Most Highly Regarded Firms: Corporate Immigration 2011

Our research identifies 423 lawyers as leaders in the field worldwide, hailing from 32 countries. Here we provide further analysis of how the best law firms have performed in the research.

Most highly regarded individuals
Bernard P Wolfsdorf Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group, Santa Monica
H Ronald Klasko Klasko Rulon Stock & Seltzer LLP, Philadelphia
Angelo A Paparelli Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Los Angeles
William Stock Klasko Rulon Stock & Seltzer LLP, Philadelphia
Cyrus D Mehta Cyrus D Mehta & Associates PLLC, New York
Greg Siskind Siskind Susser, Memphis
Laura Devine Laura Devine Solicitors, London
Ira Kurzban Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli & Pratt PA, Miami
Stephen Yale-Loehr Miller Mayer LLP, Ithaca
Warren Leiden Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP, San Francisco
Kehrela Hodkinson Hodkinson Law Group, London
Liam Schwartz Liam Schwartz & Associates, Ramat Gan
Eugene Chow Chow King & Associates, Wanchai
Marco Mazzeschi Mazzeschi – Corporate Immigration and Citizenship Law, Milan
Josie Gonzalez Gonzalez & Harris PC, Pasadena

Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy LLP once again garners a greater number of featured experts than any other firm in our worldwide research. Eighteen lawyers received enough recommendations to be selected, and with representations from 14 of the firm’s offices in seven countries its international strength is clear. At their head, Austin Fragomen in New York is a “legend in the field”, and served as staff counsel to the US House of Representatives subcommittee on immigration, citizenship and international law. Cynthia Lange is “one of the leading experts in California” and leads the firm’s high-tech practice, while Michael Turansick in Chicago is a “trusted adviser” to clients and “highly respected” by his peers. Michael Patrick is regarded as a “go-to guy” for compliance and risk management matters. Outside the US, Alex Paterson is managing partner of the firm’s London office and a “leading authority in the UK”, while Owen Davies occupies a similarly elevated position in the South African market. The firm is regarded as “pre-eminent in the Asia Pacific region”, in part due to the high esteem in which Robert Walsh, managing partner of the firm’s Australian practice, is held. Alongside him, Mark Buchanan in Singapore is regarded as “outstanding”. In Shanghai, Becky Xia gives the firm a valuable presence in China, and she has assisted multinational clients from a range of industries to obtain work permits and residence permits for more than 10,000 employees in all provinces of the country. The firm’s market-leading contingent is completed by the inclusion of Federico Solis in Costa Rica. Global partner responsible for the Latin American and Caribbean region, he is “widely recognised” for his skills in this area.

Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP matches Fragomen’s contingent of 12 US-based nominees selected for inclusion. Warren Leiden is recognised as “one of the leading figures in the field worldwide”, and appears alongside three further nominees from San Francisco including his two fellow name partners. David Berry is managing partner of the firm’s global migration practice and a “trusted adviser” to HR professionals around the world, while Jeff Appleman is renowned for his work in this field, including in the Mindseye v INS case which expanded the definition of the term “professional” in relation to H1-B visa petitions. The firm is strong in Atlanta, where Daryl Buffenstein in particular is said to be an “essential inclusion in any list of the best”, with clients citing him as “terrific; he has character, dignity and is extremely skilled”. Steven Ladik is “one of the finest lawyers in Texas” and is one of three featured nominees from the state, and the inclusion of further colleagues from the McLean and Washington DC offices further underline the firm’s strength in this area.

FosterQuan LLP sees its listing grow to seven in this edition. All are based in Texas, with name partners Charles Foster and Gordon Quan described as “legends in the field”. Robert Loughran was also commended to researchers as a “top-tier practitioner”.

Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group is one of the leading corporate immigration law firms in the United States. Bernard Wolfsdorf is the most highly rated corporate immigration lawyer in the world once again and received more votes than any other individual. Immediate past president of AILA, he is “hugely impressive” in the eyes of his peers and regarded as being “at the pinnacle of the profession”. Avi Friedman is “first-class for consular work”, while Tien-Li Loke Walsh is “outstanding”. Lisa Yu and Cliff Rosenthal complete a very strong contingent from the firm’s Santa Monica office, and this strength is complemented by the inclusion of the “excellent” Naveen Rahman Bhora in New York.

Greenberg Traurig LLP sees five of its lawyers listed, with Laura Foote Reiff in Virginia particularly highly regarded for her legislative expertise. Martha Schoonover is “immensely well respected” for her work on temporary non-immigrant visas, labour certifications and permanent residence status. Dawn Lurie is also highly rated, and the firm expanded its presence in Texas with the hire of the “top-drawer” Kevin Lashus in late 2010.

Jackson & Hertogs LLP is one of the leading firms in California with five lawyers selected for inclusion. Ilana Drummond is managing partner and “of the very highest calibre”, and alongside her Norman Plotkin is feted for his “perceptive and effective counsel”. Atessa Chehrazi is a “wonderful” lawyer in the eyes of our sources, while Grace Hoppin is “very knowledgeable” and Daniel Horne is commended for his compliance work in particular.

The three selected nominees from Klasko Rulon Stock & Seltzer LLP are each extremely well regarded in this sector, and two appear in our selection of the leading figures in the practice area worldwide. H Ronald Klasko is “at the cutting edge of the immigration law”, while William Stock is “quite brilliant”. Suzanne Seltzer in New York stands out for her representation of academic institutions across the US.

Laura Devine Solicitors is home to four “world-class” practitioners. In London, head of the firm Laura Devine is one of the most highly respected individuals in our research overall and the leading figure in our UK research. Alongside her, Sophie Barrett-Brown is “fantastic” for the full range of business immigration matters and lobbying, and Paul Samartin’s advice to clients on immigration to the US is much sought after. Based in New York, Anastasia Tonello is extremely well known internationally for the quality of her US and UK immigration practice.

Magrath LLP is one of the leading firms in England and earns four listings in this year’s publication. Chris Magrath is “the don” in the words of one source, and an “established presence in the higher reaches of the practice”. Ben Sheldrick is a “very impressive operator who gets results”, and co-head of the firm’s UK immigration group Sharmila Mehta is also well known. Delphine Dervin’s global immigration expertise was recognised by our interviewees.

Also based in London, the US immigration practice of Kehrela Hodkinson at Hodkinson Law Group is “second to none” in the eyes of admiring interviewees. She is praised for her work on behalf of corporate and individual clients across the full spectrum of corporate immigration matters, and her counsel on maintaining permanent resident status and expatriation is much in demand.

Baker & McKenzie is another firm to garner four nominees, from four countries. Tony Haque in the London office is particularly highly rated, while the “impressive” Elizabeth Stern heads the firm’s global immigration and mobility group in Washington DC. Rita Chowdhury performs well in Australia, and Pamela Mafuz is listed for the first time in Madrid.

Green and Spiegel leads the Canadian research with four lawyers selected for inclusion from its Toronto office. Evan Green is “very talented” and praised for his Canadian and US immigration expertise, while Stephen Green and Shoshana Green were both repeatedly recommended for their work in all aspects of Canadian immigration law. Founding partner Mendel Green QC is widely recognised as a “dean of the bar”.

Stephen Yale-Loehr at Miller Mayer LLP in Ithaca, New York is one of the most highly regarded lawyers in the practice area worldwide. Described as “incredibly knowledgeable” and “fiercely intelligent”, he is joined by three further colleagues in this edition.

Gregory Siskind of Siskind Susser is regarded by his peers as “a real pleasure to work with, always ready to help”. He appears among the world’s leading practitioners in our research, and is joined by three further colleagues from the firm’s Memphis and Atlanta offices.

Based in Los Angeles, Angelo Paparelli of Seyfarth Shaw LLP is “one of the pillars of the corporate immigration bar” and respected by interviewees across the world. He was picked out for the full range of immigration matters, including in relation to M&A and as expert witness, and for his wide range of published work.

Cyrus D Mehta of Cyrus D Mehta & Associates PLLC in New York was described to researchers as “an incredible talent”. Recognised for his work across the full spectrum of immigration matters, “he is one of the names everyone looks up to” in the words of our sources.

In Miami, Ira Kurzban from Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli & Pratt PA is a “legend in the field” and past national president and former general counsel of AILA. He is particularly well known for his litigation work, including before the US Supreme Court.

Josie Gonzalez of Gonzalez & Harris PC in Pasadena, California appears for the first time among the most highly nominated individuals in our research overall. Described as “tenacious and hugely effective”, she represents employers in all types of immigration matters.

Liam Schwartz in Israel is “world-renowned” for the quality of his practice, with one nominee saying “I always look forward to working with him”. In Italy, Marco Mazzeschi is “very responsive” and rated as “head and shoulders above the rest”, while in London Nicolas Rollason of Kingsley Napley is “quite superb; the breadth and depth of his expertise really marks him out”.

Eugene Chow of Chow King & Associates in Hong Kong is highly recommended for his work representing investors in securing residence in the US and Hong Kong. Fluent in Chinese, he is a “fantastic ally to his clients”.

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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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