Bishop & Sewell LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Bishop & Sewell LLP

Employment > Immigration Tier 2

Fielding 'highly professional staff with excellent knowledge of immigration law', Bishop & Sewell LLP's immigration team is led by senior associate Mariam Khaliq, 'who often goes above and beyond', and also includes 'sharp and technical' associate Karma Hickman. The team handles a broad range of immigration work with notable expertise in human rights and family cases; it also advises on migrant workforce issues, public law challenges, appeals and nationality mandates.

Practice head(s):

Mariam Khaliq

Other key lawyers:


‘Bishop & Sewell has highly professional staff with excellent knowledge of immigration law. This coupled with the overall service quality makes this practice a real standout. From my first interaction through to the end of a case the practice was devoted to providing a smooth and efficient client experience. I highly recommend and would definitely use the practice again.’

‘This is an excellent practice working with private clients. Both Mariam Khaliq and Karma Hickman are extremely knowledgeable and efficient.’

‘The reason why I think the Bishop & Sewell practice is unique is because the staff all work well together and if the client’s situation needs more than one department to solve their problem; the team are all across the case – which makes it easy so you don’t have to keep repeating yourself and waste time telling the same story all over.’

‘I mainly work with Mariam Khaliq, who often goes above and beyond with our sponsorship visas and really puts our visa applicants at ease with the process. Often replying outside of what I would deem normal office hours (and we work long hours!) to ensure that any matters of concern are dealt with promptly. Mariam is also very patient with the relentless queries from our applicants and is always very clear in explaining the process.’

‘I have worked with Mariam Khaliq and Karma Hickman for almost ten years. Karma is an exceptional lawyer whose work is simply excellent both in preparation and identifying real issues in litigation. Mariam is efficient, pragmatic and very knowledgeable. They offer exceptional client care and are to be commended for the quality of their work and commitment.’

‘Karma Hickman is sharp and technical whilst remaining warmly human. She really cares for her clients. She quickly finds the crux of any issue and breaks down her advice in an easily comprehensive manner. She is an expert on immigration issues relating to surrogacy matters.’

‘Teamwork, Attention to detail, Good communication, Creative problem-solving, Information analysis and research, very organised.’

‘Karma Hickman has encyclopaedic knowledge of the law and the immigration rules and explains it in a calm, accessible, and practical way. She is extremely committed to every client.’

Private client > Family Tier 5

Bishop & Sewell LLP acts for professionals and entrepreneurs as well as those who are financially less well-off. The department has a specialist ‘forming families’ team that handles surrogacy and fertility cases and also offers the full range of dispute resolution including family mediation and collaborative law. Head of team Louise Barretto is skilled at handling cases with a South African connection. She has a particular emphasis on complex financial cases involving business assets and with an international dimension.

Practice head(s):

Louise Barretto

Other key lawyers:

Catherine Longshaw;David Hodgson; Philip Rutter; Victoria Maxwell ; Mike Davidson


A good team with an exceptional head of department nestled in a successful firm with a broad remit. Louise Barretto- head of department. Rather than join a large matrimonial department Louise has chosen to remain within a diverse practice, where she offers magic circle qualities, with a personal touch and hands on engagement with each client‘.

‘I felt incredibly safe in Louise Barretto’s hands at Bishop & Sewell. Louise took the time to thoroughly understand all the complex details of my individual case as though it were her own, and used her legal expertise to strongly present my case and articulate responses that I could never have done myself. She was always professional and caring, going above and beyond to put my best interests first’.

‘The team is accommodating and there is a diverse mix of people within the team. Cath Longshaw is diligent and very hardworking. She always puts her client’s strongest case forward whilst not losing sight of the importance of mediation and settlement outside of the Courts. Mike Davidson has an eye for detail and is always well prepared‘.

The practice has a wonderful family practice – the lawyers provide a very personal service. They are solid in their approach and have excellent expertise. Philip Rutter is amazing. – his legal knowledge in this area is unrivalled. He is simply superb in the way he tackles cases and his client handling skills are excellent. He is a very sensible lawyer – he does not play games and is straight down the line‘.

‘Bishop and Sewell is a medium sized firm offering expertise in commercial and private client areas so can meet clients’ every needs. The lawyers are very nice people and have excellent relationships with professionals in their respective fields helping clients achieve their goals with the minimum of fuss. David Hodgson is a very bright and exceptionally focused lawyer. He is down to earth and direct with clients helping them articulate their objectives so that together they can work to achieve them. Clients feel looked after and in very safe hands. David deals with high value financial cases but also complex children cases. Louise Barretto is also an excellent lawyer who gets to the nub of the matter with clear advice and she manages a talented team‘.

David Hodgson is outstanding, he is empathetic and very considerate, he also has a wealth of knowledge which gives me confidence in his advice‘.

‘Catherine Longshaw is very empathetic, sensible, level-headed and supportive, she helped me greatly through a difficult divorce and also in dealing with some very unpleasant false, but serious, allegations raised by my (now ex-) wife. She is very knowledgeable, experienced and highly competent, in my view‘.

‘A multi-disciplinary firm that is able to offer legal services for all aspects. Victoria Maxwell. Extremely knowledgeable and experienced in complicated international surrogacy cases. She has vast experience dealing with other aspects of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008. She is forensic in her analysis when it comes to dealing with difficult cases‘.

Based in central London, Bishop & Sewell has a reputation for excellence in fields including landlord & tenant, residential & commercial property, private client, employment, corporate & commercial work, family law, forming families, immigration and litigation & dispute resolution.

The firm: We were established in 1979 and moved to our current location in 2010. We merged with the long-established London practice of Monro Wright & Wasbrough on 1st February 2021 and operate as “Bishop & Sewell incorporating Monro Wright & Wasbrough”.  In 2017 we merged with London firm Fisher Meredith.

The firm acts for entrepreneurs, investors and small to medium-sized businesses, together with individuals and families.

We believe that a good solicitor is approachable, innovative and open, helping to identify attainable goals and the best strategy to reach them. As a result we have built enduring relationships and continue to act for a number of our original clients. We are commercially minded and each specialist area is partner-led to ensure delivery of a client-focused, highly personalised service. Within each practice area works a team of talented lawyers with a passion for being the best at what they do. The practice has expanded steadily and as well as serving clients in London and the South-East, we are increasingly instructed by clients nationwide and internationally.

Types of work undertaken
Property: advising on property law is at the heart of Bishop & Sewell. Founded on property work, we take pride in simplifying the complex property process, providing services covering every aspect – from landlord & tenant, purchase and sale, development and financing, to rental and enfranchisement. Our advice aims to add value to owners, occupiers, investors and developers of both commercial and residential property.

Family and divorce: constructive advice is offered in all areas of family law including matters with international aspects. Wherever possible, the firm seeks to resolve issues outside the courts, but if necessary conducts court proceedings vigorously. Expertise includes divorce or civil partnership dissolution, separation agreements, children issues, financial aspects, domestic violence and child abduction. A specialist team advises on all aspects of international fertility, surrogacy and adoption law.

Corporate and commercial: for business clients, a range of company and commercial services are provided including commercial contracts, data protection and competition law, joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions and shareholder arrangements.

Immigration: a team with expertise in dealing with all aspects of immigration and nationality law for businesses and private individuals, as well as asylum cases.

Employment: services for employers include tribunal or court action as well as contracts, partnership agreements and share schemes. Employment services for individuals include all aspects of unfair dismissal and redundancy.

Litigation and dispute resolution: commercial dispute resolution services range from breaches of contract to insolvency, and professional negligence to banking recovery. Company secretarial services are a specialism and expertise is provided in all aspects of insolvency and taxation. The firm also has expertise in landlord and tenant and other property disputes as well as personal disputes.

Private client: trusts, tax and estates legal services are primary areas of expertise at the firm, including giving advice on the most effective way to transfer property. The firm assists in setting up will trusts and helping with their administration, as well as the application of inheritance tax. Services cover all aspects of will drafting, tax advice, winding up and administration of estates, deeds of family arrangements, powers of attorney, and creation and administration of trusts in the UK and offshore.

Founding Partner & Consultant Stephen Bishop
Head of Commercial Property Nick Potter
Residential Property & Team Leader Ossie Swaine
Senior Partner & Head of the Landlord & Tenant team Mark Chick
Managing Partner - Strategy Implementation Michael Kashis
Landlord & Tenant Chris Macartney
Corporate & Commercial David Little
Head of the Private Client team Nicholas Barlow
Head of of Litigation & Dispute Resolution Karen Bright
Residential Property & Team Leader Julienne Coffey
Residential Property Dipak Vaghela
Joint Head of the Family & Divorce team Philip Rutter
Joint Head of the Family & Divorce team David Hodgson
Litigation & Dispute Resolution Lee Stafford
Private Client Helen Langworthy
Head of Immigration Mariam Khaliq
Head of Employment Rhian Radia
Private Client & Head of Tax Gina Fairfax
Litigation & Dispute Resolution Ian Pope
Corporate & Commercial Jeremy Sivyer
Family & Divorce Victoria Maxwell
Paul Barnes  photo Paul Barnes Paul is a Partner and joined Bishop & Sewell in 2019 and…
Louise Barretto  photo Louise Barretto Head of Family & Divorce specialising in family law, particularly complex financial…
Stephen Bishop  photo Stephen Bishop Stephen is Managing Partner and leads Bishop & Sewell LLP’s residential property…
Karen Bright  photo Karen Bright Karen leads Bishop & Sewell LLP’s dispute resolution and insolvency teams. Her…
Mark Chick  photo Mark Chick Mark heads up the landlord and property team, and is recognised as…
Julienne Coffey  photo Julienne Coffey Julienne is a partner in the residential property team, with expertise in…
Gina Fairfax  photo Gina Fairfax Gina Fairfax is Head of Tax and joined Bishop & Sewell in…
Karma Hickman  photo Karma Hickman Karma is an Associate Solicitor in our Immigration department, where she undertakes…
David Hodgson  photo David Hodgson Partner, deals with all aspects of family law, including domestic violence, cohabitation…
Michael Kashis  photo Michael Kashis Managing Partner – Strategy Implementation & Head of Corporate & Commercial
Mariam Khaliq  photo Mariam Khaliq Head of Immigration – Mariam has been practising Immigration law since 2007.…
Helen Langworthy  photo Helen Langworthy Partner and Head of Private Client
David Little  photo David Little Partner
Chris Macartney  photo Chris Macartney His particular area of specialism is in leasehold reform matters. He is…
Ian Pope  photo Ian Pope Consultant Solicitor
Nick Potter  photo Nick Potter Nick heads up the business and commercial property team. Nick has gained…
Rhian Radia  photo Rhian Radia Partner & Head of Employment
Philip Rutter  photo Philip Rutter Partner
Jeremy Sivyer  photo Jeremy Sivyer Consultant Solicitor
Lee Stafford  photo Lee Stafford Partner, advising individuals and businesses, on a variety of disputes. Particular specialism in…
Ossie Swaine  photo Ossie Swaine Ossie is a partner and team leader in the residential property team,…
Dipak Vaghela  photo Dipak Vaghela Partner, dealing with all aspects of residential work ranging from sales and…
Number of Partners : 21
Number of Fee-earners : 60
Chinese (Mandarin)
Law Society
Chambers & Partners

Bishop and Sewell LLP is committed to avoiding discrimination in its dealings with all its clients, members and employees and all third parties that have dealings with the firm. We are committed to promoting diversity in our professional activity and committed to equality of opportunity and upholding the principles of equality and, wherever possible exceeding the statutory requirements. The firm offers an excellent service supplied by a talented and diverse team. We recruit, retain, reward and develop our team without reference to their background, gender, marital status, ethnic origin, age, religion, belief, sexual orientation, or any disability.

We regularly conduct a diversity survey and the results of the 2019 survey are available to view on the firm’s website. Louise Barretto is the current Diversity Manager and has overall responsibility for the avoidance of discrimination and equality and diversity policy and its application across the firm.

When we start our recruitment process each applicant is invited to complete an equal opportunities form which is used in monitoring the diversity of the firm. The information on this form isl be held separately from the main application form and processed anonymously. It is not taken into account at any stage during the recruitment process.

CLIENT: Family & Divorce Client
TESTIMONIAL: “I really appreciate all of your help – I’ve really been impressed with your responsiveness and felt very comfortable with your guidance and great work.”

CLIENT: Corporate & Commercial Client
TESTIMONIAL: “Thank you for bringing about the best conclusion for us in our company share sale. Thank you also for your contactability and support out of hours, which was particularly helpful, and your straight forward communication skills.”

CLIENT: Corporate & Commercial Client
TESTIMONIAL: “David Little is very thorough – he covers every angle. He works very efficiently and keeps us well-informed on progress, interpreting the law for us, so we understand what’s happening.”

CLIENT: Landlord & Tenant Client
TESTIMONIAL: “For leasehold enfranchisement look no further than Chris Macartney at Bishop and Sewell. Combining common sense with commercial acumen, he maintains relationships amongst all shapes and sizes of central London landlords and tenants. Well respected by other professional advisors, he delivers transactional outcomes with a quiet efficiency. Chris is uniquely experienced and connected in the niche field of Crown Estate work.”

CLIENT: Litigation and Dispute Resolution Client
TESTIMONIAL: “I’d also like to take a minute to thank you on behalf of my wife and I for your diligence and sound advice, it has certainly put our minds at rest that we are proceeding in the correct manner and I am extremely glad that we engaged B&S & yourself in particular and would not hesitate to engage you again either on this or unrelating matters. You’ve provided a great service to us – thank you.”

CLIENT: Employment Client
TESTIMONIAL: “The employment team at Bishop and Sewell removed the need for me to deal with my employer directly which would have been very difficult in the circumstances. My exit was made as stress free a process as possible due in no small part to the team’s level-headed, diligent and professional

CLIENT: Employment Client
TESTIMONIAL: “I feel Rhian understood the matter at hand and was eager to get me the best possible deal. I did not receive as much attentiveness when I approached other firms.”

CLIENT: Family & Divorce Client
TESTIMONIAL: “The professionalism and level of service that I received from your firm is exemplary. I must say a big thank you to you and your team for being able to bring matters to a close. I would also like to say a big thank you for achieving outcomes better than I had anticipated, both with regard to the children and furthermore financially.”

CLIENT: Family & Divorce Client Gemma
TESTIMONIAL: “You have helped me tremendously, your advice and professionalism second to none! You have eased my stress and given my sanity back at a very desperate time, I felt, for once someone was on my side and felt protected- I thank you for that.”

CLIENT: Immigration Client
TESTIMONIAL: Mariam Khaliq and the firm have been more than helpful and made the process for my Visa as swift and easy going as it can be. Mariam has been extremely supportive and sincere, never compromising her high quality of work. I am so pleased with the work of her and her team, this is the only firm I would recommend to anyone!

CLIENT: Immigration Client
TESTIMONIAL: Best experience ever. We used their immigration department and couldn’t be more pleased with their services. Mariam Khaliq was our angel in the whole process and we are so delighted with her professional knowledge and her hard work team. Highly recommended.

CLIENT: Residential Client
TESTIMONIAL: “Stephen has dealt with every house transaction of mine, two of which were somewhat complicated, and he couldn’t have performed better at any time.”

CLIENT: Immigration Client
TESTIMONIAL: I wholeheartedly recommend Mariam Khaliq and her team. Mariam is an outstanding professional, able to understand the client’s needs and to support with solid advice and high quality services.

CLIENT: Hugh Livingstone
TESTIMONIAL: Both David Little and Charlie Davidson were extremely helpful and responsive. Had an excellent experience dealing with them in quite a complicated transaction. My thanks to them both.

CLIENT: Commercial Landlord Client
TESTIMONIAL: “Mark and team did a great job that exceeded any expectations.”