Legal Marketplace Analysis: Corporate Immigration 2014

Practitioners from firms of all sizes across the world have been selected for inclusion this year, reflecting the global scope and varied nature of the corporate immigration field. Within our research several firms stand out due to the high number of listings they achieve, with immigration giant Fragomen leading the way. The firm has lawyers from 19 of its offices around the globe singled out demonstrating its wide-reaching international presence. Following closely behind is Berry Appleman & Leiden, which has individuals from the US and Brazil recognised, and FosterQuan is also strongly represented in this edition.

We also select the 15 most highly regarded practitioners in the world who stand out for the depth of their expertise.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals
Lawyer Firm
Bernard Wolfsdorf Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group, Sanata Monica
Cyrus Mehta Cyrus  D Mehta & Associates PLLC, New York
Angelo Paparelli Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Los Angeles
Ronald Klasko Klasko Rulon Stock & Seltzer LLP, Philadelphia
Charles Kuck Kuck Immigration Partners LLC, Atlanta
Margaret Stock Cascadia Cross Border Law Group LLC, Anchorage
Ira Kurzban Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli and Pratt PA, Miami
Laura Devine Laura  Devine Solicitors, London
Eleanor Pelta Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Washington, DC
Gregory Siskind Siskind Susser, Memphis
Eugene Chow Chow King & Associates, Hong Kong
Marco Mazzeschi Mazzeschi – Corporate Immigration and Citizenship Law, Milan
Kehrela Hodkinson Hodkinson Law Group, London
Liam Schwartz Liam chwartz & Associates, Ramat Gan, Israel
Enrique Arellano Enrique  Arellano Rincón Abogados SC, Mexico City

Our research identifies 510 practitioners from 318 firms who truly stand out for their work. Both the number of firms and practitioners has increased this year, as shown by the chart below. Immigration remains one of the few fields to have such a diverse group of firms, with inclusions ranging from sole practitioners to boutiques through to full service firms. This variety reflects the different needs of clients who all still receive “top-notch” care and service from the practitioners listed below.

Immigration giant Fragomen unsurprisingly heads our list again, with 35 listings from around the globe. In New York, Austin Fragomen is a “senior statesman” in the field, and has testified before Congress and the immigration subcommittees of the House and Senate. Michael Patrick is “immensely talented” with decades of experience advising clients across a range of industries with an emphasis on risk management for global immigration programmes. Lance Kaplan works from the New Jersey office and is managing partner of the international practice group, overseeing the firm’s interests in non-US locations. He is a “well-known name” in the field, with “first-rate” capabilities.

The firm’s Atlanta office is well represented with five inclusions. The “terrific” Daryl Buffenstein has helped write key business provisions in immigration legislation over the years. Kevin Miner is also a “standout” figure and currently serves as vice-chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) liaison committee with the US Department of Labor, while Kyle Sherman advises clients on the implications of restructurings, downsizings and mergers and acquisitions. Michael Turansick is a “definite inclusion” and manages a practice that encompasses companies from start-ups to multinationals from the Chicago office, while Lawrence Bastone practises US federal immigration law from the firm’s Boston office.

In DC, Bo Cooper is one of four inclusions and provides strategic business immigration advice to clients including companies, hospitals and research institutions. Daniel Brown is a “recognised authority” and has represented employers before federal agencies on I-9 audits and investigations. In Phoenix Bonnie Gibson also has extensive I-9 and E-Verify experience and represents companies in immigration and customs enforcement proceedings.

The California office has three listings including Cynthia Lange who leads the firm’s high-tech practice. Her “outstanding” work has included setting up and managing worldwide immigration compliance programmes, particularly in the tech sector. Scott Cooper works from Michigan and counts working with Nobel and Field Prize scholars regarding visa matters among his representative experience.

In Texas, Christi Hufford Jackson’s practice focuses on applications for intracompany transfers, treaty investors and business visitors and is praised for being “extremely flexible and attentive in all cases she deals with”. New arrivals Paige Taylor and Steven Ladik are “among the best” and specialise in complex immigration matters for multinational clients.

Outside the US, Robert Walsh is the managing partner of Fragomen’s Australian and New Zealand practices and he is “well-known” for his experience advising companies in sectors such as oil and gas, telecommunications and financial services.

In London, Caron Pope is “highly respected” for her work in all categories of applications under the Points Based System. She has particular expertise in Tier 1 (Investor) applications with a profile in Eastern Europe and China. She is joined by colleague Charlotte Slocombe, the department head for the outbound team, who is considered an “excellent” practitioner.

Fragomen’s wide-reaching international presence means that the firm also has listings in countries such as China, Costa Rica and Switzerland. Federico Solis is the global partner responsible for the Latin America and the Caribbean region and is highly regarded for his “commercial acumen and business-focused approach”. Becky Xia leads the China practice, assisting multinationals and financial institutions with employment-based immigration and investor visas and is considered a “wonderful” lawyer according to sources.  Also based in Shanghai, Mark Buchanan is the firm’s partner for the Asia region providing “fantastic” immigration consultancy services. Dirk Nuyts assists Swiss and multinational clients with all aspects of their immigration requirements from the Zurich office and is “extremely knowledgeable” on European issues.

Berry Appleman & Leiden is another leading firm this year, with 12 listings across the US and Brazil. The California office is home to a number of “stars” including Warren Leiden who is also a counsel to the national steering committee of Compete America, the national business immigration coalition. Founding partner Jeff Appleman is well-known for his “first-class litigation skills” and has litigated in a number of cases including the landmark case of Mindseye v INS. Fellow founding partner David Berry is a “top-notch” lawyer who currently focuses on helping companies optimise their worldwide immigration programmes.

Managing partner of the Houston office Shawn Orme deals with the immigration-related aspects of corporate mergers and acquisitions and is a “highly deserving inclusion”.

Lynden Melmed divides his time between the Washington DC and Northern Virginia offices and has experience in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. He is considered an “expert” by many who also observe that he “definitely knows his stuff”.

In the Northern Virginia office, Liane Cooney’s practice covers both non-immigrant and immigrant business visa issues and she is a “dominant player” in the field. Michelle Funk advises clients on all aspects of the immigration process and enjoys a “great reputation”.

In Brazil, Daniela Lima is an “excellent attorney” and is the practice director and Latin American regional migration manager in the São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro offices.

Texas-based firm FosterQuan LLP has nine lawyers listed – an increase on last year. Robert Loughran is a “guru on processes” and is vice-chair of the State Bar of Texas Committee on Laws Relating to Immigration and Nationality. Charles Foster is a “fabulous” specialist with over 40 years’ experience in law. Gordon Quan is an “impressive figure” in the Texas field who enjoys a “stellar reputation”, along with Ryan Chargois whom sources describe as “truly amazing”. Gary Endelman is a “go-to” lawyer who has authored several hundred articles in leading immigration publications, including co-authoring a significant number with one of our most highly regarded individuals this year: Cyrus Mehta of Cyrus  D Mehta & Associates, who heads a “strong” practice in New York and is considered a “top immigration mind”.

For the fourth year running, Bernard Wolfsdorf of the Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group is our most highly regarded lawyer of the year. He is praised for “giving clients everything he has got” and “providing every single solution possible” and is the recipient of the AILA Service Excellence Award. Wolfsdorf Immigration Law Group also earns three further listings this year, including Sarah Baker who is “very knowledgeable of the ever-changing landscape of immigration law”. Avi Friedman is also “highly recommended” for his consular liaison and non-immigrant visa work. Cliff Rosenthal specialises in business and entertainment immigration and is “highly distinguished”.

Also in California, Angelo Paparelli is an “absolute legend” at Seyfarth Shaw where he is a partner in the business immigration practice group and has a wide-ranging immigration practice. According to sources he is a “great resource” on a number of complex immigration matters, and is among our most highly nominated practitioners. Sharon Cook Poorak works from the Atlanta office of Seyfarth Shaw and represents corporate clients in a wide variety of industries. In Boston, Dyann DelVecchio is “responsive and dedicated” according to sources and represents corporations, educational and research institutions.

In Philadelphia, Ronald Klasko at Klasko Rulon Stock & Seltzer is also a “super” practitioner who has practised immigration law exclusively for over three decades and is one of our most highly regarded this year. His firm also garners three further listings, with William Stock advising small and medium-sized companies as well as multinational corporations, and Elise Fialkowski who deals with employment-based immigration. Suzanne Seltzer heads the firm’s New York office and is described as “very bright”, known for her work with waiver petitions.

Managing partner of Kuck Immigration Partners in Atlanta, Charles Kuck is a “first-class immigration attorney”. He currently serves as president of the Alliance of Business Immigration lawyers and is one of our most highly nominated this year for his work on a variety of international migration matters.

Margaret Stock has done “phenomenal work” at Cascadia Cross Border Law Group in Anchorage, Alaska. She is particularly well versed on military-related immigration issues and has “really made a name for herself” in the field, demonstrated by her inclusion in our most highly regarded list this year. Greg Boos represents a broad spectrum of multinationals and international businesspeople and divides his time between the Vancouver and Bellingham offices of the firm.

Ira Kurzban is chair of the immigration department at Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli and Pratt in Florida. He is a “leading light” in the field and “wrote the definitive book on US immigration law” and his international reputation has earned him a feature on our most highly regarded list this year. John Patrick Pratt and Helena Tetzeli are also listed this year for their work on employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant petitions.

In London, Laura Devine is our most highly nominated European lawyer this year. Sources describe her as “committed” and “strongly endorse” her skills in the field. She heads her niche immigration firm Laura  Devine Solicitors and is also the UK representative of the International Bar Association Immigration Committee. Also featured in this year’s edition is Paul  Samartin, who is described as a “font of knowledge” on US/UK immigration matters. Sophie  Barrett-Brown is also a “brilliant” lawyer, noted for her “pragmatism and technical skills” with expertise on the points-based system and investor applications, along with Vanessa Ganguin who heads the appeals and refusals team. At the New York office Anastasia  Tonello is a “deserving inclusion”. She is managing partner of the office and serves as chair on the AILA department of state liaison committee.

At Morgan Lewis & Bockius in Washington DC, Eleanor Pelta’s “reputation precedes her”. She is well known for her “solutions-oriented approach” with particular expertise in high-volume employee transfers and makes our most highly regarded list. There are two further listings from Morgan Lewis & Bockius this year – also in Washington DC, Eric Bord’s practice emphasises compliance and risk management issues and James Vázquez-Azpiri is an expert on immigration law compliance in the context of mergers, acquisitions and corporate restructurings and works from the San Francisco office.

In Memphis, Gregory Siskind is an “authority” at Siskind Susser. Sources describe him as showing “great strategic thinking” and “able to identify opportunities and obstacles efficiently and effectively”; he is one of our most highly nominated lawyers. Siskind Susser has four further listings this year, including the “excellent” Lynn Susser and Ari Sauer who is also Mid-South chapter chair of AILA. 

In Hong Kong at Chow King & Associates Eugene Chow is internationally recognised as a “star” in the field. He is a “top-tier” practitioner who provides “excellent client service” for business investors dealing with US and Hong Kong immigration matters and makes our highly regarded list this year.

Marco Mazzeschi is the founder of boutique firm Mazzeschi – Corporate Immigration and Citizenship Law and the “number-one choice” in Italy. Based in Milan, he provides a complete immigration service and is praised for being “very quick to respond”.

Kehrela Hodkinson is a “highly rated” US immigration practitioner based in London at Hodkinson Law Group who also makes our list this year. She represents a broad range of corporate and individual clients and her practice covers a range of areas.

At Liam Schwartz & Associates in Israel, Liam Schwartz is “lauded” for his knowledge and abilities within the US consular processing area and once again earns a position as one of our most highly nominated lawyers. Shanni Alexandrovitz also features this year for her US visa practice management.

At Enrique Arellano Rincón Abogados, Enrique  Arellano is “the premier attorney” in Mexico and is among the most highly nominated. He is a “sharp” practitioner and a “great advocate”, according to our sources.






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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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