conclusive grounds decision – is unlawful and incompatible with the European Convention on Human Trafficking).
  • Multiple teams, including the housing, personal injury, and public law departments, took part in the Grenfell Tower Inquiry representing core participants as well as the bereaved and those affected by the fire.
  • Soltany and Ors – a challenge to the lock-in regimes at both Brook House and Colnbrook IRCs where detainees are locked in their rooms for approx. 13.5 hours a day despite no published policy to justify this and despite no express provisions in the Detention Centre Rules 2001 to allow it.
  • Advising two unions, the Locum Doctors Union and Healthcare Professionals Union in relation to allegations that NHS Improvement continues to instruct NHS Trusts, contrary to its own guidance, to apply a blanket determination that all locum doctors and nurses are inside IR35 so that National Insurance and Tax had to be deducted at source.
  • A (A Child) (Rev 1) [2020] EWCA Civ 731 – The Court of Appeal handed down judgment in this landmark case concerning FGM Protection Orders when a child does not have secure immigration status. The Court of Appeal upheld the President of the Family Division’s judgment, which held that any previous assessment of risk of FGM made by the Immigration Tribunals (as part of an asylum claim or other) is not the starting point for any Family Court assessment of the risk of FGM for the purpose of determining whether the Court should make an FGM Protection Order.
  • Our housing team represented the tenant in Ratcliffe v Patterson a county court judgment which resulted in a rare victory of a defence and counterclaim based on disability discrimination against a private landlord. This judgment is very encouraging for those who represent disabled tenants, it sets out steps that private landlords ought to take to support disabled tenants in maintaining the terms of their tenancy.
  • Successfully represented a vulnerable mother who, after being subjected to domestic violence by her husband (her child’s father) in Bosnia, retrieved her child’s passport and returned to the UK. The mother issued wardship proceedings and at the same time the father issued Hague Child Abductions Convention proceedings – of which the latter trumps the former. Despite this, the judge set aside the order for the child’s return to Bosnia and dismissed the father’s application under the 1980 Convention.
  • Our crime team represented the imprisoned convicted killer Joanna Dennehy in her claim for damages on account that her two year solitary confinement in prison breached her human rights.
DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Chief Executive Officer Shany Gupta
Managing Director Nina Joshi
Practice Director Jason Bruce
Child Care Abbid Majeedabbidm@duncanlewis.com02031190846
Child Care Adeeba Naseemadeeban@duncanlewis.com02031190220
Public Law Ahmed Aydeedahmeda@duncanlewis.com02072752668
Immigration Alexis Masoloalexism@duncanlewis.com02072752623
Child Care Alia Lewisalial@duncanlewis.com02031141193
Housing Alison WinfieldAlisonW@duncanlewis.com02072752599
Civil and Commercial Litigation Anthony Okumahanthonyo@duncanlewis.com02031141227
Business Immigration Ayan Yalchinayany@duncanlewis.com02072752011
Public Law Bahar Atabahara@duncanlewis.com02070147398
Immigration Bernadette Aduseibernadettea@duncanlewis.com02072752612
Housing Bernadette Chikwebernadettc@duncanlewis.com02072752885
Wills, Probate and Tax Caroline RocheCaroliner@duncanlewis.com02031141104
Housing Chinedu OrogbuChineduO@duncanlewis.com02079238410
Employment David Headdavidh@duncanlewis.com02079238581
Housing Dianne Cowiediannec@duncanlewis.com02070147339
Child Care Emine Mehmetemineme@duncanlewis.com02072752799
Family Forida Hakimforidah@duncanlewis.com02079238440
Immigration Gabor Nagygaborn@duncanlewis.com02072752780
Action Against Public Authorities Graeme Rothwellgraemer@duncanlewis.com02072752886
Criminal Defence Hardeep Dhaliwalhardipd@duncanlewis.com02072752029
Public Law James Packerjamesp@duncanlewis.com02072752772
Immigration Jenna McKinneyjennam@duncanlewis.com02072752753
Personal Injury Julie Lesliejuliel@duncanlewis.com02072752847
Child Care Kathy Walkerkathyw@duncanlewis.com02072752813
Child Care Krina Parmarkrinap@duncanlewis.com02072752553
Child Care Laila Bhunnoolailabh@duncanlewis.com02070147371
Housing Lorick WinarskieLorickw@duncanlewis.com02070147304
Housing Manjinder Kaur Atwalmanjindera@duncanlewis.com02031141269
Family Meena Kumarimeenaku@duncanlewis.com02031190804
Child Care Natasha Khakharnatashak@duncanlewis.com02070147385
Criminal Defence Nicholas De Freitasnicholasd@duncanlewis.com02031141150
Child Care Olamide OlayemiOlamideo@duncanlewis.com02072752673
Mental Health and Capacity Rachel Caswellrachelc@duncanlewis.com02072752793
Child Care Ravi Kaur Maheyravim@duncanlewis.com02031141102
Clinical Negligence Rebecca Thomasrebeccat@duncanlewis.com02031141309
Child Care Richard Grayrichardg@duncanlewis.com02070147306
Immigration Rohena Wallacerohenaw@duncanlewis.com02031141153
Criminal Defence Rubin Italiarubini@duncanlewis.com02031141129
Civil and Commercial Litigation Sobashni De Silvasobashnis@duncanlewis.com02031141180
Child Care Sophie Frettensophief@duncanlewis.com02070147366
Business Immigration Tamana Aziztamanaa@duncanlewis.com02031141130
Public Law Toufique Hossaintoufiqueh@duncanlewis.com02031141128
Family Vanket Appalakondiahvanketa@duncanlewis.com02079238414
Business Immigration Vicash Ramikissoonvicashr@duncanlewis.com02031141105
Immigration Vinita Templetonvinitat@duncanlewis.com02072752575
Immigration Zofia Duszynskazofiad@duncanlewis.com02031141188
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Alexis Masolo photoMs Alexis MasoloAlexis Masolo is a director in the immigration department at Duncan Lewis…
Olamide Olayemi photoMs Olamide OlayemiOlamide is a director in this family and child care department at…
Alison Winfield photoMs Alison WinfieldHousing director Alison Winfield has extensive expertise in housing law and litigates…
Number of UK directors : 49
Number of other UK fee-earners (including consultants) : 485
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Law Society of England and Wales
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CILEx
Association of Lawyers for Children
ELA (Employment Lawyers Association)
Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)

Duncan Lewis Solicitors is dedicated to recruiting the most talented employees, regardless of age, disability, religion or belief, and other protected characteristics. With 73% of our workforce female and 50% from an ethnic minority background, we are proud of our commitment to equal opportunities, diversity and inclusion, and of having a workforce that best serves the diverse clients and communities that we assist.

As a signatory to the Law Society’s Diversity and Inclusion Charter since 2016, we place great value in the unique talents of our workforce and appreciate that diversity of talent has a direct and meaningful contribution to the work we carry out. Our ongoing aim is to attract, recruit, and retain high-quality, diverse talent. This is achieved through our tailored Equality and Diversity Policy which encourages and promotes the recruitment of such talent.

Our recent diversity survey shows that of those that participated, 73% were female, 42% were aged under 35 and 50% were Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME). In addition, 62% of the firm’s Directors and Board members are female and 60% are BAME. These results encapsulate our continued efforts to break the glass ceiling of the legal profession and create a more inclusive and diverse workplace and working culture.

Through our initiatives we are able to assist a wide range of individuals from many different backgrounds. By utilising the 60+ languages spoken by our staff we can assist in areas where access to justice is impeded by language barriers, enabling us to continue to fulfil our motto ‘we give people a voice’.

Our clients receive a tailored service where different customs, traditions, faiths, and languages are considered, with our lawyers able to provide a bespoke service to the individual that does not disadvantage them or hamper their chances of success on account of their background or practices.

The Duncan Lewis Pro Bono Committee protects the most vulnerable individuals by ensuring that those in need have access to legal advice and assistance. We collaborate with numerous charities and organisations, and participate and hold many pro bono clinics.

Our commitment to nurturing talent extends to inspiring the next generation of lawyers. Consequently, our Immigration team assists a clinic at King’s College London focused on providing law students with the opportunity to learn more about the legal profession in practice.

Our pledge to recruit talent from different backgrounds has been strengthened by our involvement in the government’s Kickstart Scheme, which provides funding to create new jobs for 16-24 year olds on Universal Credit who are at risk of long-term unemployment. As a result of our early successes we have now began to retain a number of candidates full-time.

Our commitment to diversity and inclusion continues to be recognised across the legal industry. Since 2015, we have been shortlisted for three consecutive years by the Law Society Excellence Awards for Diversity and Inclusion. In 2019 we were awarded the Access to Justice award and the Law Firm Diversity & Inclusion Initiative award at the UK Legal Diversity Awards. Further in 2020, we were named the best firm for diversity by The Lawyer’s UK Top 200 and in 2021, won Outstanding Firm for Diversity and Inclusion at the Chambers Europe Awards.