Most Highly Regarded Firms: Corporate Immigration 2012

This year we recognise the leading corporate immigration firms selected for their expertise, representation and international presence.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Bernard Wolfsdorf Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group, Santa Monica
Angelo Paparelli Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Los Angeles
Ronald Klasko Klasko Rulon Stock & Seltzer LLP, Philadelphia
Daryl Buffenstein Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy LLP, Atlanta
Ira Kurzban Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli & Pratt PA, Miami
Stephen Yale-Loehr Miller Mayer LLP, Ithaca
Laura Devine Laura Devine Solicitors, London
Charles Kuck Kuck Immigration Partners LLC, Atlanta
William Stock Klasko Rulon Stock & Seltzer LLP, Philadelphia
Kehrela Hodkinson Hodkinson Law Group, London
Stephen Yale-Loehr Miller Mayer LLP, Ithaca
Liam Schwartz Liam Schwartz & Associates, Ramat Gan
Gregory Siskind Siskind Susser, Memphis
Marco Mazzeschi Mazzeschi – Corporate Immigration and Citizenship Law, Milan
Eugene Chow Chow King & Associates, Wanchai
Gunther Mävers Mütze Korsch Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH, Cologne

Fragomen enjoys 27 listings in 14 jurisdictions, demonstrating the truly global nature of the firm’s expertise. Its biggest showing is in New York where Austin Fragomen Jr chairs the firm and is an “excellent” spokesman for the immigration practice. Ethan Kaufman has over 20 years of experience in this area. Michael Patrick is “a top guy”, reflected in the many international votes he received. He advises on all aspects of the sector, with an emphasis on risk management for global immigration programs. Ellen Yost is “very good” and concentrates on Canadian-American immigration matters under the North American Free Trade Agreement.

In California, David Hirson, Cynthia Lange and Peter Loewy are all seasoned immigration experts and enjoy outstanding reputations. Hirson acts for Fortune 500 companies, co-manages the firm’s Irvine office and chairs the firm’s consular practice. Lange is the managing partner of the North California practice and advises major clients in the high technology field, and Loewy is a prolific author in the area and a spokesman for the firm. Other notable lawyers include Andrew Greenfield in Washington, DC, Michael Turansick in Chicago, Scott Cooper in Michigan and two further listings in Arizona.

Fragomen benefitted from the lateral hire of 16 partners from Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP in April 2012, including Bo Cooper in Washington, DC. An “excellent” federal law and policy lawyer, he is a former general counsel of the Immigration and Naturalisation Service, and puts his government experience to use by advising clients looking to enter the US, as well as on internal strategy and lobbying. Prior to entering private practice, Daniel Brown held a number of senior positions within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including director of the Office of Policy and Planning at US Immigration and Customs Enforcement. His focus is on counselling business clients on enforcement and compliance matters.

In Atlanta, further leading lights include the “terrific” Daryl Buffenstein who is “essential” to any business resource planning. He is among the most highly regarded lawyers in this year’s research. Kyle Sherman is “really very good” as a compliance focused adviser. Deborah Marlowe is “a must” for inclusion and Kevin Miner advises on business planning, compliance and immigration regulations in the technology, manufacturing and financial services industries. Karen Winarsky is “good”, with a particular expertise in the broadcast and entertainment, information technology, manufacturing and insurance industries.

Outside the US, Caron Pope is a “big player” in the UK market and has built a practice based on compliance, private client and investor relocation work. Former London managing partner, Alex Paterson now leads the West Australia practice from Perth where she focuses on assisting companies with immigration requirements, sponsorship obligations and government lobbying, among other matters. She is joined by the manager of the Australia and New Zealand practices Robert Walsh, who has extensive advisory experience in the mining and natural resources sectors. Becky Xia leads the China practice and combines management with a specialised immigration practice assisting multinational companies in the software, retail and manufacturing industries. In Singapore, Mark Buchanan oversees the firm’s Asia practice and provides consultation on developing and implementing internal programmes for regional clients.

The firm extends its reach into Latin America with its Costa Rica office, overseen by Federico Solis. He is the partner responsible for the Latin American and Caribbean regions and advises on compensation, social security plans and employment law.

In the research this year, Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP boasts a pan-American presence, fielding ten lawyers from four states. In California, founding partners Jeff Appleman and David Berry are “definite” inclusions, and Warren Leiden is praised for his running of the San Francisco office. Appleman is known for seminal cases such as Mindseye v INS and Berry is “very very good” and experienced in advising clients in the technology and internet sectors. Grace Hoppin is “excellent” and Jet Stigter advises employers on strategic planning and the nuances of European, Asian and American immigration law. In Washington, DC, Lynden Melmed received many votes for his federal practice and experience as chief counsel of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services within the DHS.

In Texas, managing partner of the Dallas office Steven Ladik is “one of the best in the country”, and comes highly recommended in our research, as is Shawn Orme, managing partner of the Houston office and co-manager of the global immigration practice. He has acted for clients in a range of matters, such as immigration-related M&A. Paige Taylor has earned a strong reputation for her experience advising clients in the telecommunication, technology, engineering and electronics industries. The firm is also represented in Virginia by Michelle Funk who advises within the health-care, IT and financial services sectors.

Bernie Wolfsdorf at Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group leads an internationally renowned practice with six lawyers in California and New York in this year’s edition. He is the most highly regarded corporate immigration lawyer of 2012 and received the greatest number of votes in the research overall. He is simply “outstanding”. Also from that firm is the “excellent” Avi Friedman and entertainment immigration specialist Cliff Rosenthal.

KIasko Rulon Stock & Seltzer LLP fields four lawyers in this edition and two earn a place on the most highly regarded list. In Philadelphia, managing partner and former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, Ronald Klasko has practised exclusively in this area for over 30 years. William Stock appears for a range of clients in federal immigration-related litigation and enforcement actions.

Angelo Paparelli at Seyfarth Shaw LLP is a “big name” in the field. He serves as a consultant in California and New York, and acts as an expert witness on complex immigration matters, such as compliance audits and restructurings. He is one of our most highly regarded lawyers. Also from that firm is Dyann DelVecchio in Boston, who assists entertainers and athletes in obtaining visas.

Founder of Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli & Pratt PA, Ira Kurzban has been consistently recognised in our research as a top player for a number of years. His immigration and naturalisation litigation practice continues to recommend him for inclusion in the research. Alongside him in Florida is Helena Tetzeli, an experienced immigration litigator with over 20 years in practice.

At Miller Mayer LLP, three names stand out as leaders in the field; Stephen Yale-Loehr concentrates on immigration investor work and legislative lobbying and is a “dean of immigration law”. Carolyn Lee’s practice centres on investor visas principally in the financial services industry and Hilary Fraser represents highly trained professionals in the academic, manufacturing and engineering sectors.

At Siskind Susser in Memphis, Gregory Siskind is one of the most highly regarded lawyers worldwide, a reflection of the high esteem in which he is held by his local and international peers. He is “first-rate”. Also featuring in the edition is the “superb” Lynn Susser and “brilliant” Karen Weinstock.

At the recently expanded Kuck Immigration Partners LLC, Charles Kuck is managing partner of the firm, and assists employers and employees with visas, labour certifications, consular representation and citizenship matters.

In London, Laura Devine of Laura Devine Solicitors is one of the country’s leading immigration specialists and a “real star”. She is very highly praised by peers from Europe and North America for her “fantastic practice”, and is one of the most highly regarded lawyers in the research. Her team includes the “extremely good” Sophie Barrett-Brown, who is head of the UK practice and an investor and private client expert, and Paul Samartin, the head of the US practice in London. Head of the US practice in New York, Anastasia Tonello focuses on compliance matters.

At her own boutique firm, Kehrela Hodkinson is “the cream of the crop” for her practice centred on US law catering to the academic and educational fields. At Mazzeschi – Corporate Immigration and Citizenship Law, Marco Mazzeschi provides immigration services to inbound and outbound corporate clients in Italy, and has been recognised repeatedly as one of the most highly regarded lawyers in this practice area, as has Gunther Mävers of Mütze Korsch Rechtsanwaltsgesellschaft mbH in Cologne, who advises a range of US clients as well as those in the IT industry on immigration and labour issues.

Further afield, Liam Schwartz of his own firm is a leading immigration specialist in Ramat Gan, Israel. He is at the “pinnacle” of the field and earns a place among the most highly regarded corporate immigration lawyers of 2012. He deals with US-Israeli intra-company transfers and adjudications for skilled workers and their families, as does Shanni Alexandrovitz, who leads the US practice.

In Wanchai, “one of the best” for immigration within and beyond the Asia region is Eugene Chow of Chow King & Associates. He represents business investors in acquiring appropriate visas or permanent residence in the US and Hong Kong, as well as of corporate clients wishing to employ or transfer key personnel on employment visas. In Asia, “it is difficult to find a service of his calibre and quality, as well as timely delivery”, according to one client. He completes the list of our most highly regarded corporate immigration lawyers of 2012.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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