Wilson Solicitors LLP > London, England > Firm Profile

Wilson Solicitors LLP
N17 8AD

Living Wage

Employment > Immigration Tier 1

Wilson Solicitors LLP‘s sizeable and well-regarded immigration department is headed up by Anita Vasisht, who handles cases including sensitive SIAC matters with ‘a tenacity and eagerness that is thrilling to witness’. Managing partner Matthew Davies focuses on assisting EU nationals with applications and appeals in the aftermath of Brexit, while former managing partner Michael Hanley continues to work closely with the team on complex nationality work as a senior consultant. Muhunthan Paramesvaran‘s broad experience includes asylum cases and litigation, and he runs the firm’s private client offering alongside Ana Gonzalez, whose expertise ranges from cases involving vulnerable clients and children to asylum cases relating to those at risk of persecution for apostasy. The ‘extremely versatile’ Marcela Navarrete recently joined the team to help coordinate its detention work, for which Aisling Ni Chuinn is also a key contact. Notable work over the last year includes a project assisting female Afghan judges and lawyers to find legal routes to leave the country after the fall of the Afghan government. Chris McKendry is also recommended, as is associate Imogen Townley.

Practice head(s):

Anita Vasisht


‘Just an all-round outstanding firm. Solicitors care and are compassionate. They are reliable and trustworthy, tenacious and clever. They know immigration law inside out and analyse a case in detail in order to decide how to proceed. They are thorough and careful with details knowing that a small error alone can fail a complex case. Every member of staff at Wilson’s that I’ve dealt with has been superb – Anita Vasisht is off the scale!’

‘This a very devoted and tenacious team, which leaves no stone unturned.’

‘Wilsons is one of the top specialist immigration firms in the country. Its reputation is justly deserved. It boasts a large team of excellent, highly trained and dedicated solicitors. Whatever the case the client will receive superb quality representation and service from this firm. They are recognised for their significant cases challenging legal changes and government policy, but are equally adept at achieving excellent results in individual cases.’

‘A remarkable group of people who treat pro-bono work and their pro-bono clients as if they are top, fee-paying clients. They always strive for solutions and you have the sense that there are no such things as problems when these talented lawyers put their minds to work. They are not only genuinely inclusive as a law firm of LGBT+ people but also hugely experienced in managing LGBT+ cases, whether they are asylum, human rights or personal cases.’

‘Anita Vashist and Chris McKendry are outstanding. They are utterly committed to their clients, have excellent judgement, and nothing is too much trouble for them.’

‘Anita Vashisht is an inspiration for exceptionally detailed statements that bring her clients’ cases to life. Aisling Ni Chuinn has pursued her clients’ interests in human rights cases via cutting edge public law challenges in the higher courts. Imogen Townley has achieved effective results via innovative challenges in asylum, nationality and trafficking cases.’

‘Muhunthan Paramesvaran has an encyclopaedic knowledge of this area of law. He also shows great care for his clients.’

‘Ana Gonzalez who heads a private law team is a leading expert in complex gender identity and sexual orientation claims and also in EUSS and EU law. She is a versatile lawyer able to deal with nationality issues, children in care, work permits while delivering work at phenomenal speed to an exceptional standard. She manages a large team of outstanding young lawyers and is an inspirational leader.’

Work highlights

  • Acted on an exceptionally complex SIAC case in which an Iraqi man was deprived of UK citizenship because the Home Office suspected he had links with Iranian intelligence.
  • Represented an SIAC client who was accused of aligning herself with ISIS in Syria and stripped of her British citizenship.
  • Advised a severely disabled boy and his mother in relation to their asylum appeals in a matter transferred to the European Court of Justice in which it was argued that UNRWA had ceased to provide the clients with protection and assistance.

Private client > Family Tier 4

Aysen Soyer  leads a ‘professional team’ at Wilson Solicitors LLP thatprovides a Rolls Royce service for clients on a budget’. It has a large team that covers the main areas of divorce and financial settlements, private children law and domestic abuse but also other more niche areas such as forced marriages and surrogacy. It is regularly instructed through the International Child Abduction and Contact Unit (ICACU) in complex international matters involving the Hague Convention concerning child abduction. Patricia Beckett has a broad practice and is adept at representing clients who have severe mental health or profound learning difficulties.

Practice head(s):

Aysen Soyer

Other key lawyers:

Patricia Beckett; Amna Khaliq; Felicity Jones; Baljit Bains; Sophia Poliviou; Juanita Kareer


‘This is a jewel of a firm with outstanding lawyers who are entirely committed to their work’.

‘I have dealt mainly with Amna Khaliq who makes me feel as if my problems are her problems. She is always available when needed and offers total guidance for all steps of the way. I know that with Amna supporting me, the case has the best chance of success’.

‘Patricia is the gold standard when it comes to family matters. Patricia not only has a wealth of knowledge in this area, she is dedicated and works in a way that makes me feel that she has all the time in the world for my case, and that she truly cares. She is proactive in managing my case, responsive and always on hand with advice’.

‘Patricia Beckett is amazing! She operates on ethical lines, is extremely knowledgeable, reassuring, realistic.  Patricia Beckett was so thorough, persistent, fair and transparent. The best solicitor ever’.

‘Juanita Kareer has a keen eye for detail and Felicity Jones is tenacious in progressing all elements of her client’s matters’.

‘Aysen Soyer and Patricia Beckett are both excellent, the clients have the same service whether they are legally aided or paying privately. They are both particularly good with the most challenging of clients’.

‘Patricia Beckett is wonderful – she is excellent at what she does, and quickly instils confidence in clients. Her approachable and down-to-earth approach means that she cuts straight to the chase, quickly identifying and tackling issues in the case, no matter how difficult’.

‘Although the team generally is good, Baljit Bains and Sophia Poliviou are exceptional. Baljit is a ferocious advocate for her clients whether undertaking the advocacy herself or instructing counsel on her behalf. She expects nothing short of excellence from those undertaking her cases, but is so charming and good humoured that I always want to go above and beyond the call of duty on her cases for her. Sophia is very much of the same type and a pleasure to work with’.

Public sector > Civil liberties and human rights Tier 4

Really deep knowledge runs all the way through the team‘ at Wilson Solicitors LLP. James Elliot helms the offering, and is supported in managing the department by a core roster of specialised partners, comprising Katy Robinson, who specialises in community care and migrants’ rights; Nina Rathbone Pullen, an expert in the field of human trafficking and unlawful detention; and Nusrat Uddin, whose focus is on victims of trafficking and modern slavery.

Practice head(s):

James Elliott

Other key lawyers:


‘Wilsons Solicitors LLP are really at the top of the game in the civil liberties and human rights field. In the immigration cross-over areas in particular, they are known as being leaders in their field. They are brilliant and dedicated lawyers.’

‘They are incredibly well prepared, dedicated and really know their stuff. But importantly, they never forget that there is always a client at the heart of every important legal challenge.’

‘Nkiru Okafor –is making a real name for herself with her exceptional judgment and tenacity.’

‘James Elliott is a bible on unlawful detention and a pleasure to work with.’

‘Wilsons are an excellent choice for complex human rights claims, particularly in the field of immigration, human trafficking and forced labour.’

‘Nusrat Uddin is highly intelligent and very committed, with excellent contacts amongst NGOs in the UK and abroad.’

‘Excellence in knowledge and experience – particularly in unlawful detention claims.’

‘Arising in large part from their position as one of the pre-eminent immigration detention firms, Wilsons have a really strong civil liberties and human rights team now. Really deep knowledge runs all the way through the team.’

Work highlights

  • Represented the claimant in a compensation case arising out of losses he faced as the result of a decision wrongly taken that he had obtained an English Language Qualification.
  • Representing all the citizens in the ongoing judicial review against the UK authorities’ decision to award new contracts to supplier of PPE gloves, Supermax, despite clear indicators of forced labour.
  • Representing a child claimant who was arrested by the metropolitan police on suspicion of cannabis cultivation.

Public sector > Administrative and public law Tier 5

The practice at Wilson Solicitors LLP is headed by James Elliott, who is singled out by one client as ‘a bible on unlawful detention‘. The firm is primarily a legal aid practice, which engages in test litigation and judicial review, with a particular focus on immigration. Katy Robinson specialises in community care and migrants’ rights. Nusrat Uddin focuses her practice on victims of human trafficking and modern slavery. Jed Pennington is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

James Elliott

Other key lawyers:

Katy Robinson; Nusrat Uddin; Nina Rathbone Pullen; Rebecca Ives; Jed Pennington


‘Wilsons have a great depth of experience in this area. They are incredibly well prepared, dedicated and really know their stuff. They are utterly committed and truly exceptional lawyers.’

‘James Elliott – a bible on unlawful detention and a pleasure to work with. Nina Rathbone Pullen– very experienced in civil claims for false imprisonment and very committed to her clients.’

‘Wilsons’ public law team is enthusiastic and technically excellent, a great choice for difficult public law cases.’

‘Nusrat Uddin is highly intelligent and very committed, with excellent contacts amongst NGOs in the UK and abroad.’

‘The public law team at Wilson are at the top of their game and manage to strike that balance between through preparation of cases and ensuring a focus on the relevant legal issues.’

‘Rebecca Ives is careful, conscientious and has a real ability to put her clients’ interests at the forefront of every issue.’

‘Commitment to clients. Excellence in provision of legal services. Attention to detail.’

‘A really excellent public law team, with a strong immigration emphasis.’

Work highlights

  • Represented a claimant in a case concerning compensation arising out of losses he faced as the result of a decision wrongly taken that he had obtained an English Language Qualification.
  • Acting in the ongoing judicial review against the UK authorities concerning the decision to award new contracts to supplier of PPE gloves Supermax, despite clear indicators of forced labour.
  • Representing a claimant who was arrested by the police on suspicion of cannabis cultivation, despite clear indicators that the client had been trafficked to the UK for the purposes of exploitation.

Wilson Solicitors became an LLP in April 2010. Prior to then, the firm was called Wilson and Co and was founded in 1989 by the late Andrew Wilson and current senior partner Michael Hanley.

The firm: The firm has grown from a small legal aid firm into a substantial 13-partner practice employing 90 people with a national reputation for excellence. The firm receives the vast majority of its work through personal recommendation from satisfied clients, or specific referral from other professionals.

The firm has four key practice objectives: to provide effective legal advice at a competitive cost; deliver a quality professional service; sustain and grow the firm’s reputation; and use law to promote and defend human rights.

Types of work undertaken: The firm provides advice and representation in three broad areas of law:

Immigration: the firm has one of the largest immigration law departments in the UK with 25 specialist solicitors. The firm’s clients come from a wide range of backgrounds. With thorough preparation, many applications are successfully resolved on initial submission to the Home Office. The firm has a “get it right first time” approach. As the immigration rules steadily grow in complexity careful preparation of applications is essential. Where cases run into difficulties the firm is highly experienced in conducting appeals and judicial review. Wilson Solicitors LLP has acted in many high-profile cases in the Supreme Court. The firm appears regularly before the Special Immigration Appeals Commission in cases involving national security. All the firm’s lawyers are accredited by the Law Society Asylum and Immigration Law Accreditation Scheme. Two of its partners were appointed as part-time judges in 2006 and sit in the FTT (Immigration and Asylum Chamber).

Family and children law: the firm has ten solicitors specialising in this work. The firm has three members of the Law Society Children Panel who are appointed to represent the best interests of children in care proceedings. The firm also has members of the Law Society Advanced Family Law Panel and of Resolution. It advises on all aspects of marriage and civil partnerships, from pre nuptials to divorce and dissolution, including domestic violence and ancillary relief. The firm receives referrals from a wide range of statutory and voluntary agencies working with children. The practice has considerable experience in high-value financial disputes. The firm provides a highly professional service to private clients.

Public law: the firm has a dynamic department of eight specialist solicitors advising on all aspects of decisions taken by public authorities. The firm specialises in challenging unlawful detention, abuse of state power, especially in immigration removal centres, and securing financial compensation. There is also a particular commitment to community care cases. The firm has brought cases against local authorities, the police, the Home Office and the General Medical Council. The firm has legal aid contracts in public law, civil actions against the police and community care.

Senior partner Michael Hanley
Head of Immigration Team Matthew Davies
Immigration Damian Hanley
Immigration Anita Vasisht
Immigration Michael Hanley
Head of Family Team Aysen Soyer
Family and children Patricia Beckett
Family and children Michelle Flynn
Head of Public Law James Elliott
Baljit Bains photo Baljit BainsPartner
James Ball photo James BallSolicitor
Patricia Beckett photo Patricia BeckettPatricia specialises in children and family law, and her areas of work…
Russell Blakely photo Russell BlakelyRussell has a general practice in personal immigration, citizenship and EU law.…
Penny Brownbridge photo Penny BrownbridgeSolicitor
Sarah Colley photo Sarah ColleySolicitor
Zoe Cooley photo Zoe CooleySolicitor
Lindsay Cundall photo Lindsay CundallSolicitor
Becky Cutler photo Becky CutlerSolicitor
Tim Davies photo Tim DaviesSolicitor
Matthew Davies photo Matthew DaviesMatthew is a partner in the immigration department with 20 years of…
James Elliott photo James ElliottPartner in the immigration department, specialising in immigration and asylum law, and…
Siobhan Foulner photo Siobhan FoulnerSolicitor
Michael Goldin photo Michael GoldinSolicitor
Ana Gonzalez photo Ana GonzalezAna specialises in asylum and immigration. Her main areas of expertise are…
Michael Hanley photo Michael HanleySenior partner specialising in all aspects of asylum, nationality and immigration law,…
Damian Hanley photo Damian HanleyPartner in the immigration department, managing a team of solicitors, trainee solicitors…
Rebecca Harrigan photo Rebecca HarriganSolicitor
Rachel Henson photo Rachel HensonSolicitor
Rebecca Ives photo Rebecca IvesSolicitor
Andrew Jones photo Andrew JonesSolicitor
Felicity Jones photo Felicity JonesSolicitor
Juanita Kareer photo Juanita KareerSolicitor
Edward Keeling photo Edward KeelingSolicitor
Amna Khaliq photo Amna KhaliqAmna is a partner in the family department. She undertakes private and…
Rebecca Kuehler photo Rebecca KuehlerSolicitor
Rachel Lau photo Rachel LauSolicitor
Rachael Lenney photo Rachael LenneySolicitor
Helen MacIntyre photo Helen MacIntyreSolicitor
Chris McKendry photo Chris McKendrySolicitor
Daniel Merriman photo Daniel MerrimanSolicitor
Rebecca Morris photo Rebecca MorrisSolicitor
Marcela Navarrete photo Marcela NavarreteSolicitor
Aisling Ni Chuinn photo Aisling Ni ChuinnSolicitor
Sinead Nowak photo Sinead NowakSolicitor
Ed O'Driscoll photo Ed O'DriscollSolicitor
Nkiru Okafor photo Nkiru OkaforSolicitor
Muhunthan Paramesvaran photo Muhunthan ParamesvaranMuhunthan became a partner in 2010. He has a broad immigration and…
Kirsten Powrie photo Kirsten PowrieSolicitor
Laura Ralph photo Laura RalphSolicitor
Nina Rathbone Pullen photo Nina Rathbone PullenSolicitor
Katy Robinson photo Katy RobinsonSolicitor
Anastasia Solopova photo Anastasia SolopovaSolicitor
Aysen Soyer photo Aysen SoyerAysen is a partner and head of the family department. She undertakes…
Shahailya Stephenson photo Shahailya StephensonSolicitor
Emma Terenius photo Emma TereniusSolicitor
Imogen Townley photo Imogen TownleySolicitor
Giulia Tranchina photo Giulia TranchinaSolicitor
Nusrat Uddin photo Nusrat UddinSolicitor
Anita Vasisht photo Anita VasishtNewly appointed head of Wilsons’ immigration department, Anita leads our national security…
Hannah Watkins photo Hannah WatkinsSolicitor
Ian Whitbread photo Ian WhitbreadFellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
Number of UK partners : 13
Number of other UK fee-earners : 60