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Maria Petrova-Collins, Duncan Lewis

Maria Petrova-Collins

Caseworker

Contact Information

Profile / Experience

I am a Solicitor in the Public Law and Immigration Departments at Duncan Lewis. I am based at the firm's Harrow office and I work with a team of solicitors, trainees and caseworkers under the supervision of Public Law Director Toufique Hossain.

I have experience in working on a variety of Judicial Review Claimant matters raising asylum, human rights, and detention issues. I have represented numerous clients at all stages of their claims for international protection and have significant experience dealing with vulnerable clients, including those in detention, those suffering from complex psychological issues, and victims of torture and trafficking. I have also represented clients challenging the certification of their asylum claims on Third Country Grounds.

I am accredited as a Level 2 Senior Caseworker under the Law Society’s Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme, this means I have demonstrated the required level of competence and specialist knowledge in immigration and asylum law as defined by the Law Society. It also enables me to advise and assist both private paying and publicly funded clients. In addition, I am DBS checked, enabling me to represent unaccompanied asylum seeking children with their asylum matters.

I am fluent in Bulgarian, Macedonian and German which enables me to communicate effectively with those who struggle with English.

Education

  • Legal Practice Course (LPC) - BPP University
  • LLM Human Rights Law - Queen Mary, University of London
  • LLB English and European Law - Queen Mary, University of London
  • International Human Rights Law - Leiden University, Netherlands

Career

  • Duncan Lewis Solicitors 2016-present
  • Minority Rights Group International
  • British Institute of International and Comparative Law
  • J. Sagar Associates (New Delhi, India)
  • QMUL Legal Advice Centre
  • Presidency of the Republic of Bulgaria

Testimonials

  • 'I have had the pleasure of working with Maria Petrova-Collins on several cases over the last year or so and have been consistently impressed with her commitment to the rights and welfare of her clients. Many of them have been extremely vulnerable, following experiences of trafficking and modern slavery, and Maria has fought their cases with both determination and sensitivity. Maria's preparation is exemplary and her interactions with the immigration authorities are appropriately forthright and fearless.' - Alasdair Mackenzie, barrister.

  • 'Maria has always been a real pleasure to work with and to be instructed by, because her written work is meticulous and thorough, with great attention to detail. Working with her also involves very helpful ongoing discussion about what might be best done to progress a claim, and to obtain further evidence. She also works well under pressure and when there have been tight time constraints. I am therefore very impressed with her work and hope we will continue to work together on other cases in the future.' - Phil Haywood, barrister.

  • 'I have found Maria to be utterly professional and dedicated. She is always passionate about her clients and prepared every case with real attention to detail. She is reliable and always goes the extra mile- whether it be working over a weekend to follow up a last-minute request for further evidence or preparing immaculate briefs to counsel. It is privilege to work with Maria and I am always reassured that our client are in good hands when she is on the case.' - Pippa Woodrow, barrister.

  • 'I knew I could trust Maria from the very first moment I saw her in detention. She was the first person I told my true story to about the three years I was held captive as a sex slave. Maria told me could me help me and secure my release from detention and that's what she did indeed. She has been with me through my whole journey and I know she would always try to help me even if I called her on a Sunday or at the middle of the night - I know that because she has done it. I feel much more confident now that I have Maria on my side of the legal battle and I know that my case is safe in her hands.' - YQC, client.

  • 'I feel extremely lucky that Maria is my lawyer. She is very professional and also an amazing person. She always gives me hope with her optimistic attitude in my darkest moments. I was trafficked from Vietnam and forced to work at different places. I would be in prison or maybe even dead had I not met Maria. I know I can always rely on her. She helped me get out of detention and claim asylum. She fought my corner against the Home Office in the Administrative court and then during my appeal. I was just granted immigration status in the UK and I'm happier than ever.' - DN, client.

  • 'Maria has been representing me and my brother in our Judicial Review claims since we came to the UK and got detained. We could never have wished for a better lawyer. She is very kind hearted and has always ensured we feel safe. She is someone we feel we could talk to about anything. She has been helping us not only with our legal case but also with everyday issues such as GP registration, change of accommodation, etc. My brother was detained for a second time in 2018 due to a mistake by the Home Office. Maria reacted very quickly and my brother was released in no time. He has recently been granted a generous compensation from the Home Office for his unlawful detention, too, thanks to Maria.' - SJA, client.

  • 'My solicitor Maria Petrova-Collins is a very kind person. When I am scared and hesitantly ask questions, she smiles every time and gives a very informative answer. She takes more care in preparing my asylum case than I do and pays thorough attention to every small detail of the case without rushing over it. Maria is not just a practising lawyer but an honest, compassionate person who knows the law and treats people with empathy. For a refugee the most important person is a solicitor and, in that respect, due to your special service I do not have any anxieties or concerns. My wish is that your quality service should reach many other refugees who are also in need.' - TY, client.

  • 'I have been granted leave to remain in the UK thanks to Maria's hard work in my case. What I appreciate most is that Maria has been very patient with me and has always made sure I understood the issues in my case fully. I have felt neglected throughout my whole life so that really meant a lot to me. I would always be grateful to Maria for helping me begin a new life in the UK far from the hell I went through.' - BJ, client.

  • 'I am very satisfied with my lawyer, Maria Petrova. She was well informed and smart. She was also helpful and kind. The way she greeted me made me feel like a very important client and took consideration of any conditions I had at the time. I am very grateful for her excellent job!' - KR, client.

  • 'Since I started working with Maria as my solicitor, I feel very comfortable speaking to her about my feelings, my life and my worries without feeling like she's judging me. She takes my case very seriously and my well-being, she's very encouraging and she makes me feel hopeful.' - BE, client.

  • 'I have had many lawyers since I came to the UK which were supposed to help me with my asylum claim all of who let me down. I realised what a good lawyer is when I met Maria. She always updates me on the progress of my case and requests my opinion at all stages, which makes me feel like my opinion really matters. She is very good at holding the Home Office accountable for their actions. She always chases them up and never lets them get away with delays.' - MO, client.

Membership & Accreditations

  • Level 2 Senior Caseworker - Law Society Immigration and Asylum Accreditation Scheme
  • DBS Check

Interests

  • Travelling
  • Volunteering
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