We’re extremely proud to announce that Duncan Lewis has reached an important milestone as we celebrated our 20 year anniversary on Friday 11th May. The event was to commend our CEO, Shany Gupta, Managing Director, Nina Joshi and our entire workforce on reaching 20 years.
To commemorate the occasion we held an Anniversary Ball at the prestigious Tower Hotel in London, which displayed picturesque views of the iconic Tower of London and the River Thames; it was truly a night to remember. The entertainment for the night included the Mystical Mirror Ball and the Magic Mirror as well as music from a live saxophone player.
We are also pleased to announce the launch of our new website, which was developed by our in-house web development team. The new website introduces our new design and new services to our existing brand. Our services are now split into three; Private, Legal Aid and Business. Our newly established corporate services include Company and Commercial Law, Corporate, Commercial Dispute Resolution through Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) and Litigation including International Trade Disputes, Commercial Property Services, Charity Law, International Trade and Property as well as Business Immigration.
The event also allowed Duncan Lewis to showcase our staff’s hard work over the years as we held the annual Duncan Lewis Awards.
Jonathan Knight was awarded Caseworker of the Year for London. Jonathan is a long standing Duncan Lewis employee, extremely dedicated to his clients, knowledgeable and hardworking. Jonathan regularly appears at court representing vulnerable clients in Immigration matters. His greatest attribute is his love for sharing current case law and articles with the department on a daily basis. He is a legend amongst his peers.
Ammar Sotta Caseworker of the Year outside London
won Caseworker of the Year Outside of London. Ammar is a childcare caseworker in Leicester. He has certainly been punching above his weight; Ammar has been exceptional in assisting his supervisor Idnan Deen
in dealing with vulnerable children.
won Trainee of the Year in London. Edward is an Immigration trainee in Harrow. He is a well-rounded trainee, mature beyond his years in legal terms. He has a great manner with clients and is exceptionally talented - a rising star for the future.
Amritpal Singh Trainee of the Year outside London
won Trainee of the Year Outside of London. Immigration trainee Amritpal Singh has shown maturity when dealing with complex venerable immigration cases in Birmingham. He is hungry to develop his knowledge and is always eager to carry out his own research and learn. He goes the extra mile for his clients.
Leah Kesby Solicitor of the Year in London
won Solicitor of the Year in London. She is a newly qualified fearless litigation solicitor with a keen interest in expanding and developing her practice. Not only does she have a driven attitude and methodical work ethic, she is hungry to learn and willing to put in hard work to achieve excellence.
Arouje Khan Solicitor of the Year outside London
won Solicitor of the Year Outside of London. As an immigration solicitor and supervisor, Arouje has taken on this role like a duck to water. She has built up a specialism in dealing with immigration cases with a domestic violence element and appeals. Her great leadership skills, excellent training and day to day supervision skills have impressed Directors working in the office.
Jamie Bell Rising Star in London
The Rising Star award in London went to Jamie Bell
. Jamie joined Duncan Lewis as a caseworker in 2014 and qualified as a solicitor in 2017. Hard working and dedicated, he has helped stop charter flights to Afghanistan, won countless appeals and assisted in releasing many vulnerable people from detention. He has thrown himself into difficult and often pressurised cases and has never given up on his clients.
Farhan Ahmad Rising Star outside London
The Rising Star award Outside of London went to Farhan Ahmad
. Immigration & Public law caseworker in Birmingham, Farhan has excelled in bringing Judicial Review challenges against the government. He is fast growing a reputation for being the ‘Simba’ to Director Ahmed Aydeed, who is revered as the King of Judicial Reviews in Birmingham.
Alia Lewis Director of the Year in London
won Director of the Year in London. As a Director of Childcare based in Harrow, she has excelled in advising, assisting and representing at court. She has dealt with high profile children & parent cases, some of which are in the media where social services have become involved. Her management skills and the training she provides her team members has been exceptional. Her dedication in representing children where she is appointed by the Guardian has been of an extremely high standard.
Bahar Ata Director of the Year outside London
won Director of the Year Outside of London. As a Director of Immigration and Public Law, Bahar has encouraged and motivated the Luton immigration team which has grown to 18 staff. She supervises a dedicated team specialising in immigration bail proceedings and a wide range of public law matters. Her notable cases include challenging Dublin III regulation removals to Bulgaria and Hungary, unlawful detention claims, country guidance cases on Libya and trafficking claims.
Immigration & Asylum and Public Law Legal Departments of the Year
The Immigration & Asylum
/ Public law
teams jointly won Legal Department of the Year.
As our combined largest departments of law, immigration, asylum/ public law are leading the way in challenging unlawful practices, making sure everyone has access to justice.
Through recent litigation, they successfully challenged the UNCAT definition of torture, and brought the first judgment of its kind which recognised that detainee segregation is unlawful, as well as challenging the conditions within which detainees are held, officially banning smoking inside IRCs across the UK.
It is this very tenacity which has enabled us to hold exclusive legal aid contracts to represent vulnerable clients in Human Rights, Asylum, and Immigration matters. Not to mention, the dedication shown through pro bono work both in the UK and overseas has helped those thought to be previously out of reach of legal support to get the best possible outcome for their case.
Darren Middleton 'I Made a Difference' Award Winner
The ‘I Made a Difference’ Award went to Darren Middleton
, an award to honour an individual for their outstanding achievements in pro bono work. He is passionate, selfless, caring and genuinely leaves no stone unturned in pursuit of justice for his clients. Darren has been described as a true social justice warrior, not afraid to carry out pro bono work in the evenings and on weekends.
Kunal Daru 'Behind the Scenes' Staff Award Winner
Kunal Daru won the ‘Behind the Scenes’ Staff Award. Kunal is an accountant within the accounts team. He will go above and beyond to help people, with a smile on his face 7 days a week. He is polite, efficient, and friendly and always gets the job done.
IT 'Behind the Scenes' Department Award Winner
The IT Department won the ‘Behind the Scenes’ Department Award. Their tireless, effort and work around the clock for days after the ransomware attack enabled the company to get back online and back to business.
IT have been involved in rolling out a huge network infrastructure update which included the upgrading of the entire network, consolidation of all business telephone infrastructure with BT, EE and Cisco. An award well deserved!
Vanket Appalakondiah Winner of the Leaving a Legacy Award
The Leaving a Legacy award was presented to Vanket Appalakondiah
; decided by a panel on the Management Board. The award was designed to recognise and acknowledge Vanket, for all his hard work over the years.
Vanket Joined DL on 1st August 1999. Soon after he took over the family department and grew it to a sizeable team concentrating mainly on Ancillary Relief; in particular high net worth cases and section 8 children proceedings.
At one stage he cultivated what was called back then “the dream team” which comprised of 6 trainee solicitors he trained and who qualified in all aspects of family law and became specialists in Ancillary Relief and their high quality work.
Whilst at DL Vanket has become a Family Panel Member and obtained Memberships in the Advanced Family Panel and in Child Abduction.
MD Nina Joshi Winner of the Hall of Fame Award
The Hall of Fame Award was awarded to Nina Joshi
to showcase her hard work over the years and for her success in helping Duncan Lewis become a leading law firm as recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners UK.
Nina Joshi has been with Duncan Lewis since the very beginning, helping set up the firm in 1998. With a practice in Family and Criminal Law, from 2005 she went onto manage the legal aid contract for the firm and all the day-to-day liaisons between the firm and the LAA that come with that mammoth task.
Never one to slow down, Nina spearheads all audits from contract compliance audits, peer reviews, onsite audits and validation audits. Not forgetting, she has been responsible for bidding for tenders with the LAA and rears her head at the end of every month to make sure all the billing is done without fail. As a result of her tenacity and hard work, our tender results for 2012 and 2018 have been exceptional with Nina successfully securing over 100 contracts with the agency.