This year the Business rankings have been split in order to recognise the diversity of the business models that firms operate and the markets they service.
The Global Mobility table includes firms that predominantly assist corporates with employee transfers and compliance.
The Key Individuals table includes firms that service corporate accounts in addition to high net worth individuals and/or other PBS categories, and may also offer significant litigious experience and the capacity to utilise non-conventional routes to assist clients.
In order to make this section most useful to clients, firms are not double ranked. Instead, they are ranked in the table that best reflects their expertise. The editorial provides more detailed indications of the capabilities of each firm.
Immigration: Business: Global Mobility: London
Fragomen works with some of the largest corporate entities in the world. The firm's vast global network facilitates a comprehensive global mobility solution that is much appreciated by clients. Clients value Fragomen's regular audits, commercial understanding and contribution to HR policy. They also feel that Fragomen "is good at keeping us up to date with changes to immigration law." The lawyer-led team benefits from the recent arrival of Ian Robinson from the UK Border Agency (UKBA), where he was assistant director and an architect of the point-based system (PBS) framework.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Caron Pope is described by her clients as "a very good immigration specialist," able to deliver "great service." She is managing partner and leads many key client accounts, providing strategic input, for example into the architecture of graduate recruitment frameworks, and speaks regularly at business immigration events.
Clients and market commentators identified Natasha Catterson as "someone to look out for." She acts as a regular point of contact for Fragomen clients, and is valued for her problem-solving abilities. "She always thinks things through very well, is extremely professional and will definitely go far."
The expanding team at Kingsley Napley specialises in business immigration, and works primarily with the global financial services industry. Peers "have a lot of respect for them." The firm is praised for a pragmatic and creative approach to immigration: "They give their clients realistic advice - if there is no case to go to court, they will suggest another route; if there is a case, they'll fight it very hard."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "superb" Nicolas Rollason "picks out the very difficult cases. They are always very well prepared, with all the key issues spotted and evidenced." He focuses on strategic corporate advice, complicated applications and litigation, and is a well-known contributor to industry debates and events.
Elspeth Guild is a respected academic and immigration practitioner, with a history of leading and actively engaging with key immigration policy-making bodies.
Senior associate Christine Bustin is an important member of the team, and maintains a broad client base.
Interviewees were overwhelmingly positive about "heavyweights" Laura Devine Solicitors. Clients were enthusiastic about the level of service provided by this comprehensive immigration firm: "The partner contact has been perfect - they provide the right person for the job. Their vision is spot-on - they identify issues, and see a clear way of solving them. The advice has always been very clear, very thorough and well researched." In addition, due in part to the firm's New York office, Laura Devine Solicitors acts as other practitioners' "first port of call on US immigration law."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sophie Barrett-Brown is the long-standing chair of key practitioners' group ILPA, and her name is well known amongst HR professionals and immigration lawyers. Clients are happy to recommend her to other organisations, and she is described as "a fantastic lawyer."
Laura Devine "is very highly regarded and well liked across the industry." Currently focusing on the growth of the firm, she continues to be a respected industry spokesperson.
Clients are "very satisfied" with Vanessa Ganguin's "skills, attitude and ability to get things done."
PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal provides immigration solutions to big, multinational businesses. The substantial team, led by well-known immigration practitioner Julia Onslow-Cole, has the substantial resources required to manage large-scale employee transfers. The practice draws on "a great pool of knowledge," market-leading tax expertise, an international network spanning 118 countries and influential links with business and immigration decision makers.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Julia Onslow-Cole is an innovative and experienced practitioner. She is a point of reference for policy makers, and is consulted by the International Bar Association, the UKBA and The World Bank on immigration issues. "She is tenacious in getting results for her clients and very good at finding a creative solution."
The London team is fully integrated with the firm's renowned employment capability and international migration network. Corporate clients are able to access a full range of legal services, but are also attracted to the practice because of its free-standing reputation for immigration expertise. Sources value the fact that the firm is "always available" and provides auditing services and ongoing compliance training.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Tony Haque provides clients with valued strategic oversight, actively "advising businesses how they should be forward-planning." Haque is a member of the Law Society's Immigration Law Committee, which aims to improve the form and practice of UK immigration law.
"Big name" Magrath is frequently in the running for the most prestigious global corporate mobility accounts, and commands respect from the market for its ability to undertake "employment and immigration law to a very high level."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The "very good, very well-known" Chris Magrath is "pre-eminent" in the field. His considerable expertise was acknowledged by a number of interviewees.
Sharmila Mehta is co-head of the UK immigration group at Magrath, and specialises in all aspects of PBS law arising in corporate contexts.
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius recently acquired Tracy Evlogidis and her respected corporate immigration team from Speechly Bircham. This new, London-based offering builds on the firm's prestigious labour law practice and links with the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Clients and expertise range from start-up and established companies to educational organisations and sporting bodies. Evlogidis's team is recommended by clients as "approachable and extremely helpful and knowledgeable on immigration law."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Tracy Evlogidis is described as "very strong in the field." She heads the new team at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
Associate Nick Hobson followed Evlogidis from Speechly Bircham. He is described by clients as "very user-friendly."
Speechly Bircham has recruited respected immigration lawyer Rose Carey, formerly of Squire Sanders, to lead and grow its immigration practice, following the departure of Tracy Evlogidis. The team offers immigration advice to private clients and corporates, drawing on the additional expertise of global mobility lawyers in the employment department.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Rose Carey is described by her clients as "exceptionally good from a technical perspective, and also very good at assessing the commercial impact of decisions - she strikes a fantastic balance."
Bird & Bird offers a cross-border HR service, delivered by an integrated team of employment and immigration lawyers. It maintains corporate immigration systems, and helps individual employees and their families with their immigration statuses. Clients welcome this "one-stop" approach and "highly recommend" the team to other HR professionals. "They are very responsive, always look at the bigger picture and are very helpful indeed."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients view head of immigration Jonathan Goldsworthy as "a trusted adviser." He "always gives a very good explanation and list of the different ways forward."
In addition to its corporate immigration practice, the team at Clyde & Co has experience working with clients seeking political asylum, and assisting Tier Four and Five route applicants. The team has successfully resolved corporate immigration problems that have arisen whilst under the supervision of other law firms. One source commented that "Jonathan and his team dealt with this complex matter in a timely and effective way, leaving us in no doubt that we were in very capable hands."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients say that Jonathan Chaimovic "immediately put us at ease and provided a detailed and transparent response."
Fox Williams works with established corporates and technology sector entrepreneurs, providing immigration input alongside employment advice. The firm has particularly strong links with the USA, and assists a number of American businesses looking to establish operations in the UK. Clients describe the firm's commitment to "high-quality advice" and value the commerciality of its solutions.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Matthew Davies "practises both immigration and employment law to a high level," and is respected by his peers. Clients say that Davies "has a tremendous knowledge of new developments, and is able to figure out complex situations and highlight the way forward that is least burdensome for the company and for the individual concerned."
Lewis Silkin has specialist expertise in sports immigration, and works closely with a number of international law firms, retailers and large corporates. Clients include Freshfields, Bath Rugby Club and Marks & Spencer. Interviewees valued the firm's training and audit provisioning and view the lawyers as effective troubleshooters: "We go to them when we have a more difficult matter that is beyond our capabilities."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of the team Andrew Osborne is sought after for his sports immigration expertise. He is described as "very knowledgeable and responsive."
The growing immigration team at Squire Sanders was described by one client as "the best firm I have ever dealt with for immigration support." Key clients Gazprom, Gucci and Investec are indicative of the market it operates in. Interviewees described Squire Sanders as "exceptionally helpful," delivering advice that "is always precise, consistent, clear and timely."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Supinder Sian's contributions are clearly appreciated by the firm's clients, who describe him as "very knowledgeable," "technically very good" and as demonstrating "a very careful attention to detail that makes him very professional."
Immigration: Business: Key Individuals: London
The "fabulous team" at Bates Wells & Braithwaite is formed of experienced practitioners, with market-leading expertise in all aspects of immigration law. The market recognises the firm's bespoke service, and its ability to service corporates (including Nike and Endemo) high net worth individuals and celebrities, and to litigate human rights points in the higher courts. The firm has played an active role in policy formation surrounding the future of overseas domestic workers, following the abolition of their immigration category, and has had a number of significant successes in the immigration tribunals and in judicial review proceedings.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Peter Moss is a well-established immigration lawyer, with an ability to provide advice across the PBS spectrum. He has recent experience finding solutions outside the PBS for clients with complicated immigration histories.
Philip Trott's peers acknowledge his long-standing impact on the field: "He is excellent - there is no question about the quality of his work, his thinking, or his contribution generally." He heads the team at Bates Wells & Braithwaite, and deals primarily with the firm's high-profile and high net worth clients.
Penningtons is known for its breadth of service: the firm deals with high net worth individuals and corporate immigration, and has an unrivalled higher education practice. Penningtons is viewed as a key link between the UKBA and educational institutions in the process of implementing and working through PBS reform. Clients value the firm's pragmatism: "They are very realistic and have an integrity which has won them their reputation and means that they get listened to."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Recent addition to the partnership Pat Saini attracted praise for her ability to create a productive environment: "Her relationship building is really crucial."
Hazar El-Chamaa's contribution clearly adds value for the firm's clients: "If it's coming from Penningtons, Hazar will have pulled out the important points and done things properly."
Gherson "is well known for doing high-quality work for high net worth individuals across the board." The firm has "considerable expertise in running complex immigration cases" where issues of nationality law, human rights and political persecution are often at stake. Gherson has had considerable success in assisting and litigating on behalf of migrants originating from the Commonwealth of Independent States. The firm also works with corporate clients and higher education institutions.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Roger Gherson "proceeds with absolute determination, force and tirelessness in achieving his objectives." He is well known amongst immigration practitioners in the UK and is sought out by high net worth individuals from around the world for his reputation and previous successes.
Mishcon de Reya specialises in securing visas and settlement rights for high net worth individuals, through a non-litigious and strategic approach. Its Tier One expertise is complemented by the firm's private client practice. Its clients are pleased with the firm's "personalised," "helpful and efficient" service, and "would recommend them to others without reservation."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Kamal Rahman leads the immigration team at Mishcon de Reya, and is described by her clients as "helpful and efficient." "She was understanding of the circumstances and gave me her time and attention."
Immigration: Educational Institutions: London
of Blake Lapthorn impresses clients with his smooth handling of corporate and individual immigration issues. He is described as "a dream to deal with."
of Sturtivant & Co is known amongst immigration circles as "a really good practitioner, with lots of experience - she is a force to be reckoned with."
An experienced immigration practitioner, Sally Azarmi
of Azarmi & Co has recently established a boutique practice. Peers recommend Azarmi for business and high net worth immigration, citing her focus, efficiency and "brilliant strategic approach."
Barrister and immigration expert Shahram Taghavi
recently joined Charles Russell LLP from Lewis Silkin LLP. He was involved in the landmark cases of Quila and Pankina, and is described as "a brilliant immigration lawyer: he is switched-on, bold and effective
of Withers LLP brings high net worth expertise and experience in securing entry and settlement for investors and entrepreneurs. Barth "has a good grasp of the law"
and "is very respected."
of Carter Thomas Solicitors "has done a huge amount to develop the law of Tier 4 sponsorship for higher education institutions
," and has successfully repealed UKBA decisions to strip colleges of their sponsor statuses. Those who have worked with her comment that "she is very focused, is very conscious of the need to give clients value for money, and is demanding from her counsel
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21st May 2013: GC Seminar, New York Hackers Are After Your Data!: Practical Ways To Reduce Data Security Breach Exposure
23 May 2013: Chambers USA Awards for Excellence 2013, New York
24 May 2013: Launch of Chambers USA 2013, New York and online
29th May 2013: GC Seminar, New York Going Mobile: IP and Privacy Considerations
4th June 2013: GC Seminar, Houston Challenges in Creating An Effective and Coordinated Global Compliance Program
9 September 2013: Chambers Latin America Awards 2013, Miami
10 September 2013: Launch of Chambers Latin America 2014, online
3rd October 2013: Chambers Bar Awards 2013, London
10 May 2012: Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence, Amsterdam