Corporate Immigration 2019: Analysis

We are delighted to present the latest edition of WWL: Corporate Immigration, featuring 627 practitioners from over 380 firms across 39 jurisdictions.

Those recognised are highlighted for their exceptional work advising domestic and international clients on a range of matters including visa applications, corporate immigration strategy, employee transfers, naturalisation of skilled workers and regulatory matters.

We also identify the most highly regarded individuals across EMEA, North America, Latin America and Asia-Pacific.


The Global Elite Thought Leaders are those individuals who received the highest number of nominations from peers, corporate counsel and other market sources this year. Our research has identified them as truly outstanding practitioners and the very best in their field.
Who's Who Legal does not list law firms, only individual lawyers. The leading firms are those in each region whose listed practitioners received the most total nominations in our research.


Global Elite Thought Leaders
1. Laura Devine Laura​ Devine Solicitors, London 
2. Nicolas Rollason  Kingsley Napley LLP, London 
3. Marco Mazzeschi  Corporate Immigration and Citizenship Law, Milan
4. Gunther Mävers  michels.pmks Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft mbB, Cologne
5. Philip Trott  Bates Wells Braithwaite, London 
6. Karl Waheed  Karl ​Waheed Avocats, Paris 
7. Sophie Barrett-Brown  Laura​ Devine Solicitors, London 
8. Jelle Kroes  Kroes Advocaten Immigration Lawyers, Amsterdam
9. Kehrela M Hodkinson Hodkinson Law Group, London 
10. Ilda de Sousa  Kingsley Napley LLP, London 

Leading Firms

Laura ​Devine Solicitors

This transatlantic immigration firm has a strong presence in the London market, and sees four lawyers recognised here.
Laura Devine is “a household name” in corporate immigration and “really stands out” for her “superb work” advising clients on US and UK immigration matters.
Sophie Barrett-Brown is “a great lawyer” who focuses on UK nationality and immigration law. One source says, “If I ever needed a UK immigration lawyer, she’s who I’d go to.”
Natasha Chell is well known in the UK market for her impressive work handling immigration and free movement matters for a range of clients, including multinational businesses and start-ups.
Christi Hufford Jackson is “a very knowledgeable and responsive lawyer”, recognised by sources for the “thorough and informative” counsel she delivers on sophisticated US immigration issues.  

Kingsley Napley

This UK-based firm is known for its first-class immigration group and sees five individuals recognised this year.
Global Elite Thought Leader Nicolas Rollason is “a main player” in the international immigration market. He is “exceptionally bright” and is recommended for his outstanding work advising companies on immigration and compliance matters.
Ilda de Sousa draws widespread praise from peers who consider her “an incredibly talented immigration expert” and note, “She always has a great grasp of the subject matter.”
Elspeth Guild is invariably recognised as a leader in the immigration field. She is praised highly by sources as “great on all things EU law”.
Marcia Longdon is “a tremendously personable and incredible lawyer”, vaunted for her deep understanding of EU and UK immigration law.
Kim Vowden adroitly handles a wide range of corporate immigration matters, including free movement law and sponsor applications. He is recognised for his “calm and detail-oriented approach”.

Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy

Three practitioners in the firm’s London office are highlighted in this edition.
Charlotte Slocombe is “a phenomenal lawyer” according to sources, who consider her a go-to name for US-related immigration matters, including visas and applications.
Managing partner Caron Pope is “very well respected” by peers and clients alike in the immigration sector, who praise her extensive experience handling transaction-related immigration matters.
Nadine Goldfoot is a “very well-known” figure in the UK market who offers clients strong expertise in private client and high-net-worth immigration. 
Julia Onslow-Cole is “a very highly regarded figure” and has a strong reputation for her impressive understanding of Brexit-related immigration issues.

Everaert Advocaten

Marcel Reurs is a well-established name in the European immigration space where he enjoys a stellar reputation for his work on employment-based immigration matters.
Bram van Melle is “very efficient” according to sources who consider him “absolutely outstanding” when it comes to advising corporations and individuals on business immigration compliance and regulations.
Barbara Wegelin stands out among peers for her top-notch handling of Dutch and EU nationality and immigration law issues, including entry bans and revocations

Other Leading Individuals


Bernard Caris at Praetica is “wonderful” according to sources who commend his “to-the-point and precise” counsel on Belgian immigration issues. One peer describes him as “the go-to in Belgium”.

Sophie Maes of Claeys & Engels is a “very knowledgeable” lawyer with a long-standing reputation in the Belgian market for her high-quality immigration work.


At Bates Wells Braithwaite, Philip Trott is regarded as “an immigration legend” and “a guru in this area”. Sources say “he is undoubtedly excellent” on the gamut of immigration-related matters, from Tier 1 applications to advising on investment into the UK. 

Kehrela Hodkinson at Hodkinson Law Group is “a top lawyer” in the market who is recognised for her deep understanding of US immigration law. She frequently advises both corporate and individual clients.

At Carter Thomas, Nichola Carter is “one of the best” in the UK market and is described by peers as “a real go-to name” for immigration compliance and sponsor licence issues.

Graeme Kirk at Gross & Co is “terrific” say respondents, who commend his leading work advising entrepreneurs, international corporations and financial institutions on a wide array of complex immigration issues. 

Rose Carey at Charles Russell Speechlys is “absolutely phenomenal”, say prominent market sources. Interviewees “really respect her” and describe her as “very knowledgeable”, particularly on corporate and private wealth immigration matters.

At VWV, the “brilliant” Tom Brett Young is a “really clever lawyer" who wins plaudits for his work in business immigration. He is highly sought after for his knowledge of work visa applications.

Ben Sheldrick at Magrath Sheldrick is a well-established name in the UK market who focuses his first-rate practice on business and private client immigration matters.
Chris Magrath stands out as “one of the best-known names in the market”. He is “very well respected” for his expert handling of work permit and visa applications and is considered “top of the tree”.

Wesley Gryk at Wesley ​Gryk Solicitors draws high praise from market commentators who note he is “very good in private client” immigration.


Andrew Osborne at Lewis Silkin is “a very dynamic practitioner” according to sources, who note he is “very well known on the sports immigration side”.

NNU Immigration’s Nita Nicole Upadhye is “a brilliant lawyer” whose top-notch immigration practice encompasses a wide range of matters including investor visas, naturalisation and work-sponsored visas.

Andrew Tingley at Womble Bond Dickinson has strong experience in immigration law and is well versed in advising a range of clients, from entrepreneurs to corporates.

Irwin Mitchell’s Philip Barth is long-standing fixture in the field who is highlighted as “one of the gurus of immigration law” by commentators. He is recognised in particular for his expertise working for high-net-worth individuals.

Claire Nilson at Faegre Baker Daniels is “a great lawyer” who is recognised by market sources as “very engaged, energetic and strong on the US side”.


Karl Waheed at Karl Waheed Avocats is “the big player in France” according to market sources. He is “very well respected in French immigration” and stands out for his extensive experience advising a wide range of clients including corporates and business directors.

At CMG Legal, Stephane Coulaux is a “very knowledgeable and responsive” lawyer who is “always in touch with market changes”, according to respondents.


At michels.pmks Rechtsanwälte Partnerschaft, Gunther Mävers is “one of the leaders in the German market” where he is considered to be “a favourite” for cross-border immigration and employment-related matters.

Bettina Offer at Rechtsanwälte Offer & Mastmann is “an outstanding lawyer” who is “one of the best” in Germany for intra-company-transfer matters and immigration compliance programmes.
Gabriele Mastmann is highly recommended by market commentators for her top-tier immigration practice, which spans a range of sectors from IT to automotives. 


Liam Schwartz at Liam Schwartz & Associates is “really a top lawyer” according to sources. He is “world renowned” for his “terrific” work on immigration strategy and visa applications for clients.


At Mazzeschi – Corporate Immigration and Citizenship Law, Marco Mazzeschi is “an absolute top name” who stands out as “the most prominent attorney in Italy” in the area. He possesses over 25 years’ experience advising clients on complex citizenship and immigration issues.


Jelle Kroes at Kroes Advocaten Immigration Lawyers is “a leading authority in Europe” for business immigration matters including investor permits and compliance matters. One source notes, “He is very knowledgeable and great to work with.”


At Sagardoy Abogados, Ana Garicano continues to impress peers who consider her “very experienced and an excellent immigration lawyer”. One peer effuses, “Ana is the lawyer to go to for immigration matters in Spain.”


Maria Celebi at Bener Law Office is “a great resource in Turkey” according to international peers who praise her “excellent knowledge” of work permit applications for corporates. 


North America

Global Elite Thought Leaders
1. Cyrus D Mehta  Cyrus D ​Mehta & Partners PLLC, New York 
2. Angelo A Paparelli   Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Los Angeles
3. Bernard P Wolfsdorf  Wolfsdorf Rosenthal LLP, Los Angeles
4. William A Stock   Klasko Immigration Law Partners LLP, Philadelphia
5. Charles H Kuck  Kuck Baxter Immigration, Atlanta
6. H Ronald Klasko  Klasko Immigration Law Partners LLP, Philadelphia
7. Gregory Siskind   Siskind Susser, Memphis
8. Eleanor Pelta  Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Washington DC
9. Ira J Kurzban  Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli & Pratt PA, Miami
10. Stephen Yale-Loehr  Miller Mayer LLP, New York 

Leading Firms

Wolfsdorf Rosenthal

This US immigration specialist performs well this year with nine lawyers listed.
Bernard Wolfsdorf, one of the foremost immigration lawyers in the US market, is once again a Global Elite Thought Leader in our research. He is widely respected for his outstanding work advising companies on complex global relocation and immigration matters.
Avi Friedman is a well-recognised figure among peers and clients who commend his top-tier immigration practice. He enjoys a great reputation in the market as “the expert for consular issues”.
Cliff Rosenthal draws widespread praise from market sources for his impressive work handling a wide range of global immigration issues including visa and citizenship applications. One source describes him as “a leader in EB-5 matters”.
David Fullmer has over 20 years’ experience in the immigration space and is highlighted as a top name for compliance matters as well as complex visa applications for a range of categories.  

Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy

This global powerhouse enjoys a strong position in the North American market and receives 19 listings here.
Daryl Buffenstein is a routinely recognised by sources as a prominent name in the immigration market, highlighted for his vast experience in the field and his deep knowledge of US immigration law.
Kevin Miner focuses his practice on immigration compliance matters, an area in which he is considered “one of the greats”. He frequently advises clients from a wide range of sectors including technology and financial services.
Austin Fragomen Jr is an eminent name in the US immigration space. He continues to be championed for his invaluable experience advising clients on immigration compliance and a range of visa programmes.
Bo Cooper is a first-rate immigration lawyer who comes highly recommended by market commentators for his excellent work assisting clients with immigration strategy and policy matters. 


This firm also performs well this year with 12 listings.
Charles Foster is a frequently endorsed figure in the US market who is extolled for his first-rate work on complex US immigration and nationality law issues.
Robert Loughran has earned widespread recognition during his 25-year career for his strong expertise on US nationality and immigration law.
Todd Fowler is celebrated by international respondents to our research who consider him a standout name for immigration law in Texas and the US.

Pearl Law Group

This immigration law boutique sees eight lawyers recognised this year.
Julie Pearl draws high praise from peers across the US who commend her extensive experience and “excellent” work in immigration and naturalisation law.
Yvonne Toy is “a really good lawyer” who is highlighted for her impressive work on immigration compliance and applications including PERM labour certifications.
Sameer Khedekar is “a great lawyer” in the immigration space who is “absolutely outstanding and very responsive”.  

Klasko Immigration Law Partners

We highlight three lawyers from this impressive firm.
William Stock is “top of the field” according to sources who commend his excellent work assisting clients from a range of sectors, including healthcare and telecommunications, on complex immigration issues. They note, “He knows the law extremely well.”
Ronald Klasko “dominates the market in Pennsylvania” say market commentators, who highlight his impressive immigration work and identify him as “an expert on E-2 and EB-5 visas”.
Elise Fialkowski has over 20 years’ experience in the field and gains recognition for her particular expertise in employment-related immigration concerns. 

Other Leading Individuals


Jacqueline Bart at BartLaw Canadian Immigration Barristers and Solicitors is “a very good lawyer” who stands out as one of the most prominent immigration experts in the country. Her world-class practice spans a range of matters from citizenship to relocation.

Green and Spiegel’s Evan Green is described by peers as “a top-quality lawyer” who regularly counsels clients on cross-border matters with the US.
Stephen Green is recognised by multiple sources for his impressive work, including handling employee transfers, work permits and investor applications. 

Avi Gomberg at Gomberg Dalfen is exalted by market commentators who consider him “really responsive”, noting that “clients love him”. His practice spans a wide array of immigration issues including employee relocation.

Henry Chang at Blaney McMurtry is a well-recognised figure in the Canadian market who particularly stands out for his strong expertise in US-related immigration matters.


Cyrus Mehta at Cyrus D ​Mehta & Partners is a pre-eminent figure in the field and “absolutely superb” on matters of business immigration law. He is recognised by peers as “a terrific lawyer” and “a great resource for US immigration issues”.  

Seyfarth Shaw’s Angelo Paparelli is “very well respected and very knowledgeable”, comment market sources who consider him “a leader in complex legal issues” in immigration. One peer says, “He is great at alien labour certificate work.” 

Charles Kuck at Kuck Baxter Immigration is “a bright and dedicated practitioner” who is “very well respected” by peers for his expert handling of immigration visas and labour certifications. One source says, “He is a leader in immigration litigation.”

At Siskind Susser, founding partner Gregory Siskind is “a terrific lawyer”, well known in the US market for his strong expertise when it comes to US nationality and immigration law. 
Lynn Susser enjoys a great reputation for her work on employment-based visa applications and naturalisations matters.

At Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Eleanor Pelta is “top of the top” according to sources, who note she “really stands out” in the US market for her excellent work on international employment transfers.

Ira Kurzban at Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli & Pratt is described as “a thought leader in immigration” by sources, a view echoed in his selection as a Global Elite Thought Leader this year. Peers consider him “an amazing lawyer” who stands out as “a legend in the field”.

Miller Mayer’s Stephen Yale-Loehr receives widespread plaudits from international peers for his excellence in immigration law. His first-class practice spans a range of related matters including entrepreneur immigration and foreign investor visas.

Margaret Stock at Cascadia Cross Border Law Group is “a terrific lawyer” and “a leader in military immigration issues”, according to various sources.

At Laura ​Devine Solicitors, Anastasia Tonello draws high praise from peers and clients alike who consider her a top name in US and UK immigration matters for individuals and corporate entities.

Vincent Lau at Clark Lau gains recognition from market sources for his top-notch immigration practice. They highlight him as “an expert in PERM labour certification issues”.

Denyse Sabagh at Duane Morris stands out in the US market as “a terrific lawyer” according to sources who note she is “very well known for complex waiver cases”.

At Fredrikson & Byron, Laura Danielson is a well-established figure in the US immigration space, whose impressive practice includes advising clients on investor-based immigration matters and visa applications. 

David Ware at Ware | Immigration is highly sought after for his extensive experience. He is known for his excellent work advising a range of clients including corporates, universities and individuals.

At Tafapolsky Smith Mehlman, Sharon Mehlman is an employment-based immigration law specialist who is well versed in advising clients on a range of matters, from corporate immigration policy to compliance.


Latin America

Global Elite Thought Leaders
1. Enrique Arellano  Enrique ​Arellano Rincón Abogados S de RL de CV, Mexico City
2. Maria Luisa “Isa” Soter da Silveira   Veirano Advogados, Rio de Janeiro 
3. Daniela Lima   Newland Chase, São Paulo

Leading Individuals


At Veirano Advogados, Maria Luisa “Isa” Soter da Silveira is recognised as “a long-standing authority in the Brazilian market”. She is “an expert in her field” who stands out for her “great energy” and “strong knowledge” of Brazilian labour law and inbound immigration processes.
Gabriela Lessa is internationally known as a top name in the Brazilian immigration market. She is well versed in handling a range of matters including visas, contracts and compliance.

Daniela Lima at Newland Chase continues to impress market commentators with her “top-notch” work, including advising clients on permanent residencies, work visas and setting up operations in the country.


At Enrique ​Arellano Rincón Abogados, Enrique Arellano is highlighted as “the go-to person” for immigration matters in Mexico. He is a leading light in the international market, standing out for his exceptional expertise in immigration and naturalisation in the jurisdiction.


At AOV Abogados, founding partner Ariel Orrego-Villacorta is “a great lawyer” and one of Peru’s foremost figures in immigration. His practice spans a wide range of matters, from investor visas to permanent visa applications.


Asia Pacific

Global Elite Thought Leaders
1. Matthew Amoils* ASG Immigration, Sydney
2. Eugene Chow   Chow King & Associates, Hong Kong  
3. Poorvi Chothani LawQuest, Mumbai

Leading Individuals


ASG Immigration’s Matthew Amoils* is “a superb practitioner”, known for his expert handling of an array of matters from visa applications to strategic immigration planning.

Anne O’Donoghue at Immigration Solutions Lawyers stands out among peers who commend her expert handling of complex immigration matters for clients across a range of sectors, from construction to media.

At Diamond Conway, Arnold Conyer is “a go-to name” in the Australian corporate immigration arena. He is “excellent to work with” according to sources who commend his impressive work, which includes advising high-net-worth individuals and corporates across the IT and financial services industries.

Hong Kong

Eugene Chow at Chow King & Associates stands out for his “terrific work” and leading expertise in citizenship and immigration matters, both in Hong Kong and internationally.


Poorvi Chothani at LawQuest is “a top name in India”, according to sources who highlight her “fantastic work” and “excellent” knowledge of Indian immigration law.

At In Se Legal, Shalini Agarwal enjoys a strong international reputation for her work in the immigration space, advising a range of clients on related compliance and regulatory matters.


Yoshio Shimoda at Immigration Lawyer Shimoda Office is an experienced lawyer and highly rated for his deep expertise in Japanese immigration and nationality law. He frequently advises corporate clients from a range of sectors including IT and automotives.

New Zealand

At Ryken & Associates, David Ryken is a leading figure in the New Zealand immigration market, where he is recognised for the top-tier counsel he delivers to individuals and multinational corporate companies.

*non-lawyer/immigration consultant

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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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