Duncan Lewis Solicitors > Swansea, Wales > Firm Profile

Duncan Lewis Solicitors
Rooms 23, 24 and 25, Swan House
146-147 St Helen Road
SWANSEA
SA1 4DE
Wales

Employment > Immigration Tier 1

Praised for its 'supportive, collaborative, kind and sensitive' approach, Duncan Lewis Solicitors excels in representing vulnerable clients in their immigration-related concerns, including in relation to those seeking asylum for fear of persecution in their home country as a result of their sexual orientation. 'Accessible and approachable' team head Vinita Templeton is appreciated for her 'compassion and willingness to think outside the box', enabling her to excel in handling many high-profile and challenging matters, including in judicial review proceedings for the victims of the Windrush scandal and Commonwealth veterans. Praised for her 'heart and passion', Vanessa Delgado is also a key member of the team and has considerable expertise across a wide variety of immigration, asylum, and human rights matters, through to judicial review.

Practice head(s):

Vinita Templeton

Other key lawyers:

Vanessa Delgado; Samuel Bass

Testimonials

‘Excellent knowledge of the workings of the local courts which means good decisions can be made in each case to achieve the best outcome.’

‘The people I have been in contact with have been passionate about their work and advocating for their clients. Prompt responses to correspondence.’

‘The team is comprised of leading individuals and is unsurpassed in terms of excellent quality legal advice, representation and client care in all fields of immigration law and certainly in the South West and possibly more widely geographically.

‘Vinita Templeton is not just the best immigration lawyer I have ever worked with, she is an incredible human being who truly cares about her clients and their needs.’

‘Our organisation is in particularly grateful to Vanessa Delgado, who has worked with heart and passion to assist us with victims of modern slavery.’

‘Vinita Templeton makes sure that every communication is addressed timeously and thoroughly. She comes up with excellent solutions to keep cases on track.’

‘Vinita Templeton remained calm, authoritative and persuasive at all times and showed resilience, determination and legal expertise in great measure. It was a pleasure to work with her.’

‘Vinita Templeton is simply the best. She cares immensely for all of her clients and will fight the extra mile in every case. She is incredibly knowledgeable in all areas of immigration law and generous with her time. She is able to cater to all types of cases and clients, whether high-net individuals, vulnerable clients or niche complex areas, ensuring that each of their best interests are met.’  

Work highlights

  • Handling a group action on behalf of eight Fijian veterans from the British Army in litigation against the Secretary of State for Defence (SSD) and Secretary of State for the Home Department (SSHD).
  • Representing a claimant in challenging a refusal by the Home Office to grant settlement under the Windrush scheme.
  • Acting for a gay Albanian man seeking asylum on the ground of fear of persecution due to sexual orientation.    

Employment > Immigration

Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a ‘large and diverse‘ bench of specialist immigration lawyers handling both business matters and complex public law cases. Ayan Yalchin is head of business/private immigration in the firm’s Dalston office; he works with companies on sponsorship licences and renewals and also advises high net worth individuals from a variety of international jurisdictions. The firm is known for its judicial review claimant practice, acting for marginalised and vulnerable clients. Other key members of the ‘powerhouse‘ team include Tamana Aziz and the ‘exceptionalVicash Ramkissoon on the business side, and public and administrative law specialists Bernadette Adusei, Gabor Nagy and Toufique Hossain, who has specific expertise with regards to asylum seekers, as well as the ‘excellentRohena Wallace.

Practice head(s):

Ayan Yalchin; Tamana Aziz; Vicash Ramkissoon; Bernadette Adusei; Gabor Nagy; Toufique Hossain; Zofia Duszynska; James Packer; Jenna McKinney

Testimonials

‘The team has tremendous reach in this area, attracting ambitious and able people.’

‘Duncan Lewis provides an exemplary level of represention for anyone needing to make an immigration application, an application for judicial review, or who needs to pursue an appeal.’

‘Vicash Ramkissoon is exceptional. Vicash was very helpful, knowledgeable and patient. His communication was impeccable, he is very prompt to reply to calls and emails.’

‘Tamana Aziz – excellent knowledge of all areas of immigration law.  She combines her depth of experience with an eye for commercial detail when dealing with business immigration matters.’

‘Ayan Yalchin is an experienced solicitor with an eye for detail.’

‘Toufique Hossain has a well established reputation for ensuring excellence and managing a large team turning out a high volume of work and achieving very good results.’

‘Zofia Duszynska: a real class act. She understands how to run complex litigation and has a specialism in trafficking issues. Zofia is a real star.’

‘Gabor Nagy was the solicitor in charge of my case and was extremely professional, knowledgeable, and courteous. I am originally Hungarian and since English is not my first language, it was very important to me that he was able to explain the process to me so that I could easily understand. He dealt with the process very efficiently, responding to all of my queries promptly. I believe that the entire process was completed in the shortest time possible. I do not think that I could have experienced a better service.’

Key clients

AMPI Limited T/A Bluebird Care

Archlum Ltd

Brandscapes Worldwide Consultancy Services Ltd

German School Association Limited

Green Façade Ltd

Greenwich Consulting and Support Services

Hindu Temple and Cultural Community Centre of Nottingham (HTCCC)

Honey Rose Products Ltd

Metallic Inc

Radical Ltd

T.S.S (Total Security) Ltd

Work highlights

  • Appointed as preferred immigration compliance advisors to T.S.S (Total Security Services) Ltd.
  • Instructed by Honey Rose Products Ltd to assist it with a Tier 2 Licence application.
  • Instructed by AMPI Limited T/A Bluebird Care to apply for a Tier 2 Sponsorship License; the company had been severely impacted by Brexit and had lost care workers who originated from the EU and had decided to return to their home countries as a direct result of Brexit.

Employment > Immigration Tier 1

Duncan Lewis Solicitors‘ ‘very attentive and passionate’ team is well-positioned to handle a wide range of high-stakes personal immigration cases, including judicial reviews involving human rights, civil liberty and social welfare issues faced by migrants travelling to the UK. It is also well known for advising companies on business immigration work, ranging from points-based system applications and appeals to securing entrepreneur and investor visas. Toufique Hossain has developed a strong reputation for his legal aid work on behalf of asylum seekers, encompassing litigation before the Administrative Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Zofia Duszynska has a similar focus, having represented vulnerable immigrants in disputes involving modern slavery, human trafficking and gender-based persecution elements. Ahmed Aydeed, Bahar Ata and Rohena Wallace are also recommended for their work in the field of personal immigration.

Testimonials

‘Duncan Lewis is the leading immigration firm, with extensive experience in immigration appeals, judicial reviews and immigration civil and public law matters. They have a very large team with many excellent practitioners. They are able to take on a large caseload. I believe Duncan Lewis is one of the most diverse firms in the immigration field.’

‘The practice really invested a lot of time in my case, countless hours were spent researching and preparing my case which was evident from the trial bundle put forward. I was dealt with in a very sensitive manner and informed about all procedures and updates as and when they became available. I believe the team work well together and compliment each other. Although my case is quite unique they took time out to visit me outside of the UK where we spent four solid days discussing and preparing my defence.’

‘They take your case seriously and every representation at the courts is handled with utmost due diligence and attention to detail. As you work with them during the duration of your case, you feel a sense of confidence and security.’ 

‘Bahar Ata – professional, and compassionate lawyer, well-informed and keeps the client constantly updated via emails as well as phone calls.’

‘Zofia Duszynska  is creative, dedicated and thorough and able to think outside the box.’

‘Bahar Ata is an exceptional lawyer who works tirelessly for her clients. She is vigorous, hard nosed and savvy.’

Work highlights

  • Obtained a judgment in the Upper Tribunal on behalf of an asylum seeker, which recognised for the first time in UK asylum law that a ‘person living with a disability of mental health problem’ may qualify as a member of a particular social group.
  • Represented a client in a unique challenge to the Home Office’s detention policy within the context of the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Advised a client in an appeal to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission against a decision to deprive them of their British citizenship on as a result of national security concerns.

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

Duncan Lewis Solicitors fields a large family and child care team, providing advice on a broad range of matters including domestic violence, complex divorce and separation cases, and financial settlements. The team also has considerable experience in care proceedings and cross-border disputes. The practice is led by five directors: Adeeba Naseem, Alia Lewis, and Ravi Kaur Mahey are based in Harrow; Krina Parmar is based in Milton Keynes and Luton; while newly promoted Natasha Khakhar is based in Luton.

Practice head(s):

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

Testimonials

‘This is a large firm, but with a local and client focused ethos. They are excellent in their field and provide outstanding support to their clients at what is inevitably an extremely difficult time.’ 

‘Krina Parmar is a pleasure to work for. Good instructions, client care, openness and trustworthy. A really great solicitor. Always diligent.’ 

‘Alia Lewis is extremely thorough, good with young people she represents, organised.’ 

‘Ravi Mahey is organised, thorough and hardworking.’ 

‘Adeeba Nasim is an exceptional director. She is the go-to solicitor for international abduction cases. She is dynamic, savvy and vigorous in her work.’

‘Knowledgeable, thoughtful solicitors who always ensure that casework is completed to a high standard. I know things will be done when they should be.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a mother in an application for a female genital mutilation protection order issued by Hertfordshire County Court.
  • Represented the intervenor in a complex eight party High Court case.
  • Represented a respondent mother with learning difficulties in an ongoing complex Children Act matter.

Dispute resolution > Debt recovery Tier 2

The debt recovery department at Duncan Lewis Solicitors is particularly known for representing claimants and defendants in matters against rogue lenders and financial institutions. The team is notably strong in claims against financial advisers, with it having expertise in banking litigation, data protection and disputes between financial advisers and individual investors. In addition, the firm handles high-value debt claims for both companies and individuals during bankruptcy proceedings, where Anthony Okumah has longstanding experience. He co-heads the practice with Sobashni De Silva.

Practice head(s):

Sobashni De Silva; Anthony Okumah

Other key lawyers:

Kulwant Sokhal

Testimonials

‘Duncan Lewis is a very professional firm in advice, application, paperwork, emails and communication.’

‘Associate Kulwant Sokhal makes the client feel comfortable, confident and always presents the steps forward. She’s highly professional with her work and experience.’

‘Sobashni De Silva is an outstanding lawyer; she keeps you abreast of your legal situation and makes every effort to simplify the legalese.’

‘As one of the last major firms to not only offer “full service” to their clients, but also civil legal aid work, they are still remarkably cost-effective. Anthony Okumah is a star player in this field.’

Work highlights

  • Instructed by I.Event (UK) Limited in relation to defending commercial debt recovery proceedings brought about by a lender for circa £1.2Million and pursuing a security on elderly mother’s property.
  • Representing Rajan and Dev Development and its individuals subject to heavy-handed debt recovery action including repossession of personal and matrimonial assets by two separate lenders.
  • Instructed by an individual client to save her property from being auctioned in 2 days for outstanding and accrued council tax of c. £42,000.

Private client > Court of protection Tier 2

Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a multi-disciplinary approach that advises on a whole host of issues including mental health, community care, clinical negligence and public law. It is increasingly receiving instructions to advise trust corporations and other firms on health and social care matters. The practice is skilled at representing vulnerable clients and family members in disputes about mental capacity and best interest welfare decisions.  It specialises in the overlap between the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act, as well as deprivation of liberty, section 16 and inherent jurisdiction matters. Rachel Caswell is key name - she is a director in the mental health and mental capacity departments.

Practice head(s):

Rachel Caswell

Other key lawyers:

Helen Cummings

Testimonials

‘A dedicated and popular team. Extensive experience in Court of Protection work across the country. The lawyers have a real insight into the diversity of needs across the protected parties that they represent (though the relevant litigation friends) and are able to think about the practicalities as well as the legal issues. Helen Cummings is an exemplary associate. She is incredibly hardworking and will go the extra mile in her cases. Even when extremely busy, she manages to make time where none would appear to exist‘.

‘I enjoy working with the team – the lawyers communicate well and provide excellent and comprehensive briefs in good time. They seem to work well as a unit. Helen Cummings – charming, very engaged with her cases and clients. Fantastic to work with.’

Helen Cummings is a superb problem solver – she goes further than the extra mile with her responsiveness and levels of client service. We know that our clients are in very safe hands when we refer them‘.

‘I find the Court of Protection Team at Duncan Lewis to be committed and professional. The lawyers are open to suggestions and constructive criticism and pay attention to the detail. They are absolutely committed to the work they do and to their clients. I find Helen Cummings in particular a joy to work with, she is committed, friendly, caring and above all determined to do right by her client whilst being realistic about what can be achieved‘.

Work highlights

  • Acting in a case that involves a 19-year-old (EOA). The lead solicitor was Helen Cummings. EOA and siblings were removed from the care of their parents as young children and were made the subject of full care orders. The Local Authority brought a section 16 application and, simultaneously, an application under the inherent jurisdiction owing to concerns for EOA’s welfare. EOA was represented by the Official Solicitor and the firm.
  • Acting in a complex court of protection case that was not issued at court. The team was instructed by Sinton Solicitors – who were acting for PO (by his brother, RPR and litigation friend) in connection with a claim for damages following a catastrophic accident. PO was knocked down on a pedestrian crossing and suffered severe brain damage and other injuries- leaving him in constant pain and with life changing injuries.

Real estate > Social housing: tenant Tier 2

Duncan Lewis Solicitors is contracted with the Legal Aid Agency and provides publicly funded services to tenants on a diverse range of social housing matters which include cases of disrepair and rent disputes, as well as judicial reviews. The team is particularly experienced in possession and unlawful eviction claims, with a significant presence in County Court Possession Duty Schemes in London. A further niche specialism of the practice is in assisting vulnerable clients with Equality Act defence cases. Manjinder Kaur Atwal, 'excellent solicitor' Dianne CowieBernadette Chikwe and David Head jointly lead the practice. Chinedu Orogbu and James de Vere Moss have left the firm.

Practice head(s):

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

Testimonials

‘Duncan Lewis are hugely experienced and have a good relationship with the local community, especially interpreters.’

‘Bernadette Chikwe is efficient and is trusted by many tenants and homeless people. She is calm and a good listener and seems to have a good rapport with her clients.’

‘This practice has excellent experience and specialist knowledge in this sector and the lawyers there are prepared to go the extra mile for their clients.’

‘Manjinder Atwal is one of the solicitors and directors there and she stands out by far. She responds quickly, she’s very organised and extremely knowledgeable. She is also very easy to talk to and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘From my experience of working with the social housing team at Duncan Lewis, they are extremely dedicated, hardworking and knowledgeable. They care about their clients and always fight their corner.’

‘The firm provides a country wide range of services for social tenants both in respect of possession and homelessness.’

‘Diane Cowie – an excellent solicitor who provides a high range of services Manjinder Kaur Atwal – provides a high quality services to all of her clients.’

‘I have never felt like a case number that needed to be dealt with. Manjinder has always treated me as a person and calmed me down when the unexpected happened with my case and taken the time to explain what was going on and why and what my options were. The help and advice Manjinder gave me was always correct and on point. Her recommendations for every aspect of my case have been beyond excellent.’

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 a client in a possession claim brought by the landlord (property development company).
  • Represented the applicant in a homelessness judicial review matter at the High Court. Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council was the respondent.

Insurance > Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant Tier 2

At Duncan Lewis Solicitors, the highly regarded clinical negligence and personal injury team is led by the ‘exceptionalRebecca Thomas, who has over 25 years of experience in this area. Under Thomas’ leadership, the firm has built up an excellent reputation securing favourable outcomes for clients, including high-value settlements. The group’s workload includes fatal accidents, public and employers’ liability claims and asbestos disease cases. It also acts for children and adults in a multitude of claims arising from negligent medical care, such as neonatal, paediatric, neurological and neurosurgical cases. Solicitor Amy Bennett, who focuses exclusively on medical negligence cases, is noted for her work in stillbirth and neonatal death claims. Other solicitors of note include Ifrah Ahmed.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Thomas

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Rebecca Thomas is thoughtful and determined. She never loses focus and will not stop until she has achieved the best result for her client. A real pleasure to work with.’

Ifrah Ahmed is super organised and understands her client’s needs and knows how to get results.’

‘To my mind, Duncan Lewis’ PI department have a flare for personal injury claims with ‘an immigration element’. Their representation of injured claimants from different ethnic backgrounds is first class.’

‘Rebecca Thomas is an exceptional lawyer who has a keen eye for the medical detail of complex birth injury claims. Her bedside manner with the client is superb whilst her hard-edge approach with defendants gets results.’

‘The company has been very efficient in providing detailed and helpful instructions and have been very competent at providing all the supporting medical records, reports and assessments.’

Real estate > Social housing Tier 2

Duncan Lewis Solicitors’ focus on tenant-side advocacy work sees the team acting on an array of contentious social housing instructions, often involving Equality Act defence cases, disrepair claims, succession rights, and neighbourhood disputes against local authorities. Harrow-based practice head Manjinder Kaur Atwal handles a broad spectrum of social housing litigation, and is especially focused on homelessness matters. Sadaf Mir is similarly noted for her capabilities in homelessness cases, and in housing disputes subject to special considerations under the Children Act, Care Act, and Equality Act. All named lawyers are based in Luton unless stated otherwise. Adrian Smith and Gareth Hutton recently left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Manjinder Kaur Atwal

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘A go-to firm for housing issues.’

‘ I am struck by the novel and creative approach that is taken to housing matters. The team are innovative and responsive to new case law and statutory developments. It is always great fun working on their cases.’

‘Manjinder Atwal is in my view truly excellent. She has a tactically astute mind and her research skills are amongst the best I have seen. Manjinder is clearly very bright and uses counsel as a means of further shoring up her good judgment and client care.’

‘Gareth Hutton, in particular, stands out to me for his commitment and knowledge in the area of social housing. He is prepared to go the extra mile in circumstances in which he often has to react urgently to homelessness or other housing issues. His communication is also excellent. ’

‘Sadaf Mir is a dedicated and effective lawyer, committed to advancing the interests of often very vulnerable clients who are facing homelessness or the loss of their home, and astute to identify novel and complex legal arguments on their behalf.’

‘Adrian Smith is very responsive and efficient and has served clients referred to him effectively. Has a friendly and down to earth approach that makes working with him stress free. Good communicator.’

‘I’m not sure if I have the vocabulary to do justice to my solicitor. Manjinder was patient, calming, and extremely involved with me as the complexity of the case increased; professionalism beyond all expectations.’

Work highlights

  • Representing a 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.
  • The Landlord (Property Development Company) made a claim for possession of the client’s property. The third party is the sole director of and a shareholder in the Landlord. The client has resided at the property since late 1988.
  • Representing the Applicant in a homelessness judicial review matter at the High Court. Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council were the Respondent in this claim.

Employment > Immigration Tier 2

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

Testimonials

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.

Private client > Family: Birmingham Tier 2

Duncan Lewis Solicitors frequently represents clients who are facing emergency situations as well as advising clients on divorce and separation issues. The team is skilled at helping clients with significant vulnerabilities and also has considerable strength in international child abduction cases. All solicitors undertake their own advocacy. Krina Parmar and Richard Gray  specialise in all aspects of public law children matters. Parmar is a member of the Law Society Children’s Panel and Gray is an accredited member of the Law Society Children’s Panel. The team is well-regarded too for its work on culturally complex cases including Islamic law.

Practice head(s):

Richard Gray; Krina Parmar

Other key lawyers:

Anita Bains; Henna Sajid; Adam Bloodworth; Emma Haynes

Testimonials

‘Anita Bains tenaciously pursues her clients’ cases and is extremely effective. Her work speaks of her enormous attention to detail and understanding of the complexities of any case. She combines an excellent understanding of the relevant legal principles with the ability to give clear advice. Clients feel reassured by her involvement and supported during difficult proceedings’.

‘Henna Sajid is extremely hardworking and will always go above and beyond for her clients. She is always willing to discuss the case and agree an appropriate approach. She is a determined individual’.

‘Henna Sajid has been amazing. Henna has always been cooperative and extremely reliable. Henna is always punctual, prepared and presentable when having to attend court or legal meetings. I have always felt very comfortable when speaking to Henna and she is incredibly understanding, non-judgemental and has shown empathy when needed. Duncan Lewis is good value for money and the service that is provided is carried out to the highest standards and quality’.

‘Exceptional service help guidance from Henna Sajid – cares about clients’.

‘The solicitors are very down to earth and friendly and make you feel at home speaking to them. I worked with Anita Bains who has been exceptionally kind and understanding no matter how many times I have called in distress. She has always been patient and understanding with me and remembered personal details of my case even when we had had no contact for almost a year’.

‘Adam Bloodworth is very clued up on family law and comes across as though he has been doing this for 30+ years. Very confident, intelligent and very glad he was my solicitor’.

‘The family team at Duncan Lewis is hardworking and always has its clients at the forefront of its minds. Emma Haynes is very hardworking and is always there when needed by the client. She manages the client’s expectations extremely well and is always there for the client when they need her’.

‘The team is able to work with women who have extensive trauma from domestic abuse. Duncan Lewis is able to gain the women’s trust to take legal action by informing them of their rights. Our clients after gaining knowledge from Duncan Lewis about their legal stance are empowered to take legal action. Some clients have never had any experience with a solicitor and it takes a lot of patience which Duncan Lewis is able to give’.

Employment > Immigration Tier 3

Duncan Lewis Solicitors’ immigration practice has a strong focus on immigration, asylum and judicial review claimant matters and is one largest providers of publicly funded immigration services. The ‘very professional and friendly’ team is headed up by director Alexis Masolo, who specialises in, among others, representing unaccompanied asylum seeking children, applications under the European Economic Area regulations and complex asylum-based matters and frequently handles judicial review cases for claimants.

Practice head(s):

Alexis Masolo

Testimonials

‘I am very happy to have engaged with Duncan Lewis Solicitors on my immigration matters, there is an amazing team work that if I needed something there is always someone to assist. From the beginning, I was told about the process step by step for me to understand fully. We were in a difficult situation because of the COVID-19 pandemic and everything was to be done online and through the phone and because I was pregnant at that moment it was not possible to visit the office, but I never felt any difference; the help I got was outstanding and impressive.’

‘This firm is dedicated to the job they do, compared to other solicitors. They give feedback about my case on a regular basis through email or phone calls. They are friendly and willing to listen. I can call and speak to my solicitor anytime without going through any protocol, unlike other solicitors.’

‘They were helpful and they answered any questions we had.’

‘When we asked them to take action, they did it as fast as they could. And they kept us updated.’

Crime, fraud and licensing > Crime: general Tier 3

With ‘exceptional individual client care‘, Duncan Lewis Solicitors is a key name in the market for serious crime issues including murders, sexual offences, drug importations and fraud matters. The team also has niche expertise in country line drug cases and modern slavery mandates. Rubin Italia (who also has experience in public law and immigration work), fraud specialist Hardeep Dhaliwal and Nicholas De Freitas, who focuses on violent offences, jointly lead the group. Consultant Linda Barker is also praised by clients.

Practice head(s):

Rubin Italia; Hardeep Dhaliwal; Nicholas De Freitas

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Dilein; Linda Barker

Testimonials

‘This practice offers exceptional individual client care, especially to vulnerable defendants in serious cases.’

‘Duncan Lewis have developed a strong reputation for giving high quality representation, which we completely agree with. They are a conscientious with their work, deliver a top quality service and understanding of the case issues.’

‘Hardeep Dhaliwal – excellent Solicitor, explains everything in detail. very easy to get on with.’

‘Linda Barker – brilliant with young and vulnerable defendants. Very sympathetic, thorough and hard-working.’

‘Hardeep Dhaliwal in particular stands out. He is heavily involved in his cases, having a big involvement in the defence strategy ensuring the best possible result.’

‘Hardeep Dhaliwal epitomises the team – very approachable, hardworking and diligent. Also has an excellent feel for a case.’

‘Approachable, very hardworking and diligent with particular experience and expertise in serious crime.’

Public sector > Administrative and public law Tier 3

Duncan Lewis Solicitors‘boundary-pushing’ team is very active in legal challenges asserting the rights of vulnerable individuals, including asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking. In addition, the firm frequently represents clients in unlawful detention claims against the Home Office and inquiries related to various public scandals and disasters, such as the Grenfell Tower fire. The ‘innovative and brilliant’ Toufique Hossain has an active pro bono practice, which supports asylum seekers in critical challenges throughout the UK court circuit, and the ‘outstanding’ James Packer  stands out for his expertise in judicial reviews and Court of Appeal cases, with a particular focus on immigration matters. Rohena Wallace, who is an accredited supervisor and level 3 (advanced) senior caseworker, has a broad public law practice, with notable expertise in EU human rights law and cases involving the unlawful deprivation of citizenship.

Practice head(s):

James Packer; Rohena Wallace; Toufique Hossain; Bernadette Adusei; Jenna McKinney

Testimonials

‘Duncan Lewis are probably the biggest legal aid claimant immigration firm in the country. They have managed something that almost no other firm has – to have a broad coverage with a lot of fee earners and yet maintain a high quality of work.’ 

‘The team is innovative and keen to bring test cases to further this area of law. They are knowledgeable in their field and keen to make a difference.’

‘James Packer is outstanding – very smart, very experienced, very knowledgeable and a real fighter. He is someone you would want on your side in any fight.’

‘The team are regularly instructed in some of the most high-profile public law claims, particularly against the UK Home Office in matters touching on immigration issues.’

‘Toufique Hossain’s ability to stay on top of all of these cases as well as ensure a high standard of legal services is a testament to the quality of his team and his leadership.’

‘Toufique Hossein is superb- very innovative, brilliant at strategic litigation, has excellent judgment, is incredibly hardworking and committed.’

‘Boundary pushing, taking risks, and advancing the interests of their clients and the sector.’

Work highlights

  • Acting in a challenge to Home Office detention policy in light of Covid-19 pandemic.
  • Acted for Eritrea Focus in a legal challenge against the UK government’s funding and support of the EU Trust Fund for Africa’s ‘Reconnecting Eritrea and Ethiopia through rehabilitation of the main arterial roads in Eritrea’ development project.
  • Representing core participants in the landmark public inquiry into abuse at Brook House.

Public sector > Civil liberties and human rights Tier 3

Immigration specialist Duncan Lewis Solicitors has expertise in inquires and large judicial reviews and represents vulnerable people in human rights, crime, prison law, court of protection, mental capacity and social welfare matters. Issues related to Windrush are another forte for the firm, which also has an increasing international public law presence, developing litigation challenges to UK government practices in Libya and Eritrea. The team is co-led by Alex Peebles, Ayan Yalchin, Bernadette Adusei, Gabor Nagy, James Packer, Jenna McKinney, Rohena Wallace, Tamana Aziz, Toufique Hossain, Vicash Ramkissoon and Zofia Duszynska.

Practice head(s):

Alex Peebles; Ayan Yalchin; Bernadette Adusei; Gabor Nagy; James Packer; Jenna McKinney; Rohena Wallace; Tamana Aziz; Toufique Hossain; Vicash Ramkissoon; Zofia Duszynska

Testimonials

‘The team has tremendous reach and cover in this area, attracting ambitious and able people’. 

‘James Packer is very smart and engaged with his cases, has an ability to gauge the advocacy needs of a case well’.

‘The team are diligent and work so incredibly hard in a hostile environment and ever changing landscape’.

‘It is no small feat that they are able to deliver very high quality work and yet are able to do so on the basis of largely publicly funded models, forming teams of fee earners and supervisors at different levels of experience’.

‘Toufique Hossain has led them into being a complete powerhouse. Boundary pushing, taking risks, and advancing the interests of their clients and the sector’.

‘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’.

‘Duncan Lewis are probably the biggest legal aid Claimant immigration firm in the country. They have managed something that almost no other firm has – to have a broad coverage with a lot of fee earners and yet maintain a high quality of work’.

‘Duncan Lewis have a number of young, talented lawyers who are willing to challenge the orthodoxy. They demonstrate how innovative law is possible on Legal Aid’.

Work highlights

  • Acting in an appeal to the Special Immigration Appeals Commission (SIAC) against a decision to deprive the Appellant, an aid worker in Syria, of his British Citizenship on grounds of national security.
  • Acted in an appeal to the Upper Tribunal, which handed down a reported determination in August 2020 that recognised for the first time in UK asylum law that a “person living with disability or mental ill-health” may qualify as a member of a particular social group (PSG).
  • Handled Eritrea Focus’ legal challenge against the UK government’s funding and support to the EU Trust Fund for Africa’s ‘Reconnecting Eritrea and Ethiopia through rehabilitation of the main arterial roads in Eritrea’ development project in Eritrea.

Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 3

Duncan Lewis Solicitors acts on complex and high-value claims for both private clients and companies on the full range of professional negligence issues. Notably, the team has extensive experience with vulnerable individuals with mental health conditions, as well as assisting in professional negligence claims against legal, financial, and engineering professionals. Team co-director Sobashni De Silva represents clients on claims such as negligent misstatement, working with co-director Anthony Okumah in Harrow.

Practice head(s):

Sobashni De Silva; Anthony Okumah

Private client > Family Tier 4

Duncan Lewis Solicitors handles all aspects of family law with particular specialism in representing victims of domestic violence, unusual divorces and securing financial settlements following the breakdown of a marriage. It is also skilled at handling the complexities of parental conflict especially parental alienation cases and also has extensive experience in Islamic law. It has, in addition, a particular specialism in advising on female genital mutilation protection orders and has a formidable reputation for its experience in international and domestic family law proceedings at the high court. It receives plaudits for its ‘outstanding client care’. The lawyers are ‘always compassionate and understanding’.

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:

Priyal Patel; Marilyn Edwards; Clarissa Thompson-Grobelny; Mehnaz Zanil; Michelle Lubelle

Testimonials

‘The team is exceptional when it comes to the breadth and depth of its experience and knowledge. It is market leading when it comes to gender and race representation within the team and it has a great reputation for diversity. The team draws in clients from the broad spectrum of society and is able to tailor its services to meet its client’s particular needs‘.

Adeeba Naseem is formidable. She is an opponent to be afraid of but a lawyer that you want on your side. She is an expert in international children matters. Priyal Patel is an all-rounder. She is meticulous, robust and utterly dedicated to her clients. She is the lawyer that you want to represent you in matters relating to your children and your finances on separation‘.

‘Duncan Lewis is a firm which stands out in the way it goes above and beyond what would normally be considered adequate or satisfactory. The clients we deal with are vulnerable parents and Duncan Lewis takes the time and trouble to support and assist them with matters which are outside of the strictly legal confines, eg with housing and welfare benefits issues. They advocate for their clients when there is no one else who is willing or able to do so, eg local authorities which refuse to deal properly with wider issues such as housing or seeking therapeutic or other support for the vulnerable clients’.

‘I do a lot of work with Marilyn Edwards and am always struck by her working practises which take her well outside of the ‘9 to 5′ office hours. She regularly continues working until the late hours to support her vulnerable clients.  She expends much time and energy pressing the local authorities to do what they should be doing in providing a wide range of resources for her clients and their children, where they are slow to do so.  Ms Edwards’ clients really her appreciate her efforts‘.

‘The department is very well run and organised as well as having lots of experience. The lawyers work together very well to assist one another. They are knowledgeable. They are contactable and open in communication. They are flexible. Alia Lewis has been very impressive‘.

‘I think the diversity of this practice is exceptional in terms of the lawyers and the counsel they use. They provide cover when they are on leave with people who have good knowledge of the case and can follow up enquiries when needed. Emine Mehmet and Laila Bhunnoo provide good balanced advice that helps me to make decisions about the case particularly when it is finely balanced. They are fun to work with and easy to talk to which helps the relationship develop‘.

Mehnaz Zanil has always been professional and diligent so I must presume her back up team offers excellent support. Mehnaz was very personable with a proactive attitude and seemed really interested in my views and feelings. This was reassuring during a very difficult time’.

‘Michelle Lubelle is a passionate and hardworking solicitor who fights for each and every client with all of her ability.’ 

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 Intervenor in a complex eight party High Court case.

Crime, fraud and licensing > General crime and fraud Tier 4

Based in Harrow, Duncan Lewis Solicitors handles a range of serious criminal matters and gang-related crimes including murders and sexual offences. Jointly led by Rubin Italia and Nicholas De Freitas, the team specialises in drug confiscation and modern slavery matters. Linda Barker is noted for her experience in fraud and violent crime matters, while Laurence Grant and Simon Connolly handle financial fraud offences.

Practice head(s):

Rubin Italia; Nicholas De Freitas

Testimonials

‘The criminal team at Duncan Lewis are tactically astute, diligent, hard working professionals with a sound ability to connect with the client and make them feel at ease, whilst ensuring that they deliver realistic advice.’ 

‘The firm is well-known for its commitment to clients and thorough preparation. In particular, Rubin Italia is fantastic with clients and has a real eye for detail. He is a great team worker and invariably gets the best results possible.’ 

‘Simon Connolly is outstanding. Absolutely on top of the case and very hard-working.’ 

‘Linda Barker provides exceptional service to a range of clients, who are often vulnerable and require careful handling. She has a lovely manner with clients, reassuring and thorough in her approach.’ 

‘The team have in-depth knowledge of the law, dedication to clients and thorough preparation.’ 

‘Rubin Italia runs a tight and dedicated criminal team. His hardworking ethic has filtered down to every team member.’ 

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

Duncan Lewis Solicitors advises both companies and private individuals on a range of commercial disputes, often involving multiple jurisdictions. The team has also expanded into fraud-related financial disputes, defending claims by financial institutions and lenders. Director Sobashni De Silva has experience in civil fraud, commercial debt recovery and shareholder disputes, while director Anthony Okumah deals with professional negligence claims, as well as insolvency and property litigation matters.

Practice head(s):

Sobashni De Silva; Anthony Okumah 

Testimonials

‘The team were attentive and thorough in understanding my case, collecting all relevant information and acting on my behalf very quickly. Response times were fantastic. All my options and what to expect was laid out very clearly. Organisation, speed of carrying out work and the knowledge they held within this area were all exceptional.’

‘Sobashni De Silva is excellent at managing clients, and not afraid to take strong positions with opposing sides where appropriate.’

‘They work seamlessly as a team. Each individual recognises their strengths and works to that level.’

Key clients

I.Event (UK) Ltd.

Rajan and Dev Developments Ltd.

Swiss Freight Limited

Forum Food Limited

Salisbury Support 4 Autism Limited

Chaman Sweets and Bakers Limited

Dispute resolution > Debt recovery Tier 4

Known for representing claimants and defendants, Duncan Lewis Solicitors focuses primarily on defending corporate and individual debtors against recovery actions, handling asset freezing orders and fraud litigation. Commercial litigator Sobashni De Silva stands out for her strong track record in defending clients against repossession claims. She is also well-regarded for her niche expertise in cross-border debt recovery, with a focus on the Middle East. Anthony Okumah has a wealth of experience in insolvency and bankruptcy litigation, as well as winding-up claims and general debt recovery mandates.

Practice head(s):

Sobashni De Silva; Anthony Okumah

Other key lawyers:

Kulwant Sokhal; Karolina Natkaniec

Testimonials

‘Every detail of my matter was thoroughly explained. My lawyer and her assistant were understanding, efficient, and always on top of things.’

‘The team are all over the detail, know what the client wants to achieve, and know how to achieve it.’

‘Kulwant Sokhal is the senior lawyer representing me. I find her confident and experienced. Her professionalism stands out to me making me feel I am in good hands.’ 

‘Sobashni De Silva knows the law inside out, and how to apply it to achieve the desired outcome for clients.’

‘Anthony Okumah is their star player for insolvency litigation.’

Key clients

I.Event (UK) Limited and others

Swiss Freight

Salisbury Support 4 Autism Limited

Gatehead Properties Limited

Work highlights

  • Defended I. Event and other debtors in commercial debt recovery proceedings brought by a lender claiming £1.2m in loan defaults.
  • Defended Rajan and Dev Developments against a debt recovery action which included repossession of personal and matrimonial assets by two separate lenders.
  • Assisted a client with a challenge to a council tax charge and asset seizing orders.

Private client > Contentious trusts and probate Tier 4

Duncan Lewis Solicitors advises on the full range of contentious trust and probate matters, including probate disputes, claims concerning the transfer of property, proprietary estoppel, and estate distribution. The team speaks a combined a total of seven languages and if, required, can draw on talent from its network of office across the UK to provide additional geographic coverage. Director of the department Caroline Roche leads on contentious probate matters and specialises in handling Powers of Attorney and proprietary estoppel claims. Associate solicitor Samantha Fennah joined the team in September 2020 from Taylor Rose MW.

Practice head(s):

Caroline Roche

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Duncan Lewis’s strengths lie in the depth of knowledge of contentious trusts and estates and the firm’s ability to draw on its expertise in other areas that inevitably impact on trusts and estates e.g. family law, immigration law. They have flexible funding arrangements that enhance access to justice for disadvantaged clients and they are prepared to take risks in order to provide representation to clients who need it.’

‘The practice head, Caroline Roche, is a firm and guiding hand on the team. She brings in depth expertise and experience; she is practical, outcome-focused and fights hard for her clients both in negotiating settlements and in proceedings. She has a particular skill in claims under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975, achieving excellent outcomes for clients.’

‘The team at Duncan Lewis have, over many years, dedicated their time and resource to Will Aid. Their efforts have also been met with extremely positive feedback from clients and we are hugely appreciative of their commitment over these years.’

Private client > Family: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire Tier 4

The family team at Duncan Lewis Solicitors' Bradford base is led by Abbid Majeed and Meena Kumari. Recognised specialists in all aspects of matrimonial and private children law, the firm has a niche practice representing domestic abuse victims under both legal aid and financial order proceedings. In addition, it is recognised for representing clients in matters linked to forced marriage protection orders, FGM, domestic abuse and and emergency protection orders. Sophia Hussain is another key contact.

Practice head(s):

Abbid Majeed; Meena Kumari

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘I liked the fact that they dealt with my case with honest and clear explanations. They told me what possibilities to expect from my case. There was no beating round the bush. Everything was explained to me clearly – the good and the bad. ’

‘Sophia Hussain goes above and beyond to help with my case. Even at times working overtime to get everything we needed done to make sure everything went smoothly. Being honest and open with me every step of the way regarding my case. Which was my main concern. I did not want a fairytale story given to me, or have a solicitor tell me everything will definitely go my way even though it may not (as that is what I had been told by previous solicitors). ’

‘Abbid Majeed was very good at explaining the processes for me and including my views.’

‘Very helpful and always there to answer any questions I may have.’

Insurance > Professional negligence Tier 6

Duncan Lewis Solicitors advises on negligence claims being made against those working in professions including law, construction and engineering, advising a range of high-net worth individuals, vulnerable individuals, businesses and charities.  Sobashni De Silva and Anthony Okumah co-lead the team, both of whom have expertise in dispute resolution.

Practice head(s):

Sobashni De Silva; Anthony Okumah

Work highlights

  • Acted for a client in bringing a claim against a structural engineer in relation to complex structural defects.
  • Assisted a  client in bringing a professional negligence claim against his former solicitor in connection with a property matter.  
  • Assisted a client in bringing a professional negligence claim against his former solicitor who assisted with a conveyancing matter.

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
Ms Vanessa Delgado photo Ms Vanessa DelgadoImmigration consultant solicitor Vanessa has over 13 years of experience in immigration…
Number of UK directors : 49
Number of other UK fee-earners (including consultants) : 485
Punjabi
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Russian
Lithuanian
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Twi (Ghanaian)
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Italian
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Law Society of England and Wales
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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.

The Lex 100 Verdict

Duncan Lewis undertakes ‘fascinating and important public law cases’ and offers a very hands-on training contract. Trainees are given a ‘significant amount of responsibility and the freedom to develop [their] own work’. High levels of client contact are the norm, as are ‘big caseloads, which can be a challenge’! Thankfully, ‘the culture within teams is supportive’ and ‘managers are very approachable’, so 'there is always someone to turn to when it’s all getting a bit much'. The best thing about Duncan Lewis is that ‘they throw you in at the deep end; you are encouraged to take on complex work and are even pushed to undertake advocacy, which is excellent for your development’. The national firm likes to ‘keep trainees in one seat throughout their training contract’, which is great for getting to grips with a practice area but also means ‘much less of a mix of training seats and different areas of law’ compared with other firms. The salary is considered to be one of the worst things about the firm, as well as the ‘minimal benefits’, especially when ‘combined with quite heavy workloads and pressure to meet chargeable hours and billing targets’. On a more positive note, recruits have enjoyed standout moments such as ‘working on a large-scale, urgent legal challenge that directly helped vulnerable individuals’, ‘several court attendances’ and feeling as though they have ‘produced systemic change’. ‘Difficult clients’, ‘working very late when it wasn’t entirely clear why this was necessary’ and ‘chasing billable hours targets’ were worst moments. For ‘friendly and approachable people at all levels’ and ‘excellent opportunities for trainees’, consider Duncan Lewis.