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Corporate Immigration 2016: Analysis

Featuring 637 of the world’s leading practitioners across 43 jurisdictions and 384 law firmsWho's Who Legal: Corporate Immigration 2016 is a one-stop shop for the global corporate immigration legal market.

The highly specialised nature of the market means that it is mainly composed of boutique law firms with relatively few full-service firms ranking among the most prominent in our research. The field is led by global immigration powerhouse Fragomen, with fellow global immigration service provider Berry Appleman & Leiden ranking second in our listings.

Seyfarth Shaw, Foster, Wolfsdorf Rosenthal, Maggio Kattar Nahajzer & Alexander, and Miller Mayer are among the most prominent immigration specialists in the highly competitive US market. Meanwhile, Kingsley Napley leads the immigration outfits in the UK.

We also recommend the top 10 practitioners both inside and outside the US in this section.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
North America
Bernard Wolfsdorf Wolfsdorf Rosenthal, Santa Monica
Cyrus Mehta Cyrus D  Mehta & Partners, New York
Ronald Klasko Klasko Immigration Law Partners, Philadelphia
Charles Kuck Kuck Immigration Partners, Atlanta
William Stock Klasko Immigration Law Partners, Philadelphia
Angelo Paparelli Seyfarth Shaw, Los Angeles
Stephen Yale-Loehr Miller Mayer, Ithaca
Gregory Siskind Siskind Susser, Memphis
Ira Kurzban Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli and Pratt, Miami
Carl Shusterman Law Offices of Carl Shusterman, Los Angeles
Rest of the World
Enrique Arellano Enrique  Arellano Rincón Abogados, Mexico City
Marco Mazzeschi Mazzeschi – Corporate Immigration and Citizenship Law, Milan
Laura Devine Laura  Devine Solicitors, London
Kehrela Hodkinson Hodkinson Law Group, London
Karl Waheed Karl Waheed Avocats, Paris
Gunther Mävers michels.pmks, Cologne
Eugene Chow Chow King & Associates, Hong Kong
Poorvi Chothani LawQuest, Mumbai
Liam Schwartz Liam Schwartz & Associates, Ramat Gan
Maria Celebi Bener Law Office, Istanbul

With corporate immigration at the heart of its practice, Fragomen continues to dominate our research achieving a total of 37 nominations in this edition. Five impressive individuals from the firm’s Atlanta office gain recognition including Daryl Buffenstein, a "sensational practitioner", whose work on key pieces of immigration legislation has earned him an "enviable reputation in the market". Kevin Miner is a "standout lawyer" who is admired for his "invaluable legislative experience" in the field, having previously worked alongside the US House and Senate Judiciary Committees on drafting immigration legislation. They are joined by the "quick and decisive" Deborah Marlowe, who is "a cut above the rest" when it comes to dealing with immigration-related compliance and regulation matters. Kyle Sherman's "exceptional handling of complex immigration cases" has led sources to commend him as a "truly superb lawyer". The "incredibly bright" Karen Winarsky is highly regarded for her "quick grasp of complex issues", and has experience in the field across a range of industries including entertainment, information technology, and insurance.

Washington-based Bo Cooper leads the firm’s government strategies and compliance group. He is a "distinguished player" in the market and is commended for his "sharp intellect" and "creative approach to cases". Alongside him, Daniel Brown's expertise in immigration compliance and enforcement issues is "second to none", as is his counsel which clients describe as "insightful and astute”. Known for his "prestigious practice", Andrew Greenfield is considered among peers as "a leading light in US immigration law", and regularly advises US and global organisations on M&A-related immigration issues. Brenda Oliver continues to impress with her "tremendous understanding of US immigration law" and "first-rate legal practice".

In New York, founding partner Austin Fragomen Jr is a "major leader in the immigration legal market", and is praised for his "unrivalled experience" testifying before a range of immigration authorities. Michael Patrick runs an "excellent immigration practice" and is renowned for his "strong expertise" advising on risk management for global immigration programmes. Ellen Yost is a "greatly respected practitioner" and is known for her "unparalleled expertise" dealing with Canadian immigration law. Known as an "incredibly talented lawyer", Ethan Kaufman continues to provide "legal advice of the highest quality" concerning immigration matters such as non-immigrant and immigrant visas, compliance concerns and immigration program management.

Steven Ladik is one of four leading lawyers based in Texas. He is "a powerhouse of knowledge" when it comes to sports immigration matters, and is known for his "stellar practice". He is joined by Kristi Taylor, an "exceedingly knowledgeable and responsive individual" who wins praise for her "innovative counsel". Known as a "truly remarkable lawyer", Paige Taylor continues to deliver "insightful and intuitive legal counsel on immigration practices" to multinational corporations from a variety of sectors, including telecommunications, energy and engineering. "Rising star" Christi Hufford Jackson continues to make waves as she is recognised for her "effective counsel" on intra-company transfers, treaty investors, and non-immigrant petitions and applications.

The firm also has a strong presence in California. Cynthia Lange is a "consummate expert" in tech-related immigration matters, and is described by clients as a "real asset ". Mitch Wexler is renowned for his "no-nonsense approach" to immigration cases. He is revered for the "business-oriented and commercially minded solutions" that he delivers to clients across a range of industries including technology, pharmaceutical and construction. The "eminent" Peter Loewy is a "leading figure in the field" and is internationally renowned for his "extensive immigration experience". Primarily based in Silicon Valley, the "fabulous" Rodney Malpert is renowned for his "invaluable experience" dealing with business-related immigration matters.

In New Jersey, managing partner of the firm’s international practice group Lance Kaplan is a "fiercely intelligent lawyer", and is known for his "intricate knowledge" of country-specific immigration matters. Gwendolyn Robosson is a "top-notch practitioner" with a "brilliant reputation" dealing with M&A and takeover-related immigration issues. Jane Goddard runs an "acclaimed international immigration practice" and is a "true star" in the field.

Chicago-based Michael Turansick is a "firm favourite" when it comes to M&A and corporate restructuring immigration matters. He is regarded among peers as a "great tactician", while in Boston the “terrific” Lawrence Bastone is a "force to be reckoned with" when it comes to US immigration law. The Phoenix office is represented by the "accomplished" Bonnie Gibson, who is known for her "tremendous understanding of complex immigration-related compliance issues".

In Mexico, Rodrigo Salgado Moreno is a "distinguished player" in the Mexican immigration legal market, and gains recognition for his "comprehensive and detailed advice". There is "no-one better" than Juan Carlos Aguilar Noble when it comes to strategic immigration planning for multinational companies in Mexico, which has led him to be regarded as a "definite inclusion on any list". Costa Rica-based Federico Solis is "technically excellent", and is very highly regarded for his "stellar Latin American and Caribbean immigration practice".

The firm boasts a particularly strong presence in Asia-Pacific. In the Sydney office, regional managing partner for Asia-Pacific, Robert Walsh, runs a "first-class practice" and is, according to clients, an "incredibly resourceful and creative practitioner". Alex Paterson is renowned for her "vast international experience" and is "highly sought after" for South East Asia-related immigration advice. Shanghai-based Becky Xia is "incredibly well versed in Chinese immigration law" leading many to regard her as a "consummate expert in the field", while in Singapore, the "revered" Mark Buchanan is extremely well regarded in the market, most notably for his "encyclopaedic knowledge of Asia-Pacific immigration laws".

The London office is represented by Charlotte Slocombe who is "one of the best in the market", and wins praise for her "excellent attention to detail". Alongside her, Caron Pope is a "true expert in the field of UK immigration", and is admired by sources for her "resolute focus and astute legal mind".

In Zurich, clients "wouldn’t hesitate to recommend" Dirk Nuyts who garners praise for his "hands-on and creative approach to cases".

Immigration giant Berry Appleman & Leiden achieves an impressive 16 listings this year, six of which hail from the firm’s “first-rate” San Francisco practice. The “internationally renowned” Warren Leiden possesses vast experience in corporate immigration matters, and is regarded among peers as a “stand-out name” in the field. Founding partner David Berry practises both US and global immigration, and is, according to clients, an “extremely talented lawyer”. Larry Drumm is known for his extensive federal agency experience, and is commended for his “first-class” work on business immigration law, policy and regulation.

In Virginia, the “terrific” Michelle Funk focuses her practice on business immigration matters, and particularly specialises in H-1B visas, PERM applications and J-1 interested government agency waivers. Liane Cooney regularly advises on both immigrant and non-immigrant business visa issues, and is “among the top players” in the field of US immigration law.

Washington, DC-based Lynden Melmed is renowned for his “invaluable experience” in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government, and is considered by peers as a “top-tier practitioner”. In Texas, the “brilliant” Shawn Orme co-manages the firm’s global migration practice, and is recognised for his “diligent and strategic approach to cases”.

Managing director of the firm’s São Paolo and Rio de Janeiro offices, Daniela Lima is the “go-to lawyer” regarding Brazilian immigration law, while the “extremely talented” Emily King leads the office in London, and runs a “superb international immigration practice”.

Texas-based firm Foster, also performs strongly this year, with 11 nominations. Chairman of the firm Charles Foster is an “all-time great” in the field of immigration law, and gains recognition for his “distinguished practice”. Robert Loughran is a “top name” in the Austin office, and is known for his “straightforward and pragmatic advice”. Alongside him, the “incredibly knowledgeable” Ryan Chargois wins praise for his “calm and measured approach”. In Houston, Judy Lee is “head and shoulders above the rest” when it comes to intricate and complex immigration cases, while José Pérez is “a pleasure to work with”, and gains recognition for his “tremendous understanding” of US immigration policy.

Although primarily based in the US, Seyfarth Shaw’s immigration group provides “first-rate” international immigration services to clients, and achieves 10 listings this year. The “accomplished” Angelo Paparelli is “extremely well known in the field”, and has extensive experience dealing with M&A-related immigration issues. Sharon Cook Poorak has over 27 years of experience in immigration law, and possesses “intricate knowledge” of PERM, I140 and I485 issues. Dyann DelVecchio Hilbern is described as a “fantastic practitioner” by clients, who include educational institutions, corporations and non-profit organisations. The “remarkable” Russell Swapp co-chairs the firm’s national immigration practice group, and has experience representing multinational corporations, and financial, academic and medical institutions. Co-chair of the business immigration practice group James King is “well versed” in supporting clients with their global immigration needs.

Managing partner of Wolfsdorf Rosenthal, Bernard Wolfsdorf is a "famed practitioner" in the field of immigration law, and is known for his "outstanding work" relating to complex immigration matters. He is joined by Avi Friedman, whose expertise regarding non-immigrant visa applications is “second to none”. Cliff Rosenthal is considered a “true authority” in business, entertainment, and family immigration matters.

At his own firm, the "truly sensational" Cyrus Mehta is "one of the best in the world" when it comes to dealing with complex international corporate immigration issues. Alongside him, Cora-Ann Pestaina is known for her "sharp mind and intellect" and is commended for providing "tailored advice to clients' needs".

At Klasko Immigration Law Partners, founding member and managing partner Ronald Klasko is one of the most highly regarded lawyers in our research this year. He is considered to be a “true authority” on immigration law, and is praised as an “incredibly intelligent individual”. William Stock is a "leading authority" in the field of immigration law, and is considered to be "in a league of his own" when it comes to advising multinational and domestic corporations in business immigration matters.

Miller Mayer is represented by six leading immigration specialists, including Stephen Yale-Loehr, whose 30 years of experience in immigration law makes him a “true asset to clients”. Managing partner of the firm’s EB-5 group, Carolyn Lee is considered a “real expert” on EB-5-related immigration matters.

At Kuck Immigration Partners, managing partner Charles Kuck is regarded as an "excellent lawyer", and is well known for his "highly experienced and client-focused" practice. Dustin Baxter is a “superstar” in the field, and focuses his practice on US immigration and nationality law.

Gregory Siskind at Siskind Susser is a “powerhouse of knowledge”, and boasts a “great reputation” in the market. Four additional names are recommended at the firm demonstrating its strong foothold in the Tennessee market.

At Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli and Pratt, Ira Kurzban is regarded as “one of the most formidable immigration lawyers in the country”, and wins praise for his “exceptional practice”. He is one of three lawyers highlighted at the firm.

At his own firm, the “fantastic” Carl Shusterman is known for his “incredible depth of expertise” in the field. Elahe Najfabadi is known for her “flexibility and creativity” and runs a “well-respected” immigration practice.

At Enrique  Arellano Rincón Abogados, Enrique Arellano boasts an "unrivalled reputation" within the legal market as a "bona fide expert in Mexican immigration law". In Peru, Ariel Orrego-Villacorta at Barrios y Fuentes Abogados “really knows his stuff” when it comes to immigration law, and is known for his “excellent practice”. At Veirano Advogados, Maria Luisa Soter da Silveira provides “world-class counsel” to Brazilian and multinational companies on their business immigration issues. Emdoc is represented by the “esteemed” Carolina Garutti whose clients praise her for her “high-quality legal practice”. She is joined by Renê Ramos, who also garners inclusion this year.

According to sources, Marco Mazzeschi at his own firm is "undoubtedly the leading immigration lawyer in Italy", and is renowned for his "impressive depth of expertise in the field". With a "market-leading reputation", Laura Devine of Laura  Devine Solicitors is commended for her "extremely reliable and distinguished" transatlantic immigration practice. Alongside her in London, Sophie Barrett-Brown is "in a class of her own" when it comes to UK immigration law, and is known for her "intricate knowledge" of the points-based system, while in the US Anastasia Tonello boasts a "great reputation" among peers, and wins praise for her "tremendous depth of expertise".

At Hodkinson Law Group, the “impressive” Kehrela Hodkinson represents both corporate and individual clients in relation to temporary and employment and family-based permanent visa applications. In France, “there is no-one better” than Karl Waheed, whose expertise in French immigration law is “simply legendary”. At michels.pmks, Gunther Mävers is an "outstanding practitioner" and is considered to be one of the "top corporate immigration specialists" in Germany.

At Chow King & Associates, Eugene Chow is a "top-notch practitioner", known for his "unrivalled experience" dealing with US and Hong Kong immigration law. In India, the “wonderful” Poorvi Chothani at LawQuest provides clients with “intuitive” and “effective” advice. Matthew Amoils at ASG Immigration is an “outstanding attorney”, who according to clients is “widely respected” in the field for his UK and US-focused immigration practice. Yoshio Shimoda, chairman of ILS Shimoda Office, is recognised as a "leading authority" on Japanese immigration law. At Diamond Conway, Arnold Conyer gains recognition for his “exceptional abilities” as a leading immigration practitioner.

At his own firm, the “world-renowned” Liam Schwartz specialises in US and Israeli immigration law, advising both corporate and private clients. Alongside him, Shanni Alexandrovitz also garners inclusion this year, and focuses on visas relating to extraordinary ability employees, investors and entertainers. Maria Celebi at Bener Law Office is a “top immigration lawyer”, and is recognised for the “practical immigration strategies” that she delivers to clients. Johannesburg-based Chris Watters, at his own firm, is highly regarded for his “strong expertise” in South African immigration and refugee law.

At Kan-Tor & Acco, Tsvi Kan-Tor runs a “fantastic global corporate relocation practice” and is regarded as a “highly acclaimed lawyer”. Amit Acco boasts an “impressive reputation” as an expert in Israeli immigration law, and is a “key player in the market”. Head of the firm’s US department Cindy  Azoulay has over 15 years of experience focusing on US immigration matters, and is known for her “excellent” work with small businesses, start-ups and publicly traded organisations. The “incredibly smart” Yoav Noy gains recognition for his “outstanding work” concerning Israeli immigration law.

At Fakhoury Law Group, managing director Rami Fakhoury is a "well-reputed name" in the market, and is described by clients as a "highly skilled practitioner". Joel Stewart at the firm is also recognised this year.

Sidley Austin is represented by the "quick-thinking" Timothy Payne who leads the firm’s immigration practice. He "always goes above and beyond for a client", and is known for his "effective counsel" on US immigration policy and compliance matters. Alongside him, Marketa Lindt is an "unmatched problem-solver" and is "always in high demand" for counsel on US and multinational business immigration visa programs.

At Myers Thompson, Howard Myers III is "simply excellent", and his extensive representative experience "makes him a true asset to clients", while the "incredibly strong" Elizabeth Ann Thompson is a "top-notch immigration lawyer", regarded by peers as an "intra-company transfers specialist".

At Peng & Weber, Cletus Weber is a "font of knowledge" when it comes to dealing with specific areas of US immigration law such as EB-5 investment visas; according to clients, he is a "terrific practitioner". The "stunningly good" Elizabeth Peng is "a top choice" for clients, who praise her "strong experience" dealing with EB-5 cases.

At her own firm, Jacqueline Bart runs a "highly accomplished" immigration practice, and delivers "comprehensive counsel" to clients. The "brilliant" Henry Chang, at Blaney McMurtry, is known for his "detailed and pragmatic approach" to US and Canadian immigration cases. Admired for his "bespoke immigration practice", Kevin Lashus at Jackson Lewis in Texas is considered a "truly remarkable practitioner". At Moore & Van Allen, Stephen Hader is a "formidable figure" in the US immigration market, and is known for his "excellent attention to detail". President of Borene Law Firm, Scott Borene is an "incredibly resourceful" practitioner who possesses "vast experience" in the field of immigration law, particularly relating to the scientific and healthcare industries. Jonelle Ocloo at her own firm is a "star individual" and "really excels" in the US employment-based immigration sphere.

In the UK, the "fantastic" Graeme Kirk at Gross & Co heads the firm’s immigration department, and is described by sources as an "invaluable lawyer", particularly in relation to matters regarding the points-based system.

At Kingsley Napley, Andrew Tingley is a "sensational practitioner" who wins praise for his "expert handling of sensitive and complex cases". He is joined by the "hugely respected" Elspeth Guild, who is a "bona fide expert" when it comes to European immigration matters. Ilda de Sousa is an "incredibly insightful lawyer" who wins praise for her "tremendous understanding of UK immigration law". Nicolas Rollason is "a consummate expert" when it comes to EU immigration law, and is commended for his "insightful and pragmatic counsel".

At his own firm, Chris Magrath boasts an "enviable reputation" among peers who admire his extensive experience, which makes him a "real asset to clients". Ben Sheldrick is regarded as an "extremely effective practitioner" and is known for his "first-rate strategic immigration planning" for large organisations. Kerry Hough is also recommended at the firm.

Roger Gherson runs an "extremely successful practice" at his own firm, and wins praise for his "boundless knowledge" of business immigration matters. At PricewaterhouseCoopers, Julia Onslow-Cole is recognised for her "impressive and focused" practice and is a "prominent figure" in the global immigration market. The "esteemed" Anjali Greenwell at EY provides "superb" advice to clients on global compliance in the immigration field, while at Deloitte, Jurga McCluskey is recognised as a "commercially astute" practitioner, known for her "efficient handling" of UK immigration cases. At Wright Hassall, Matthew Davies is known for his “exceptional practice” that provides “pragmatic solutions” to clients on UK business and employment-related immigration matters. At his own firm, the "marvellous" Wesley Gryk is known for the "high-profile" nature of many of his cases, and impresses clients with his "direct and pragmatic approach".

Ana Garicano of Sagardoy Abogados is "one of the top immigration lawyers in Spain" and is known as a "very experienced and solutions-oriented" practitioner. At Bojorge & Associates, Marla Vanessa Bojorge Zúñiga is considered to be "an incredibly talented practitioner" and wins praise for "her invaluable international expertise". In the Netherlands, the "extraordinary" Jelle Kroes is "in high demand" thanks to his "impressive reputation" in the European immigration market. Sander Groen is also recommended at Kroes Advocaten.

At Everaert Advocaten, Ted Badoux is described as a "naturally gifted lawyer" who garners praise for the "detailed and clear advice" he delivers to clients, while Marcel Reurs is "a must for inclusion" and is recognised as an "insightful" and "user-friendly" lawyer. Switzerland-based Rayan Houdrouge at Lenz & Staehelin is "world-class ", according to clients, and runs a "dedicated and professional" immigration practice.

Masahito Nakai from Nakai Immigration Services is "a big name" in the Japanese immigration market, and is praised for his ability to "untangle even the most complex of issues". In Buenos Aires, Gabriela Vivanco Salvador of Vivanco & Vivanco enjoys a "stellar reputation" in the Argentinian immigration market, and is known for her "impressive ability to always get to the heart of an issue".

In Australia, Anne O'Donoghue is a "truly wonderful lawyer" who wins praise for her "excellent client service" and "great commercial acumen". At Holding Redlich, Maria Jockel is a "great strategist" who "commands great respect" for her previous experience in government service. At his own firm, Andrew Cope is a "leading authority" on Australian immigration law, and is known for his "unsurpassed expertise" in the field. New Zealand-based David Ryken at Ryken & Associates is a "major player" in the Asia-Pacific immigration field and is revered by clients for his "considered" and "succinct" advice.

Based in Nigeria, Chris Omoruyi is renowned for his "complete knowledge" of inbound and outbound African immigration law, which earns him a "superb reputation" in the market. Paa Kwesi Hagan, from Ghanaian firm Globetrotters Legal Services, is a "brilliant practitioner" who provides "high-quality" and "insightful" legal counsel to clients. 

Adam Green is widely considered to be an “authority” on immigration matters. Clients turn to him for his “expert handling of complex issues” and “strong command of the law”. 

Mastmann is a “go-to” in Germany among national and international companies engaged in the global transfer of personnel. She is “user friendly” and impresses with her “calm demeanour”.

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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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