Employment and Immigration

The following law firms boast an exceptional contingent of leaders, who are recognised for their abilities to advise on complex transactional and contentious employment matters, or for their abilities to counsel on the myriad of legal, regulatory and policy matters related to corporate immigration.

1 Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy

2 Berry Appleman & Leiden

3 Seyfarth Shaw

4 Littler Mendelson

5 Morgan Lewis & Bockius

6 Proskauer Rose

7 Baker & McKenzie

8 Foster

9 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

10 Lewis Silkin

11 Klasko Immigration Law Partners

12 Wolfsdorf Rosenthal

13 Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira

14 Norton Rose Fulbright

15 Sagardoy Abogados

16 Claeys & Engels

17 Siskind Susser

18 Mayer Brown

19 Laura Devine Solicitors

20 Paul Hastings


Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy is our Corporate Immigration Firm of the Year, for the 12th time. Established in 1951, the firm has grown into “a truly global immigration law practice” with more than 40 offices across 20 countries. The firm prides itself on providing “fast-paced, dynamic and forward-thinking” legal services, allowing it to claim the status of being “one of the largest and leading immigration services provider”. As a reflection of its continual growth and success, having recently opened an office in Kenya, Fragomen has announced its plans to open a second UK office, in Sheffield, later this year. 

In Atlanta Daryl Buffenstein is “an extremely impressive lawyer”. His “broad practice” includes appearing before US Congress on a range of corporate immigration issues, as well as writing key business provisions in major pieces of immigration legislation. He is particularly noted for his “meticulous attention to detail whilst also keeping in mind the bigger picture”. The “wonderful” Austin Fragomen Jr stands out in our research for his “high level of technical skill” and “ability to find answers to client’s most complex problems”. Steven Ladik helps corporate clients develop and implement strategies to address complicated immigration issues, impressing with his “ability to get to the heart of an issue”. In particular he has developed “a highly regarded national sports industry practice”, providing “high-level” immigration-related counsel and representation to professional athletes, teams and leagues in a wide range of sports. The firm's government strategies and compliance group is led by Bo Cooper. His “impressive clientele” include companies, hospitals, research institutions, schools, and universities who recommend him for his “dedication and enthusiasm” combined with a “thorough understanding of clients’ business needs”. 

Clients praise Kevin Miner for his “commercial acumen”. Described as a lawyer who “thoroughly knows his stuff”, he stands out for his “effective strategies addressing business’ immigration needs”. Kristi Taylor is “as smart as they come”, having built a “reputation for excellence and achievement”. She advises major corporate clients on a wide variety of immigrant matters, including developing strategies for workforce reductions, defending employer sanctions cases, and assisting with due diligence.

Berry Appleman & Leiden is a recognised global leader in the employment and immigration field. From its origins in 1980 the firm has grown from an immigration law boutique to a global corporate immigration law firm, delivering key legal services to employers and their personnel in all regions of the US and across the world. The firm advises clients from a broad spectrum of global industries, from science and technology to manufacturing and engineering, energy, financial services, and sports and entertainment. Berry Appleman & Leiden provides “client-tailored services of an excellent standard” which has earned the firm a reputation for being “one of America’s top immigration firms.”

The “highly accomplished” Michelle Funk impresses clients with her “creative approach to their most complex issues”. She concentrates her practice on a variety of business immigration law matters including all aspects of the immigration process, from non-immigrant visas to permanent residence, with a focus on H-1B visas, PERM applications, and J-1 interested government agency waivers. David Berry is “a top player in the market”. As a founding partner of the firm, he specialises in working with companies’ human resources and global mobility professionals to enhance their global immigration programmes. He stands out in our research for his “phenomenal level of skill” which has led to his “international reputation for excellence”. They are joined by Daniela Lima, managing director of the São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro offices. Described by clients as “a lawyer who continually exceeds expectations”, she has 12 years’ experience of practising Brazilian immigration law, including matters pertaining to outbound immigrations, relocation matters, business development and executive transfers. Lynden Melmed is praised by clients for providing “extremely knowledgeable and coherent advice”. He splits his time between the firm’s offices in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC, and has “unique experience” in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government. Liane Cooney is renowned for “always going the extra mile for clients”. She has “extensive experience” practising US immigration law, including managing PERM recruitment programmes, advising multinational corporations on their reorganisations, mergers, acquisitions and layoffs, and immigration compliance issues. Her current practice focuses particularly on the software and technology industries. Co-manager of the firm’s global migration practice is “the fantastic” Shawn Orme. With an “outstanding national practice” he represents clients on all immigration-related aspects of corporate mergers and acquisitions, reductions in force, and in developing recommendations for sophisticated scenarios involving the transfer of key personnel. He is praised for having a “solutions-oriented approach”, and for “always adding value”.

The international employment law practice at Seyfarth Shaw is “internationally renowned”. One of the largest specialist practices in the US, the department is “relationship-driven” and provides “thoughtful, strategic and practical legal counsel” to a range of high-profile companies and other legal teams. The firm is home to over 850 practitioners in the US, London, Shanghai, Melbourne and Sydney, and as such offers “a national platform” and “an international gateway” to serve the business and legal needs of clients. These include some of the largest and best-known businesses operating across industries including manufacturing, retail, health care, insurance and financial services.  

Camille Olson is a “powerhouse of knowledge”. She has nearly 30 years’ experience representing companies nationwide, with a focus on employment discrimination and harassment, independent contractor status, and wage-and-hour matters. Gerald Maatman Jr earns recognition for his “unique, insightful and astute advice” which makes him “the go-to lawyer” for clients. His practice concentrates on defending employers in employment discrimination class actions, wage-and-hour collective actions, EEOC pattern or practice lawsuits, and civil rights/denial of access class actions. In particular he is credited with pioneering the process of conducting employment practices audits to assist employers in structuring effective and practical personnel policies and protocols. Howard Pianko has “broad experience” advising a wide range of clients on employee benefits. His practice comprises pension and welfare benefit plan compliance, drafting and administration, as well as equity and executive compensation, among others. He is highly valued by clients for his “dedication and enthusiasm to obtain the best results” for them. Mark Casciari is known as “a consummate professional”. He specialises in defending employers sued in employment-related class actions and sued by the EEOC. He represents clients in both federal and state courts throughout the US, and is praised for his “diligent approach to complex issues”. Angelo Paparelli wins praise for his “expert handling of clients’ most complex legal issues”. His practice has a particular emphasis on matters involving mergers and acquisitions, and he stands out in our research for his “hands-on and friendly approach”. Sharon Cook Poorak is “a certain inclusion”. With “strong commercial acumen”, she has over 27 years of immigration law experience representing corporate clients in a wide variety of industries.

Littler Mendelson  is our Labour and employment firm of the year for the fifth time, and boasts the largest global employment and labour law practice in the market, with over 1,000 practitioners in more than 70 offices worldwide. Specialising exclusively on employment and labour law, the firm aims to provide its multinational clients with “a strategic partner, as well as a legal counsellor who really understands the industry and their business”. Since its formation in 1942 the firm has provided a combination of “exceptional client service” and “high-quality, cost-effective legal advice and representation”. As such, the firm “more than lives up to clients’ expectations” in the market.

Clients describe Susan Katz Hoffman as their “lawyer of choice”. She concentrates her practice on employee benefits litigation, plan design and administration, and issues in corporate transactions. Having 35 years of “wide-ranging experience”, she “skilfully” represents employers across the transportation, banking, manufacturing and retail industries.  Steven Friedman is “a major player in the field”, recommended for “his thoughtful and insightful counsel”. He advises employers on a variety of aspects of employee benefits law, and has particular expertise in the area of tax compliance relating to employee benefits plans, including their regulation termination, modification or restructuring. Barry Hartstein has a “reputation for providing the highest-quality advice”. He is described as an “innovative and dedicated adviser”, and has more than 30 years of experience counselling and representing employers on a wide variety of labour and employment matters. The “clear-sighted and strategic” Peter Susser counsels global employers on national and international employment law, designing and implementing human resources policies and resolving a wide variety of workplace issues. He achieves recognition in our research for his “incredible insight and diligence” when pursuing complicated issues. Philip Berkowitz has “significant experience” advising multinational and domestic companies regarding of US and overseas employment law and executive compensation practices. Frequently representing employers in individual and class action lawsuits and arbitrations, clients recommend him for being “extremely knowledgeable and accessible”.  

The employment practice at Morgan Lewis & Bockius possesses “exceptional talent”. With more than 330 lawyers and other professionals throughout offices across Europe, the US, the Middle East and Asia, clients range from established, global Fortune 100 companies to enterprising start-ups. The firm sees its clients as “partners”, and applies “a solutions-oriented approach” to maintain its “competitive edge” in the market. The practice has strong experience in the financial services, technology, energy, healthcare, retail, pharmaceuticals, transportation, defence, food and hospitality, insurance, and manufacturing industries.

Eleanor Pelta is described as “someone to be reckoned with”. She offers advice to clients concerning legal and strategic issues arising from the international movement of key personnel. Additionally, she counsels businesses on the immigration implications of corporate changes, including mergers, acquisitions, downsizings, reductions in force, and salary-level changes. She impresses clients with her “scrupulous approach” and “hard work and commitment”. James Vázquez-Azpiri is “a sensational lawyer”. His practice focuses on advising businesses on labour certifications, specialty occupation petitions, and intracompany transfers, as well as immigration law compliance during mergers, acquisitions, and corporate restructuring. He earns praise for the “breadth and depth of his immigration law knowledge”. Gregory Braden has an “acclaimed reputation for excellence and achievement” in the field. He defends clients in disputes involving ERISA welfare benefits as well as a range of ERISA Title I class actions. William Delany is a “naturally gifted lawyer” who provides “superb advice” to clients. He defends clients against ERISA class actions and complex employment discrimination lawsuits, and receives recognition for being able to “think on his feet”. Clients describe Mark Dichter as “second to none”. As a highly respected practitioner with an impressive 40 years of experience in the industry, he has counselled and represented major multinational employers on a full spectrum of employment law issues. These include discrimination class actions, high-profile sexual harassment cases, nationwide wage-and-hour litigation, employee-benefits class actions and whistle-blower cases. Charles Cohen represents private sector senior management in matters such as collective bargaining and litigation concerning all aspects of labour and employee relations, union representation matters, and corporate campaign activities. With an “exhaustive knowledge base”, clients are impressed with his “thorough understanding of their business requirements”.

Proskauer Rose’s labour and employment department is “extremely capable”, with broad experience handling complex legal issues across the spectrum of labour and employment law. In particular the department “excels” in handling litigation, including trial, appellate and counselling, as well as traditional labour relations and collective bargaining issues. Proskauer Rose is a leading international law firm dedicated to “creative value for clients”. Founded as far back as 1875 the firm now has over 160 lawyers in its labour and employment department, who act for many of the world’s top companies, financial institutions, investment funds, not-for-profit institutions, and government entities.

Erika Collins is a “well-reputed name” who provides “clear and effective strategies” to meet the needs of clients. She is co-head of the firm’s international labour and employment law group and advises multinational public and private companies on cross-border employment and human resources matters throughout Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Clients praise Zachary Fasman for combining “extensive technical expertise” with a “commercial and pragmatic approach”. His practice comprises representing employers in all aspects of labour and employment law, including labour-management relations, employment litigation and counselling. Howard Shapiro is “a true great” in the industry and is our Pensions and Benefits Lawyer of the Year. As a renowned ERISA litigator, his practice focuses on defending matters involving sophisticated pre-emption issues; fiduciary issues; prohibited transaction allegations and independent contractor litigation amongst others. He has a fantastic reputation and clients say they “couldn’t wish for a more skilled lawyer”. Myron Rumeld is co-chair of the employee benefits, executive compensation and ERISA litigation practice at the firm. He receives praise for his “unrivalled technical skills”, focusing his practice on ERISA litigation and fiduciary responsibility as well as handling complex, class action employment litigation suits. Michael Sirkin practises primarily in the areas of executive compensation and employee benefits, and frequently represents companies, compensation committees and senior executives. He has been described as a “truly unique lawyer” who “brings innovation and vision to the rapidly changing employment industry”. David Grunblatt is lauded for his “creativity, resourcefulness, and persistence in finding solutions for clients”. He is co-head of the firm’s immigration and nationality group in the labour and employment law department, providing advice to corporations from a wide variety of industries, including media and publishing, financial services, and luxury brand retailers.

Baker & McKenzie is a leading law firm that brings an “instinctively global perspective” combined with “deep market knowledge” to assist clients facing legal challenges. The firm’s global employment practice has more than 500 locally qualified lawyers in 47 countries. These practitioners “expertly navigate the complex and diverse legal and regulatory issues” affecting their clients in a broad range of countries, providing “seamless and integrated advice”.

Fermín Guardiola is a “highly accomplished lawyer”. He heads the firm’s labour and employment practice group in Madrid with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He “expertly advises” domestic and multinational companies on a wide range of labour and employment matters with a particular focus on collective labour negotiations and litigation, including restructurings and layoffs resulting from mergers and acquisitions. Clients describe Guenther Heckelmann as “head and shoulders above the competition”. His areas of expertise include global reorganisations as well as employment issues arising from multi-jurisdictional mergers and acquisitions, divestitures and post-merger integrations. He stands out in our research for his ability to “recommend legal options that align with clients’ business goals.” Jeanette Holland is particularly praised for her “technical excellence” and for “always acting in the best interests of clients”. She is head of the firm’s pensions practice in London and advises companies and trustees in all aspects of pension law. Robert West is known to have a “consummate understanding of the industry”. He brings over 25 years’ experience to his pensions practice, advising both companies and trustees on an extensive range of pensions law issues. These include pension plan deficits, plan restructuring, planning for the valuation process and statutory debts. In addition he has particular experience dealing with multi-employer and industry-wide plans. Tony Haque has made “outstanding contributions to the market” through his immigration practice. He leads the firm's global immigration and mobility department in London, advising domestic and international clients UK immigration and nationality issues as well as related European Union law. He has a particular focus on employment and business-related applications, coordinating immigration on a global and regional basis for clients. With a “leading reputation in the industry”, clients praise Pamela Mafuz for her “skilful handing of complicated legal problems”.  She is the leader of the firm’s global mobility and immigration practice in Madrid, specialising in international employment and social security issues, as well as individual and collective executive repatriation. 

As one of the largest immigration law firms in the US, Foster delivers a full spectrum of US and global immigration solutions. Founded in 1973, the firm prioritises its relationships with clients and is committed to providing “personalised immigration services”. Foster’s clients include some the largest employers worldwide, top emerging and midmarket companies, as well as a broad range of investors, individuals and families. The firm has over 40 years’ worth of experience, solving “the most complex immigration matters” with solutions which are “individually shaped to clients’ needs”.

Charles Foster is the chairman of the firm, and “widely acknowledged to be one of the world’s leading international immigration lawyers”. He is joined by Robert Loughran, who clients say stands out as “a lawyer like no other”. Sources praise him for his “exceptional understanding” and ability to “effectively tailor advice to the industry”. Judy Lee is highly respected for her “superb advice to clients”, while José Pérez is recommended for his “close attention to detail” combined with a “client centred approach”. Ryan Chargois is “incredibly talented”, providing “sophisticated” global immigration solutions to domestic and international companies. John Meyer is known to be “incredibly knowledgeable” and his “genius” is often cited by peers and clients.

Employment, benefits and immigration law is an area in which Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer excels. With more than 100 lawyers across key jurisdictions in Europe and Asia, the department is “perfectly placed” to provide “an integrated cross-border approach” to clients’ issues. The firm’s “internationally recognised” lawyers handle HR policies, review executive pay, co-ordinate employment cost-cutting exercises and manage industrial relations issues and complex pensions matters, amongst their wide ranging services. The firm prides itself on helping clients to navigate “the differing legal and cultural barriers” affecting multinational businesses in today’s global market.

René Döring is a “vastly experienced, business-focused lawyer” who specialises in occupational pension schemes. He advises corporations and pension funds on the virtual or actual outsourcing of pension liabilities, the restructuring of pension scheme rules, and litigation matters. Dawn Heath has “a long track record of excellence” advising employers, trustees and financial institutions on all aspects of pensions law, with particular expertise on UK-defined benefit pension schemes and their associated challenges. In Germany Klaus-Stefan Hohenstatt draws universal recommendation for his “authoritative practice”. His clients include a wide variety of German companies and multinationals from across the services industry, media, consumer and health care sectors. He stands out for his “skilful handling of deals with highly sensitive employment issues”. Alongside him, the “excellent” Heinz Josef Willemsen “inspires trust in clients”. He acts for a wide variety of German companies and multinationals who are particularly impressed with his ability to “deliver the required commercial outcome without compromising brand reputation or employee relations”. Raquel Flórez is head of the employment, pensions and benefits practice in Spain as well as co-head of our Latin America group. She handles both advisory and contentious matters relating to employment and pensions law, with particular knowledge of the intricacies of Spanish employment law. Clients praise her for being “very commercial in her outlook”, and for providing “bespoke solutions” to help clients achieve their goals. In London Caroline Stroud is the global practice group leader of the firm’s employment, pensions and benefits group. She has an “exemplary reputation in the market” advising clients on matters regarding global investigations by the regulators, and managing internal investigations across numerous jurisdictions. As a solicitor-advocate she also has “invaluable” litigation experience, which makes her “ideally suited to help clients put in place the policies, contracts, and terms to avoid disputes and protect talent”.

Tracing its roots back to the 1950s, Lewis Silkin has grown into “one of the world’s leading specialist practices” in employment law. The firm has over 100 lawyers and 24 partners who serve clients from the biggest global brands to start-ups and senior executives. The firm has four offices – in London, Oxford, Cardiff and Hong Kong – and boasts an “award-winning team of employment lawyers”.

Michael Burd is a “renowned authority” on a broad range of employment and partnership law matters. Our 2016 Labour and Employment Lawyer of the Year, he focuses his practice on the resolution of high level disputes (through litigation and arbitration), senior level departures, international issues, business transfers and restructuring. His clients hail from a broad range of industry sectors including finance, professional services and marketing services among others, and they especially recommend his ability to provide “pragmatic, clear and meticulously worked-out advice”. The “fantastic” James Davies co heads the firm’s employment team. He advises clients on matters ranging from restructurings to discrimination claims to team moves. A particular interest of his includes advising law firms on their internal employment and partnership issues. Clients praise him for “keenly protecting their best interests” and “getting the deal done”. Toni Lorenzo is “immensely talented”. A “savvy and experienced lawyer”, he impresses clients with his “vast and intricate knowledge” of the full spectrum of employment issues. His practice has an emphasis in the financial services sector, with his clients including banks, hedge funds and brokerage firms. Russell Brimelow is a “thoroughly impressive” lawyer, with particular expertise in sensitive senior terminations, restructuring, TUPE transfers and employment litigation. His practice concentrates across the media and broadcasting, IT, telecommunications and technology sectors. He is known to be “highly skilled” at representing well known broadcasters and TV production companies. Head of the immigration practice at Lewis Silkin, Andrew Osborne advises on the full range of business immigration issues. He has particular experience of dealing with immigration matters across China, India and Brazil, and features prominently in our research for his “exceptional client manner” combined with “adroit advice”.

Klasko Immigration Law Partners receives “global attention” for its outstanding immigration work. As a specialist law firm, it comprises three offices in Philadelphia, New York and Chicago, and 17 full-time lawyers who specialise exclusively in immigration law. Klasko Immigration is known for providing “top-tier legal services” to an impressive clientele, including individuals, multinational corporations, investors, small companies, universities and hospitals.

Ronald Klasko is renowned for being “one of the forefront immigration lawyers in the US” with “unparalleled knowledge of immigration law”. As a founding member of the firm and its managing partner, he has “impressive experience” having practised immigration law exclusively for three decades. He is joined by the “internationally regarded” William Stock, who has “an excellent reputation for his outstanding work”. Elise Fialkowski has practised immigration law for over 20 years and is described as “exceptionally talented”. Advising on all aspects of employment-based immigration, clients say she “consistently impresses with her encyclopedic knowledge”.

Immigration law firm Wolfsdorf Rosenthal provides “top-quality worldwide immigration and visa services”. With offices in Los Angeles and New York the firm has a team of 20 “consummate lawyers”, whose global reach is reflected by the 14 languages spoken including Korean, Russian, Tagalog, Bengali, Hebrew and Afrikaans, to name a few. The firm’s “extensive and diverse client base” comprises Fortune 500 corporations, entertainers and leading academic institutions; it also undertakes family immigration and naturalisation casework for individuals.

The managing partner of the firm Bernard Wolfsdorf receives recognition for his “broad knowledge of immigration law” and “ability to successfully navigate complex immigration matters”. He advises on a wide variety of immigration legal issues, and is praised by clients and peers for “having had a major impact on the practice of immigration law”. The “wonderful” Avi Friedman is “a highly respected figure” in the market. He focuses his practice on in-person attorney/client representation at US consular posts in Canada and Mexico. In addition he handles family-based immigrant petitions, naturalisation applications, as well as J-1 Waivers and immigrant and non-immigrant petitions for international medical graduate physicians. Clients are impressed with his “thorough and intelligent tackling of difficult legal issues”. Cliff Rosenthal is known for “inspiring confidence in clients” with his “no-nonsense approach”. He specialises in business, entertainment and family immigration law, and is described as “one of the very best in the area”. Naveen Rahman Bhora represents physicians, registered nurses, and allied healthcare workers, “offering world-class expertise” in relation to extraordinary/exceptional ability and outstanding researcher/professor matters. She is praised for being “highly technical” and “always giving 110 per cent”.

Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira is a leading law firm in Spain and Portugal. The firm has its headquarters in Barcelona, Madrid and Lisbon, and offers a truly global coverage with 24 offices worldwide and over 950 lawyers providing legal advice in Spanish, Portuguese and Moroccan. The firm boasts the largest labour team in the Iberian Peninsula, with 100 lawyers who practice with a “customer-oriented philosophy”.  The firm represents some of the leading companies in Spain and Portugal, as well as foreign investors interested in the Iberian market, and prides itself on “delivering results and a commitment to serving the best interests of its clients”.

Salvador del Rey has a global practice advising clients on labour matters, prevention and social security risks. In particular he has “brilliant, in-depth knowledge” on collective bargaining, planned resizing templates and senior management issues. His clients include both multinational groups and large Spanish business groups, for whom he has “participated in some of the most important and complex restructuring and negotiations processes in Spain” in recent years. The “amazingly gifted” Juan Bonilla specialises in international labour and pensions law. With “extensive experience” in the termination of contracts, compensation systems and the implications of certain business transactions, he regularly advises international clients in transnational operations throughout Europe and Latin America. He is noted for his “tenacity, and ability to successfully negotiate complicated legal issues”. Francisco Conde Viñuelas is “without doubt a top player”. He has “wide ranging experience” handling the labour and employment law issues in corporate transactions, restructuring, insolvency proceedings, mergers and acquisitions and decentralising production. He also represents companies in contentious matters including dismissals and redundancies, harassment and discrimination claims and pension disputes. Clients recommend Pilar Cavero for her “fantastic work ethic”. She specialises in collective bargaining, downsizing plans, and senior management issues.

Norton Rose Fulbright is an internationally recognised global law firm advising the world’s pre-eminent corporations and financial institutions. The firm’s employment and labour team is highly regarded for its“sophisticated work” across all areas of contentious and non-contentious employment and labour law around the world. Having “dedicated teams” in Europe, the US Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, the department provides an “enviable full-service, cross-border practice”. With “substantial transactional experience”, the team frequently advises multi-jurisdictional corporate reorganisations as well as mergers and acquisitions.

In Johannesburg Michelle David has “extensive experience” advising both private and public entities on the commercial aspects of the Pension Funds Act, the Medical Schemes Act, the Long-term Insurance Act, the Short-term Insurance Act and the Financial Advisory Intermediary Services Act. Clients praise her for her “no-nonsense approach” combined with “a consummate understanding” of the challenges they face. Yusra Siddiquee leads the business immigration and international mobility team in the firm’s Toronto office. Her practice focuses on advising clients across the engineering, telecommunications, information technology, health sciences and energy sectors. She draws on “invaluable experience” to provide “expert advice” on corporate immigration strategies both in Canada and worldwide. In the Minneapolis office Barbara Jean D’Aquila’s clients include major Fortune 500 corporations and significant privately held companies. With a “long-standing reputation for excellence”, her “outstanding” work has “played a pivotal role in the industry”. Alongside them, Gilles Touchette has an “excellent reputation” among clients and peers as a leading labour and employment lawyer

Sagardoy Abogados is one of Spain’s foremost law firms, specialising in employment law, employee benefits, pensions and social security. Created in 1980, the firm provides both legal advice and litigation services to major corporate clients across a range of sectors. Throughout the last 20 years, the firm has experienced substantial development, and is now home to over 50 lawyers who are “experts in the field” and exclusive dedicated to meeting clients’ labour and employment needs”.

The “highly competent” Iñigo Sagardoy is “responsive, hardworking and practical”. With “unparalleled experience” advising on a wide variety of employment and social securities issues, he impresses clients by “always adding value”. Clients and peers praise Román Gil’s “particular talent for providing unique insight into difficult legal matters”. He has a broad litigation practice with experience representing clients at every jurisdictional level of Spain´s labour and employment courts, and receives praise for his “deep commercial insight”. Ana Garicano has been described as a “unique specialist in immigration and expatriation law”. Considered “in a class of her own”, her “phenomenal level of skill” has earned her “wide acclaim in the market”. Martín Godino is considered “one of the most pre-eminent employment lawyers in Spain” and is particularly recommended for his “client-centred service”.

Claeys & Engels is a specialised human resources law firm offering “a personalised service” to clients. Established in 2001, the firm has grown from 40 lawyers to over 85 lawyers with offices in Brussels, Antwerp, Liège, Kortrijk, Gent and most recently Hasselt. The firm provides “market-leading” legal services for cross-border employment and human resources matters.

Olivier Debray is head of the firm’s compensation and benefits practice, specialising in labour law and social security law. He is known for offering “first-rate advice” which draws on “a wealth of knowledge and experience”, advising national and multinational companies on matters pertaining to international private law and international social security law. Jan Van Gysegem advises clients on occupational pension and corporate law issues occurring in a human resources context, with an emphasis on corporate and pension fund governance, and also executive compensation. Praised for having “impressive technical abilities”, he also displays “exceptional skill” when handling litigation and arbitration cases. Chris Engels impresses with his “specialist and unique experience in the field”. He focuses his practice on labour and employment law, with particular expertise in dismissal law. He is also a specialist in transfer of undertakings, outsourcing and applicable law issues in an international context. Clients value Sophie Maes for her “unrivalled strategic skills”. She has a particular interest in global mobility and corporate immigration issues, lease of personnel as well as flexible work arrangements and dismissal law.

Siskind Susser is one of the most prominent law firms in North America. The firm is committed to providing “high-quality and efficient services to all clients” and advises corporations and individuals on immigration law compliance. The firm’s “impressive client base” includes some of the largest hospital systems in the US, one of the world’s largest paper manufacturers, entertainment companies, nursing staff companies and retailers.

One of the founding partners Gregory Siskind receives praise for having “extraordinarily strong analytical skills”. With over 25 years’ experience practising immigration law, he is “vastly experienced” and has a reputation for being “attuned to clients’ needs”. Lynn Susser is “technically brilliant”. A founding partner of the firm, she oversees a broad range of casework including employment-based visa work, family immigration matters, political asylum and naturalisation. Her clients consist of multinational corporations, nurse-staffing agencies, IT companies, construction-related businesses, and manufacturers who praise her for being “commercially astute and very knowledgeable”. The “extremely able” Ari Sauer represents individual and corporate clients in all areas of US immigration law, and is renowned for his “exceptional level of skill when handling intricate issues.” Elissa Taub practises chiefly in the area of physician immigration. She receives commendation in our research for possessing “unique expertise”, also handling cases for individuals in the sports, entertainment and fashion industries.

Mayer Brown stands out for its “commitment to client services”. Since its origins in 1881 the firm has grown to encompass offices across Europe, Asia and the Americas, providing counsel and representation to some of the world’s largest companies, including Fortune 100, FTSE 100, CAC 40, DAX, Hang Seng and Nikkei index companies, as well as more than half of the world’s banks. The firm’s multidisciplinary employment and benefits team draws on “extensive, worldwide experience” to offer “sophisticated solutions” to clients’ most complex employment and benefits related issues. 

Based in the Hong Kong office, Duncan Abate is a “leading authority” in the field. His practices consists of advising on all aspects of employment and employee benefits law and regulation, including labour relations, discrimination, termination of employment and the structure of employment relationships. Clients praise him his “unrivalled intellectual skills”. He is joined by Nancy Ross in Chicago who is known for her “distinguished practice” in the field of benefits law. With an “exemplary reputation in the market”, she focuses her practise on employee benefits class action litigation. In addition she also handles matters relating to pension and welfare benefit plans, counselling and representing employers, boards of directors, plan fiduciaries and trustees. In Washington, DC, Paul Virtue has “abundant experience” in immigration law having practised in the area for over 30 years. He advises clients on a full range of employment related immigration, compliance and policy issues, and is recommended for his “excellent client manner”.

The immigration boutique Laura Devine Solicitors is recognised as “one of the foremost transatlantic immigration practices”.  With 55 committed members of staff, the firm has offices in London and New York, providing UK and US immigration advice to individuals, families, SMEs and corporate clients from across the industry sectors of finance, manufacturing, IT, hospitality, pharmaceutical, education, entertainment, fashion and sports, among others.

Laura Devine is the founder and managing partner of the firm. She advises corporate clients and individuals from across the industry sectors on a variety of UK and US immigration matters. They praise her “tremendous understanding” and ensuing “high-quality advice”. The “fantastic” Anastasia Tonello is the managing partner of the firm’s New York office and global head of the US immigration team. Described as “a dominant player” in the field, she advises clients on the commercial and practical issues facing businesses expanding into the US. Sophie Barrett-Brown is head of the UK practice at the firm and held in high regard for being “extremely thorough and not missing a thing”. She advises on all aspects of UK business immigration and nationality law as well as EU free movement law. In particular she has wide-ranging expertise in the points-based system, including sponsored migrants, entrepreneurs and investors, as well as discretionary applications.

Founded in 1951, Paul Hastings is one of the world’s prominent international law firms. With a strong presence throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the US, the firm boasts “an innovative approach” and “unmatched client service”. The firm’s employment law department comprises “highly skilled and experienced advisers” who handle matters ranging from individual employee complaints to high-stakes contract negotiations to potentially explosive nationwide class actions. Their successes looks to continue well into the future, with recent achievements including representing American Airlines in high-stakes labour negotiations in bankruptcy as the company aimed to reduce labour costs by over $1 billion annually.

In Los Angeles Nancy Abell is a trial lawyer who represents private and public employers in all aspects of employment law and litigation. Her clients include major technology companies, manufacturing companies, entertainment companies, financial institutions, and retailers among others. She is praised by clients for “anticipating troubles and disputes before they arise”, and having a “consummate understanding of clients’ business needs”. Alongside her, Paul Grossman enjoys a “great profile” in the market. He represents major private employers in all aspects of employment law, including class action, wrongful discharge, wage-and-hour, sexual harassment, discrimination and whistleblower cases. In Atlanta, clients are particularly impressed with Geoff Weirich’s “encyclopaedic knowledge”. He focuses his practice on employment discrimination and sophisticated pay equity claims, restrictive covenants and wage-and-hour matters. He has particular expertise relating to complex disability access issues and receives recognition in our research for his “timely advice” and “user-friendly manner”.

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