Duncan Lewis Solicitors are proud to announce its outstanding recognition in the Legal 500 2018 Edition which sees 15 legal departments nationwide and an exceptional 39 lawyers recognised across a multitude of practice areas.
The Legal 500 has ranked the firm as a recommended law firm in legal departments across London, in the West Midlands, South East and Wales; these include Immigration, Business Immigration, Immigration: Human Rights, Appeals and Overstay, Administrative and Public Law, Civil Liberties and Human Rights, Crime, Court of Protection, Family & Childcare, Social Housing, with Clinical Negligence and Personal Injury receiving recognition for the first time. See the full profile here.
The firm maintains its ‘Top Tier’ status for its London Immigration Human Rights, Appeals and Overstay and Wales Immigration practice, with Director Vinita Templeton retaining her elite ‘leading individual’ status. Further, Heather Iqbal Rayner, Housing Director based in Cardiff, has also again been ranked as a ‘leading individual’ in her field of social housing law.
The annual Legal 500 directories has been a worldwide guide to the best law firms and lawyers, which analyses the capabilities of law firms with a comprehensive research programme heavily focused on peer and client feedback.
Practice Director Jason Bruce has commented: 'We are very happy with these rankings. The continued recognition of excellence from Legal 500 across many of the key areas of law that we specialise in simply exemplifies our team’s expertise, dedication and commitment towards our clients and the legal services that we provide nationwide’.
Immigration: Human Rights, Appeals & Overstay and Business
For Duncan Lewis’ Immigration Human Rights Appeals & Overstay work in London, Legal 500 recognises it as a Tier 1 practice, stating: ‘The firm also handles a range of asylum, nationality, detention, deportation, bail, human rights, detention, Judicial Review, and trafficking cases for business, individual and vulnerable clients. Toufique Hossain handles Judicial Review cases involving immigration, EC Law, civil liberties and human rights matters. Jenna McKinney specialises in fast track cases, appeals, asylum, deportation and Judicial Review work. James Packer regularly handles unlawful detention cases.’
For its Wales practice, Legal 500 ranks it as Tier 1, noting that the team is 'Second-to-none in the publicly funded arena in Wales', stating that the team 'punches well above its weight – litigating points of law with both national and international importance'. 'Experienced and knowledgeable' team head Vinita Templeton 'displays compassion when needed but also provides straightforward answers and actions when required'. 'Passionate, creative and brilliant' consultant Vanessa Delgado regularly handles high-profile cases of national significance and 'hardworking, dedicated and thorough' solicitor Eleri Haf Davies 'has a flourishing reputation in the market.’
The legal directory has also ranked Duncan Lewis’ excellence in Luton and Milton Keynes, commenting on how the team ‘excels in public law immigration matters…not afraid to challenge accepted norms, take risks in advancement of its client's case and push boundaries in the client's favour'. The recommendation highlights Directors Bahar Ata, whose 'understanding of immigration issues, especially asylum support and EEA law, is second to none' and Ahmed Aydeed, who has extensive experience in asylum claims and unlawful detention matters alongside the 'outstanding' Zofia Duszynska, who demonstrates 'extraordinary commitment to clients and up-to-date knowledge of relevant law'.
Legal 500 has also ranked and recommended Duncan Lewis’ Business Immigration team. Legal 500 states: ‘Duncan Lewis Solicitors’ business immigration team is instructed by SME clients on a range of matters such as the PBS, sponsorship licence applications, and compliance. It also acts for high-net-worth individuals from Asia, Russia and the Middle East on Tier 1 and investor visas. The business immigration department is headed by Ayan Yalchin, Vicash Ramkissoon and Tamana Aziz’
Crime, Fraud and Licensing
The crime team in London has been recommended for the fourth consecutive year. The legal directory notes that Duncan Lewis operates a significant practice defending clients in high profile and complex criminal cases, drugs importation, fraud, kidnap, immigration and gang-related offences, having recently acted for a man who murdered a fellow detainee at an immigration centre.
The legal directory states: ‘Duncan Lewis Solicitors is ‘a busy firm, cornering the market in legally aided, general crime’…The firm Key individuals in the team include the ‘very personable and keen practitioner’ Hardeep Dhaliwal who is ‘good with clients and has an easy manner’, and Rubin Italia.
Administrative and Public Law
Legal 500 note that as a whole the firm has 'a strong presence in this area of the law, making a particularly dominant contribution in immigration, asylum and prison law,' which has seen our Administrative and Public Law ranking increase. Public Law director Toufique Hossain has been ranked as a Next Generation Lawyer, acknowledged for taking on 'important challenges' especially in relation to immigration detentions and mental health issues. James Packer, is also identified as ‘an outstanding lawyer who identifies points with ease and precision and thinks tactically.' Trevor Hatton is also noted as is Jenna McKinney who shows 'remarkable insight and rigour' and Zofia Duszynska whose cases are 'well run and inspired.' Stefan Vnuk is a new player to the firm’s team who specialises in complex immigration and asylum cases.
Civil liberties and Human Rights
In our recognition for our Civil Liberties and Human Rights work, Legal 500 states that Duncan Lewis is ‘one of the leading firms in the field of immigration’, with success in several Supreme Court, High Court, Court of Appeal and Upper Tribunal cases. ‘Exceptional’ partner Toufique Hossain and Lewis Kett have been praised for their ‘successful challenge involving discriminatory practices in immigration detention centres’ whilst Zofia Duszynska, has been commended for her ‘wealth of experience in test case litigation’ alongside Jamie Bell, for his work supporting unaccompanied refugee children in their applications to come to the United Kingdom.
Housing – New Ranking
For Duncan Lewis’ Housing practice in London, Legal 500 states that the firm is ‘one of the most effective firms practicing social housing law' with particular recognition for the pro-bono work undertaken, including representing a number of individuals in homelessness claims following the Grenfell Tower disaster. The directory has also ranked Duncan Lewis South East Housing practice for the first time.
The Heather Iqbal Rayner who is is praised for 'her willingness to go the extra mile for her clients'. Lynda Reid, who is part of Heather’s team, has also been accredited by Legal 500.
Further to Heather Iqbal Rayner’s leading individual status, London based lawyers who have also been recommended for their expertise in Housing practices are Bernadette Chikwe, Dianne Cowie, James de Vere Moss, Manjinder Kaur Atwal and Subbiah Sivapunniyam, who has been called 'a legend among housing lawyers', as well as Chinedu Orogbu who joined the team earlier this year.
Court of Protection
Having retained our position in our Legal 500 ranking, the directory has highlighted that our Court of Protection practice is a ‘team that is quick to respond’, led by key multi-disciplined individuals including Toufique Hossain, Rachel Caswell, Alex Peebles and Helen Cummings. Both Alex and Helen have been noted as ‘personable and client-focused but with a keen eye on the law, strategy and procedure to ensure the very best outcome for their clients’.
Family and Childcare – New Ranking
Legal 500 names us an ‘excellent firm with talented and experienced staff’. The directory praises our South East practice, ranking it for the first time, alongside our London Family and Childcare teams with particular reference to Alia Lewis, for being ‘incredibly thorough and always on top of the case’, alongside Laila Bhunnoo who is ‘very knowledgeable and organised’ and ‘hardworking and committed’ Ravi Kaur Mahey. Adeeba Naseem is also recommended. Alongside, the team in Birmingham has been recognised with special mention to Krina Parmar for her ‘strong focus on marriage protection orders and child abduction’ and Richard Gray ‘a key figure’ who ‘specialises in complex public law childcare cases’. Also recommended are solicitors Adam Bloodworth and Rupinder Jagdev, who are both experienced in advising on relationship breakdown cases.
Clinical Negligence – New Ranking
This year sees our 'dedicated and hardworking clinical negligence team' ranked for the first time, with the Legal 500 praising the department for its ‘…good results' in brain, spinal and neurological injury claims for both children and adults against NHS and private hospitals. 'First-class lawyer' and department lead Rebecca Thomas is recommended.
Personal Injury – New Ranking
Another department which has been newly ranked is our 'highly competent, hardworking and continually improving' personal injury department, which the Legal 500 is keen to highlight its practice in workplace, public liability, road traffic accident and disease claims involving serious injuries or fatalities. The directory notes that the team 'makes clients feel at ease' and 'fights hard for them', applying 'great tactical astuteness', headed by recommended lawyers Rebecca Thomas and Julie Leslie.