Our Team: London Office

The firm's specialist lawyers uniquely combine the professionalism, expert knowledge and outstanding service levels of large city firms with the down-to-earth, friendly and flexible approach of a small practice.

Sophie Barrett-Brown

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Senior Partner and Head of UK Practice

Practice: UK Immigration

Sophie is Senior Partner and Head of the UK Practice of Laura Devine Solicitors (LDS) in London. Recognised for many years by legal directories (including Chambers and Partners, Legal 500, The Who's Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers and Super Lawyers) as a leading expert in UK immigration and nationality law, she has been described by directories as: 'a brilliant lawyer noted for her pragmatism and technical skills'; 'highly regarded for her business immigration expertise, particularly in relation to high net worth individuals. Sources agree she is an energetic powerhouse who gives very high-level advice; her knowledge of the points based system is second to none'.

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Sarah Benkhaled

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Attorney

Practice: US Immigration

Sarah is a US attorney in London specialising exclusively in US immigration law. She has worked with the firm in both London and New York since 2011. Sarah collaborates with senior lawyers on all aspects of the preparation and submission of immigration and non-immigrant visa petitions, including H-1B, O-1, E and L-1 petitions, as well as family-based and employment-based petitions and adjustment of status applications. She also prepares visa applications for consulates and liaises with governmental agencies including the Department of State and Department of Homeland Security.

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Hannah Berkeley

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Solicitor

Practice: UK Immigration

Hannah is a solicitor in London and has practised UK immigration and nationality law since 2010. She is well versed with advising corporate clients, from large multinationals to SME's and on a full range of immigration solutions for staff and senior executives providing compliance and audit counselling.

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Nicolette Bostock

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Solicitor

Practice: UK Immigration

Nicolette is a solicitor in London specialising in UK immigration and nationality law since she joined Laura Devine Solicitors in 2007. Nicolette advises clients in relation to a wide range of applications including under all Tiers of the Points Based System (PBS), non-PBS categories, Tier 2 sponsor licence applications and employer compliance support. She also advises clients on European free movement and permanent residence in the UK for EEA nationals and their non-EEA family members, including complicated applications in EU free movement jurisprudence, applications for indefinite leave to remain in the UK and naturalisation and registration as British citizens.

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Gail Bumbury

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Paralegal

Practice: UK Immigration

Gail is a paralegal in the UK immigration team in London assisting solicitors with the preparation of points based system (PBS) and non-PBS based immigration applications to the Home Office, drafting letters of advice to clients and submission letters to the Home Office, corresponding with clients and conducting legal research.

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Natasha Chell

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Partner

Practice: UK Immigration

Natasha is a solicitor and the compliance partner in London, with over 14 years' experience in UK immigration law, nationality and EU free movement. She is recognised in the Legal 500 as an 'expert' in her field. With particular interest in the prevention of illegal working and risk management strategies Natasha has developed the firm's immigration compliance audit service for clients and provides strategic advice on Tier 2 compliance and remedies she offers practical focused training on ways to improve business systems to prevent non-compliance and has assisted many clients in maintaining an A rating with the Home Office despite previous non-compliance.

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James Clark

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Paralegal

Practice: UK Immigration

James is a paralegal in the UK immigration team in London and assists with new enquiries, referrals and ad hoc queries.

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Patrick Cook-Fowler

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Paralegal

Practice: UK Immigration

Patrick is a paralegal in the UK immigration team in London. He assists with a range of immigration applications for corporate clients, high net worth and families.

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Laura Devine

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Principal

Practice: UK and US Immigration

Laura Devine is recognised as the highest nominated UK immigration practitioner by interviewees worldwide in Who's Who Legal 2008, 2009 and 2010. She is head of a large niche immigration firm with an office in London and an associated office in New York which provide UK and US immigration advice to a broad range of clients. Together the offices are described as a "transatlantic powerhouse". Her team of 18 specialist lawyers is identified as an 'immensely capable team' with a 'sheer number of first-class practitioners' with technical expertise, approachability and exceptional client service.

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William Diaz

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Attorney

Practice: US Immigration

William has practiced exclusively in the area of immigration and nationality law since 2011. Prior to joining the firm in London, William worked in London and New York, counselling skilled professionals, entertainers, and multinational corporations, while successfully presenting hundreds of cases to the US Department of Homeland Security. While in New York, he litigated a number of human rights claims on behalf of individuals seeking protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture. William's volunteer experience includes time with the New York Civil Liberties Union and the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at The Hague, where he assisted in the prosecution of war crimes.

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Karnig Dukmajian

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Attorney

Practice: US Immigration

Karnig is an attorney with 6 years' experience. He practices in all areas of US business immigration law in London, with a particular focus on treaty trader and treaty investor visas (E visas), intra-company transfers (L visas), specialty occupation workers (H-1B visas), and business immigration solutions for temporary business visitors (B visas), employment-based immigrants and foreign nationals with inadmissibility issues. For three consecutive years Karnig was selected as a "Rising Star" in Southern California Super Lawyers. Karnig has written for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and the Los Angeles Times.

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Joseph Elias

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Attorney at Law & Head of US practice

Practice: US Immigration

Joseph has 17 years of experience as a US immigration attorney and heads the US practice in London. Joseph has represented thousands of business clients from multi-billion dollar corporations to individuals before the US Immigration Services and US Consulates. His expertise addresses immigration for the financial, high-tech, entertainment and healthcare sectors as well as options of high network individuals.

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John Finnemore

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Paralegal

Practice: UK Immigration

John is a paralegal in the UK immigration team in London. He assists in the preparation of Tier 1 (Investor) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applications and deals with Tier 2 (General) and Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) entry clearance and leave to remain applications.

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Lesa-Marie Goncalves

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Paralegal

Practice: US Immigration

Lesa-Marie is a paralegal to the US team in London, working on business and family-based immigration matters. She supports the US attorneys with the day-to-day handling of client matters, as well as researching and drafting documents and correspondence for various applications and petitions.

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Iria Gruda

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Paralegal

Practice: UK Immigration

Iria is a paralegal in the UK immigration team in London. She assists with a range of immigration and nationality applications, for both corporate clients, including start-up businesses to multi-national companies, and high net worth individuals.

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Sonia Husain

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Paralegal

Practice: US Immigration

Sonia is paralegal to the US team in London. She provides support to the US attorneys with the day-to-day handling of client matters, researching and drafting documents and correspondence for various applications and petitions.

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Smruti Jeyanandhan

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Solicitor

Practice: UK Immigration

Smruti is a solicitor with 9 years' experience specialising in UK immigration and nationality law in London, qualifying at Laura Devine Solicitors in 2006, and more recently practicing in the immigration department at Pricewaterhouse Coopers Legal LLP. Smruti assists in all areas of business and personal immigration to the UK including European free movement. She has a particular interest in the Points Based System (PBS), non-PBS categories, Tier 2 sponsor licence applications and employer compliance support.

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Madeleine Lamond

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Paralegal

Practice: UK Immigration

Madeleine is a paralegal in the UK immigration team in London. She assists with a range of immigration applications for both corporate and private clients. Madeleine has a particular interest in family immigration and Article 8 cases.

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Rachael Ockenden

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Paralegal

Practice: UK Immigration

Rachael is a paralegal in the UK immigration team in London. She assists with a range of immigration applications, including corporate clients, high net worth and personal clients.

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Maria Quevedo

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Registered European Lawyer - Abogado

Practice: UK Immigration

Maria is a registered European Lawyer in London having qualified as a Spanish lawyer (Abogado) and a member of the Madrid Bar Association (Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Madrid). Maria advises corporate clients, from large multinationals to SME's, on a full range of UK immigration solutions for staff and senior executives as well as compliance and audit matters.

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Anna Robinson

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Solicitor

Practice: UK Immigration

Anna is a solicitor in the UK immigration team in London and is the manager of the new enquiries team which includes referrals and ad hoc queries. Anna has specialised in UK immigration law for 15 years, first working in Laura Devine Solicitors in 1997.

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Francesca Sciberras

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Solicitor

Practice: UK Immigration

Francesca is a solicitor in London and has specialised exclusively in UK immigration law since 2010. Acting for many of the firm's highest profile corporate clients, from major multinationals to start-up businesses, Francesca has a particular expertise in Tier 2 and sponsor licence applications. She regularly advises employers on complex Tier 2 issues and delivers strategic solutions to multinational businesses for global transfers to the UK. She also provides audit services to organisations to assist them in understanding their sponsor duties maintaining compliance.

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Malini Skandachanmugarasan

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Senior Solicitor

Practice: UK Immigration

Malini is a senior solicitor in the UK immigration team in London and a manager in the appeals and human rights team. Malini specialises in private client and personal immigration matters, in particular refusals, administrative reviews and appeals relating to human rights issues. A large proportion of instructions relate to family-based applications, discretionary applications on the basis of the European Convention on Human Rights and complex immigration applications, most involving directly liaising with senior-level contacts at the Home Office. She also advises on applications for EEA nationals and non-EEA family members. Maliniís personal clients include celebrities and high-net worth individuals and she represents religious organisations.

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James Vaughan

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Paralegal

Practice: UK Immigration

James is a paralegal in the UK immigration team in London. He assists with a range of immigration and nationality applications, for both corporate clients, including start-up businesses to multi-national companies, and high net worth individuals.

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Matthew Wills

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Solicitor

Practice: UK Immigration

Matthew is a solicitor in London and has practised UK immigration and nationality law since 2010. Matthew has experience in a range of applications under the Points Based System, including Tier 2 sponsor licence applications. He provides support for SMEs through to large multi-nationals on a range of immigration solutions and on their compliance obligations. Matthew also advises on Tier 1 (Investor) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) applications for high net worth individuals, including applications submitted on a discretionary basis. He is experienced in settlement and naturalisation applications, assists with family immigration matters and advises on applications for EEA nationals and non-EEA family members. He has been actively involved in appeals made to the First Tier Tribunal on applications for discretionary leave to remain in the UK made under Article 8 ECHR and applications for judicial review.

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Simon Amos

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Knowledge Management Assistant

Practice: UK Immigration

After graduating in Law from Exeter university in 2014 Simon joined LDS. He is the firm's Knowledge Management Assistant.

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