Russell-Cooke has been meeting the legal requirements of London's businesses and organisations since 1880 and today we are a thoroughly modern law firm.

We are independently rated as one of the leading business immigration law teams in London and the UK.

Our business immigration team is one of relatively few business immigration law teams in London that is legal directory rated and that specialises in advising businesses, individuals and educational establishments on all aspects of UK immigration law.

Why us?

Trust: Russell-Cooke's long history is testament to the enduring quality of the firm's advice, which has been trusted by many generations of business clients. We regularly assist other law firms who do not specialise in immigration law and large corporates such as banks, financial advisers and professional advisers who trust us to do an excellent job for their clients.

Highly rated: We are one of relatively few legal directory rated business immigration law teams in London and the UK. We have been praised for our general advisory work and for specialisms within the team, for instance our work in relation to contentious immigration matters and for high-net-worth individuals. In its latest edition (2016), The Legal 500 again rated us amongst the leading immigration law teams in London and the UK.

Niche expertise: We often advise on the most complex and niche areas of immigration law, and have achieved many successes for our clients in circumstances where it might have seemed that there were no prospects of success. We have achieved successful outcomes for our clients in numerous 'test cases'.

Success rate: Well over 99% of visa applications submitted to UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and its predecessor the UK Border Agency (UKBA) by our immigration solicitors have been approved, including all Tier 2 employment, Tier 4 student and Tier 5 sponsorship based applications and all Tier 1 (Investor), EEA residency and indefinite leave to remain related applications. This extremely high success rate is notwithstanding that we have submitted many applications “outside the rules” that do not meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules (and therefore fell due for refusal), but were approved based on creative arguments that our lawyers have made, for instance around exceptional, discretionary, Human Rights Act 1998 and/or judicial review related arguments. This gives our business and employer clients added confidence and trust in achieving their desired results. 

Personal: We understand that immigration is intensely personal and we reflect this in our advice and approach.

Scale: Russell-Cooke has around 200 specialist solicitors and lawyers. We are a full-service top 100 UK London based law firm and within the largest 1% of solicitors' firms in the UK. Whilst many of our individual clients are advised by one team member, where needed we have the scale and resources to help our clients achieve their desired results in even the largest and most challenging of cases.

Breadth: Unlike many business immigration teams, we advise on all areas of UK immigration law and as a full-service firm, we do not only advise on immigration law. We can advise on complex multi-practice area cases that are beyond the scope of specialist or 'boutique' teams that only advise on immigration law.

Flexibility: We have the flexibility to be able to advise a very wide range of clients and take pride in this. Our clients have ranged from multi-billion pound household name global companies, to major national businesses, to SMEs to higher education institutions.  

Speed and insight: Our insightful approach means that we are adept at 'speeding up' UKVI processing times for our clients. For instance, we have regularly had applications, which normally take between 8 - 18 weeks to process, approved within just a few days.

Commercial: We fully appreciate our corporate clients' commercial aims and pressures and take them into account when advising. We always do our utmost to turn potential problems into solutions. One of our team's specialisms is assisting businesses with establishing and maintaining a commercial presence in the UK and transferring their non-EEA staff to work in the UK. We work with our employment, company/commercial, tax, property and other teams as necessary to provide 'joined up' and integrated advice and to make the process of establishing and maintaining a commercial presence in the UK as easy as possible.  

High stakes: Due to our expertise, approach and ability to deal with the most complex and high value immigration cases, we are often approached to assist corporate and higher education clients in very high stakes scenarios. For instance, where a client's sponsor licence has been revoked or where a sponsor licence is needed within a very short timeframe or else seven figure financial losses will be suffered.

Cost-effective: Our rates are maintained at a level that is more competitive than many of our peers.

Focused and globally connected: Our immigration team only advises on UK immigration law - this is our only focus. When our clients need advice in another jurisdiction, we can access our global network of trusted law firms.

Immigration litigation unit: Unlike many of our peers, one of our specialisms is challenging negative UKVI/Home Office decisions for businesses and educational institutions.

We have successfully challenged numerous UKVI/Home Office decisions and have a very high success rate in litigious matters. Very few solicitors' firms in the UK have our level of legal directory noted expertise in litigious/contentious immigration matters, including in extremely high stakes immigration related litigation.

Our expertise in contentious immigration matters gives us added insight and strength when challenging government decisions (for instance to revoke or downgrade a sponsor licence), making exceptional or discretion based applications and when considering the most complex and nuanced immigration laws.  Within our firm we have expertise of representing clients in the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.

Our directory rated team combines considerable experience and technical expertise with a personable, pragmatic and strategic approach to assist your organisation, whether you are a private sector employer or a publicly funded university, in finding effective and practical solutions to immigration issues.

What others have said about us

Leading legal directory The Legal 500 has stated as follows:

  • "very diligent" (2016)
  • "courteous, helpful and a pleasure to deal with" (2016)
  • "on the corporate side, the practice handles the immigration aspects of complex and high value transactions, as well as Tier 4 sponsorship work" (2016)
  • "on the personal immigration side, the team advises on judicial reviews, appeals and overstays, with particular expertise in the adoption of children abroad" (2016)
  • "excellent communicator" (2016)
  • “very good” (2016)
  • “brings the highest standards of professionalism and skill” (2015)
  • "has 'in-depth knowledge of immigration'" (2013)
  • "is particularly strong on contentious immigration matters and Tier 1 (investor and entrepreneur) visas" (2013)
  • "notable for their work in the area of immigration" and that "The firm is 'excellent value for money', and delivers 'superb client care'" (2012)

The Superlawyers, Corporate International and Global Law Expert publications have also recognised individual immigration expertise within our team.

Our immigration law advice for businesses

Our team of immigration lawyers specialise in advising businesses in all industry sectors on all immigration related issues, ranging from London based, to national and multibillion pound multinationals to SMEs and higher education institutions.

Areas that our immigration solicitors advise businesses and educational institutions on include:

  • Tier 2 - Intra Company Transfer (ICT) visa applications
  • Tier 2 - 'General' visa applications and conducting a Resident Labour Market Test
  • Tier 4 - Passing the annual Basic Compliance Assessment
  • Tier 2, 4 and 5 - Licensing as a sponsor with UKVI and ongoing compliance with the sponsor regime
  • Tier 2, 4 and 5 - Challenging unlawful UKVI decisions, e.g. by judicial review or appeal
  • Tier 2, 4 and 5 - Compliance audits and manuals and ongoing compliance with UK immigration laws and sponsorship duties
  • Tier 1 - Entrepreneur visa applications, for those who wish to establish, join or take over one or more businesses in the UK
  • advising on appropriate record keeping and monitoring processes
  • standard visitor visas (formerly called business visitor visas)
  • Global migration solutions
  • training for businesses and educational institutions, including training on compliance procedures and recruiting international staff and students
  • visas for dependants and overseas entry clearance applications
  • 'Switching' between relevant immigration categories
  • immigration appeals and visa extension applications
  • immigration aspects of mergers and acquisitions

We also advise on all immigration matters that are typically of interest to individuals, including high-net-worth, ultra-high-net-worth and/or professional foreign nationals and their families: individual immigration services. For instance, we advise on Investor and Entrepreneur visas and on indefinite leave to remain, British citizenship and family and dependant based applications, and a very broad range of other UK immigration related applications.

Our immigration team is a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association (ILPA).

Know-how

Members of the team regularly write about developments in UK immigration law and have contributed immigration articles to international publications such as Corporate Counsel, Corporate International, Lawyer Monthly, Global Legal Post and the International Bar Association's Immigration and Nationality Newsletter and have provided commentary on immigration law developments for national publications such as The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, Personnel Today, Tolley's Employment Law and also for the BBC, Radio 4 and Channel 4 News. 

International Bar Association

The International Bar Association (IBA), established in 1947, is the world’s leading organisation of international legal practitioners, bar associations and law societies.

www.ibanet.org

The Legal 500

Published for over twenty years, The Legal 500 series provides the most comprehensive worldwide coverage currently available on legal services providers, in over 100 countries. Used by commercial and private clients, corporate counsel, CEOs, FDs and professional advisers - as well as by other referrers of work both nationally and internationally - the series is widely regarded as offering the definitive judgement of law firm capabilities.

www.legal500.com

The Immigration Law Practitioners Association

The Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA) is a professional association the majority of whose members are barristers, solicitors and advocates practising in all aspects of immigration, asylum and nationality law.

www.ilpa.org.uk

Charges are usually based on our hourly rates plus administrative charges and disbursements. We will provide you with an initial estimate of your likely legal costs and will update this as your requirements or the circumstances of the work change.

We may also be able to offer fixed priced options for clients depending on their budget and the size, type and complexity of the work involved.

We would be pleased to discuss your requirements free of charge and tailor a costs proposal accordingly.

UK Trade & Investment

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) works with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets, and encourage the best overseas companies to look to the UK as their global partner of choice.

www.ukti.gov.uk