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The Legal 500 2022 Success (30 September 2021)

Date: 30/09/2021
Duncan Lewis, Main Solicitors, The Legal 500 2022 Success

We are pleased to announce that our results in the 2022 edition of The Legal 500 sees us obtain rankings in two new areas, rise in the rankings in four areas, and retain rankings in 20 other practice areas. All three of our lawyers ranked as Leading Individuals have maintained their ranking as have all five of our Next Generation Partners and our Rising Star. We also have a brand new Next Generation Partner in our midst.

Overall we have retained our Top-Tier firm status in immigration London and Wales, and in family (Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx). We have achieved a new Top-Tier ranking in Immigration South East. Additionally, 20 other practice areas are ranked, 3 incredible directors have been given elite Leading Individual status, 6 individuals dubbed Next Generation Partners and one Rising Star. In total we have 117 rankings across 68 lawyers.

We are delighted to have achieved two new rankings for our Litigation department. With a Tier 6 ranking in London Professional Negligence and Tier 4 ranking in Commercial Litigation: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx (South East).

Further success has been achieved in four of our previously ranked practices improving on their rankings: with our London based Family team rising from Tier 5 to 4 and our Immigration and Public Law team rising from Tier 4 to 3 in the Administrative and public law guide. Our South East Immigration and Public Law team has risen from Tier 2 to 1 and the Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence: claimant team has risen from Tier 3 to 2.

From an individual standpoint Manjinder Kaur Atwal, Toufique Hossain, and Vinita Templeton have maintained their status as Leading Individuals for their work within the South East Social Housing practice, London Immigration and Public Law practice, and Wales Immigration practice respectively.

Moreover, Manjinder has also maintained her ranking as a Next Generation Partner for her London housing practice, as has Toufique for both his immigration South East work and admin and public law work in London. Directors Adeeba Naseem and Alia Lewis also maintained their rankings for their family South East work. Solicitor Vanessa Delgado also retained her ranking as a Rising Star for her Wales-based immigration practice.

We also welcome a new Next Generation Partner with director James Packer being ranked within the Civil liberties and human rights London guide.

We are overjoyed with this year’s outcome and offer huge congratulations to all of our ranked individuals and teams. The full list of rankings can be found below.



London Guide



Human resources - Immigration - Immigration - human rights, appeals and overstay – Tier 1

Human resources - Immigration - Immigration – business – Tier 5


Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a 'large and diverse' bench of specialist immigration lawyers handling both business matters and complex public law cases. Ayan Yalchin is head of business/private immigration in the firm's Dalston office; he works with companies on sponsorship licences and renewals and also advises high net worth individuals from a variety of international jurisdictions. The firm is known for its judicial review claimant practice, acting for marginalised and vulnerable clients. Other key members of the 'powerhouse' team include Tamana Aziz and the 'exceptional' Vicash Ramkissoon on the business side, and public and administrative law specialists Bernadette Adusei, Gabor Nagy and Toufique Hossain, who has specific expertise with regards to asylum seekers, as well as the 'excellent' Rohena Wallace.


Leading Individual:

Toufique Hossain

Recommended:

Practice head(s):
Ayan Yalchin; Tamana Aziz; Vicash Ramkissoon; Bernadette Adusei; Gabor Nagy; Toufique Hossain; Zofia Duszynska; James Packer



Dispute Resolution: Debt recovery - Tier 2

The debt recovery department at Duncan Lewis Solicitors is particularly known for representing claimants and defendants in matters against rogue lenders and financial institutions. The team is notably strong in claims against financial advisers, with it having expertise in banking litigation, data protection and disputes between financial advisers and individual investors. In addition, the firm handles high-value debt claims for both companies and individuals during bankruptcy proceedings, where Anthony Okumah has longstanding experience. He co-heads the practice with Sobashni De Silva.

Recommended:
Practice head(s): Sobashni De Silva; Anthony Okumah

Other key lawyers: Kulwant Sokhal



Crime, fraud and licensing - Crime: general – Tier 3

With 'exceptional individual client care', Duncan Lewis Solicitors is a key name in the market for serious crime issues including murders, sexual offences, drug importations and fraud matters. The team also has niche expertise in country line drug cases and modern slavery mandates. Rubin Italia (who also has experience in public law and immigration work), fraud specialist Hardeep Dhaliwal and Nicholas De Freitas, who focuses on violent offences, jointly lead the group. Consultant Linda Barker is also praised by clients.

Recommended:

Practice head(s):
Rubin Italia; Nicholas De Freitas; Hardeep Dhaliwal

Other key lawyers: Daniel Dilein; Linda Barker; Jiban Miah (no longer with the firm)




Private client - Court of Protection – Tier 2

Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a multi-disciplinary approach that advises on a whole host of issues including mental health, community care, clinical negligence and public law. It is increasingly receiving instructions to advise trust corporations and other firms on health and social care matters. The practice is skilled at representing vulnerable clients and family members in disputes about mental capacity and best interest welfare decisions. It specialises in the overlap between the Mental Health Act and the Mental Capacity Act, as well as deprivation of liberty, section 16 and inherent jurisdiction matters. Alex Peebles and Rachel Caswell head the group.


Next Generation Partners
Alex Peebles (no longer with the firm)

Recommended:
Practice head(s):
Alex Peebles (no longer with the firm); Rachel Caswell
Other key lawyers: Helen Cummings (no longer with the firm)



Private client – Family – Tier 4 (previously Tier 5)

Duncan Lewis Solicitors handles all aspects of family law with particular specialism in representing victims of domestic violence, unusual divorces and securing financial settlements following the breakdown of a marriage. It is also skilled at handling the complexities of parental conflict especially parental alienation cases and also has extensive experience in Islamic law. It has, in addition, a particular specialism in advising on female genital mutilation protection orders and has a formidable reputation for its experience in international and domestic family law proceedings at the high court. It receives plaudits for its 'outstanding client care'. The lawyers are 'always compassionate and understanding'.

Recommended:

Practice head(s):
Adeeba Naseem; Alia Lewis; Emine Mehmet; Forida Hakim; Kathy Walker; Laila Bhunnoo; Ravi Kaur Mahey; Sophie Fretten; Vanket Appalakondiah
Other key lawyers: Priyal Patel; Marilyn Edwards; Michelle Lubelle (no longer with the firm); Clarissa Thompson-Grobelny; Mehnaz Zanil



Public sector - Civil liberties and human rights – Tier 3

Immigration specialist Duncan Lewis Solicitors has expertise in inquires and large judicial reviews and represents vulnerable people in human rights, crime, prison law, court of protection, mental capacity and social welfare matters. Issues related to Windrush are another forte for the firm, which also has an increasing international public law presence, developing litigation challenges to UK government practices in Libya and Eritrea. The team is co-led by Alex Peebles, Ayan Yalchin, Bernadette Adusei, Gabor Nagy, James Packer, Jenna McKinney, Rohena Wallace, Tamana Aziz, Toufique Hossain, Vicash Ramkissoon and Zofia Duszynska.

Next Generation Partners (NEW)
James Packer

Recommended:

Practice head(s):
Alex Peebles (no longer with the firm); Ayan Yalchin; Bernadette Adusei; Gabor Nagy; James Packer; Jenna McKinney; Rohena Wallace; Tamana Aziz; Toufique Hossain; Vicash Ramkissoon; Zofia Duszynska



Real estate - Social housing: tenant – Tier 2

Duncan Lewis Solicitors is contracted with the Legal Aid Agency and provides publicly funded services to tenants on a diverse range of social housing matters which include cases of disrepair and rent disputes, as well as judicial reviews. The team is particularly experienced in possession and unlawful eviction claims, with a significant presence in County Court Possession Duty Schemes in London. A further niche specialism of the practice is in assisting vulnerable clients with Equality Act defence cases. Manjinder Kaur Atwal, 'excellent solicitor' Dianne Cowie, Bernadette Chikwe and David Head jointly lead the practice. Chinedu Orogbu and James de Vere Moss have left the firm.

Next Generation Partners

Manjinder Kaur Atwal

Recommended:

Practice head(s):
Manjinder Kaur Atwal; Dianne Cowie; Bernadette Chikwe; David Head



Public Sector - Administrative and public law - Tier 3 – (previously Tier 4)

Duncan Lewis Solicitors' 'boundary-pushing' team is very active in legal challenges asserting the rights of vulnerable individuals, including asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking. In addition, the firm frequently represents clients in unlawful detention claims against the Home Office and inquiries related to various public scandals and disasters, such as the Grenfell Tower fire. The 'innovative and brilliant' Toufique Hossain has an active pro bono practice, which supports asylum seekers in critical challenges throughout the UK court circuit, and the 'outstanding' James Packer stands out for his expertise in judicial reviews and Court of Appeal cases, with a particular focus on immigration matters. Rohena Wallace, who is an accredited supervisor and level 3 (advanced) senior caseworker, has a broad public law practice, with notable expertise in EU human rights law and cases involving the unlawful deprivation of citizenship.

Next Generation Partners

Toufique Hossain

Recommended:

Practice head(s)
: James Packer; Rohena Wallace; Toufique Hossain; Alex Peebles (no longer with the firm); Bernadette Adusei; Jenna McKinney


NEW RANKING: Insurance: Professional Negligence – Tier 6

Duncan Lewis Solicitors advises on negligence claims being made against those working in professions including law, construction and engineering, advising a range of high-net worth individuals, vulnerable individuals, businesses and charities. Sobashni De Silva and Anthony Okumah co-lead the team, both of whom have expertise in dispute resolution.

Recommended:

Practice head(s):
Sobashni De Silva; Anthony Okumah


South East Guide



Private client - Family: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx – Tier 1

Duncan Lewis Solicitors fields a large family and child care team, providing advice on a broad range of matters including domestic violence, complex divorce and separation cases, and financial settlements. The team also has considerable experience in care proceedings and cross-border disputes. The practice is led by five directors: Adeeba Naseem, Alia Lewis, and Ravi Kaur Mahey are based in Harrow; Krina Parmar is based in Milton Keynes and Luton; while newly promoted Natasha Khakhar is based in Luton.

Next Generation Partners

Alia Lewis

Adeeba Naseem

Recommended:

Practice head(s)
: Adeeba Naseem; Alia Lewis; Ravi Kaur Mahey; Krina Parmar; Natasha Khakhar



Human resources – Immigration – Tier 1 (previously Tier 2)

Duncan Lewis Solicitors' 'very attentive and passionate' team is well-positioned to handle a wide range of high-stakes personal immigration cases, including judicial reviews involving human rights, civil liberty and social welfare issues faced by migrants travelling to the UK. It is also well known for advising companies on business immigration work, ranging from points-based system applications and appeals to securing entrepreneur and investor visas. Toufique Hossain has developed a strong reputation for his legal aid work on behalf of asylum seekers, encompassing litigation before the Administrative Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court. Zofia Duszynska has a similar focus, having represented vulnerable immigrants in disputes involving modern slavery, human trafficking and gender-based persecution elements. Ahmed Aydeed, Bahar Ata and Rohena Wallace are also recommended for their work in the field of personal immigration.

Next Generation Partners

Toufique Hossain

Recommended:

Other key lawyers
: Ahmed Aydeed; Bahar Ata; Rohena Wallace; Tamana Aziz; Toufique Hossain; Vicash Ramkissoon; Zofia Duszynska



Private Client - Contentious trusts and probate - Tier 4

Duncan Lewis Solicitors advises on the full range of contentious trust and probate matters, including probate disputes, claims concerning the transfer of property, proprietary estoppel, and estate distribution. The team speaks a combined a total of seven languages and if, required, can draw on talent from its network of office across the UK to provide additional geographic coverage. Director of the department Caroline Roche leads on contentious probate matters and specialises in handling Powers of Attorney and proprietary estoppel claims. Associate solicitor Samantha Fennah joined the team in September 2020 from Taylor Rose MW.

Recommended:

Practice head(s):
Caroline Roche

Other key lawyers: Samantha Fennah



Dispute Resolution - Debt recovery - Tier 4

Known for representing claimants and defendants, Duncan Lewis Solicitors focuses primarily on defending corporate and individual debtors against recovery actions, handling asset freezing orders and fraud litigation. Commercial litigator Sobashni De Silva stands out for her strong track record in defending clients against repossession claims. She is also well-regarded for her niche expertise in cross-border debt recovery, with a focus on the Middle East. Anthony Okumah has a wealth of experience in insolvency and bankruptcy litigation, as well as winding-up claims and general debt recovery mandates.

Recommended:

Practice head(s):
Sobashni De Silva; Anthony Okumah

Other key lawyers: Kulwant Sokhal; Karolina Natkaniec



Crime, fraud and licensing - Crime: general – Tier 4

Based in Harrow, Duncan Lewis Solicitors handles a range of serious criminal matters and gang-related crimes including murders and sexual offences. Jointly led by Rubin Italia and Nicholas De Freitas, the team specialises in drug confiscation and modern slavery matters. Linda Barker is noted for her experience in fraud and violent crime matters, while Laurence Grant and Simon Connolly handle financial fraud offences.

Recommended:

Practice head(s)
: Rubin Italia; Nicholas De Freitas

Other key lawyers: Linda Barker; Laurence Grant; Simon Connolly



Insurance - Personal injury and clinical negligence: claimant - Tier 2 (previously Tier 3)

At Duncan Lewis Solicitors, the highly regarded clinical negligence and personal injury team is led by the 'exceptional' Rebecca Thomas, who has over 25 years of experience in this area. Under Thomas' leadership, the firm has built up an excellent reputation securing favourable outcomes for clients, including high-value settlements. The group's workload includes fatal accidents, public and employers' liability claims and asbestos disease cases. It also acts for children and adults in a multitude of claims arising from negligent medical care, such as neonatal, paediatric, neurological and neurosurgical cases. Solicitor Amy Bennett, who focuses exclusively on medical negligence cases, is noted for her work in stillbirth and neonatal death claims. Other solicitors of note are Ifrah Ahmed and Nilma Shah.

Recommended:

Practice head(s)
: Rebecca Thomas

Other key lawyers: Amy Bennett; Ifrah Ahmed; Nilma Shah (no longer with the firm)



Insurance - Professional negligence – Tier 3

Duncan Lewis Solicitors acts on complex and high-value claims for both private clients and companies on the full range of professional negligence issues. Notably, the team has extensive experience with vulnerable individuals with mental health conditions, as well as assisting in professional negligence claims against legal, financial, and engineering professionals. Team co-director Sobashni De Silva represents clients on claims such as negligent misstatement, working with co-director Anthony Okumah in Harrow.

Recommended:

Practice head(s)
: Sobashni De Silva; Anthony Okumah




Real estate - Social housing – Tier 2

Duncan Lewis Solicitors’ focus on tenant-side advocacy work sees the team acting on an array of contentious social housing instructions, often involving Equality Act defence cases, disrepair claims, succession rights, and neighbourhood disputes against local authorities. Harrow-based practice head Manjinder Kaur Atwal handles a broad spectrum of social housing litigation, and is especially focused on homelessness matters. Sadaf Mir is similarly noted for her capabilities in homelessness cases, and in housing disputes subject to special considerations under the Children Act, Care Act, and Equality Act. Adrian Smith concentrates on unlawful evictions, and has worked on cases in both the High Court and the Court of Appeal. All named lawyers are based in Luton unless stated otherwise.

Leading individuals

Manjinder Kaur Atwal


Recommended:

Practice head(s):
Manjinder Kaur Atwal

Other key lawyers: Sadaf Mir; Adrian Smith (no longer with the firm); Gareth Hutton (no longer with the firm)



NEW RANKING: Dispute Resolution - Commercial Litigation: Beds, Bucks, Herts, Middx – Tier 4
Duncan Lewis Solicitors advises both companies and private individuals on a range of commercial disputes, often involving multiple jurisdictions. The team has also expanded into fraud-related financial disputes, defending claims by financial institutions and lenders. Director Sobashni De Silva has experience in civil fraud, commercial debt recovery and shareholder disputes, while director Anthony Okumah deals with professional negligence claims, as well as insolvency and property litigation matters.

Recommended:
Practice head(s)
: Sobashni De Silva; Anthony Okumah


Wales Guide



Human resources - Immigration – Tier 1

Praised for its 'supportive, collaborative, kind and sensitive' approach, Duncan Lewis Solicitors excels in representing vulnerable clients in their immigration-related concerns, including in relation to those seeking asylum for fear of persecution in their home country as a result of their sexual orientation. 'Accessible and approachable' team head Vinita Templeton is appreciated for her 'compassion and willingness to think outside the box', enabling her to excel in handling many high-profile and challenging matters, including in judicial review proceedings for the victims of the Windrush scandal and Commonwealth veterans. Praised for her 'heart and passion', Vanessa Delgado is also a key member of the team and has considerable expertise across a wide variety of immigration, asylum, and human rights matters, through to judicial review.

Leading individuals

Vinita Templeton


Rising stars

Vanessa Delgado


Recommended:
Practice head(s)
: Vinita Templeton
Other key lawyers: Vanessa Delgado; Samuel Bass


West Midlands Guide



Private Client – Family – Tier 2

Duncan Lewis Solicitors frequently represents clients who are facing emergency situations as well as advising clients on divorce and separation issues. The team is skilled at helping clients with significant vulnerabilities and also has considerable strength in international child abduction cases. All solicitors undertake their own advocacy. Krina Parmar and Richard Gray specialise in all aspects of public law children matters. Parmar is a member of the Law Society Children’s Panel and Gray is an accredited member of the Law Society Children’s Panel. The team is well-regarded too for its work on culturally complex cases including Islamic law.

Recommended:

Practice head(s)
: Richard Gray; Krina Parmar

Other key lawyers: Anita Bains; Henna Sajid; Adam Bloodworth; Emma Haynes



Human Resources - Immigration – Tier 2

Duncan Lewis Solicitors has a large immigration offering across the UK; the Birmingham team has significant experience in immigration, asylum and judicial review claimant matters. Its particular strength lies in the provision of publicly funded immigration services. The team has developed a number of specialisms representing vulnerable clients such as victims of torture or trafficking as well as detained asylum cases. It has substantial experience of representing clients in judicial review immigration cases before the High Court and in unlawful detention cases. Practice head Ahmed Aydeed is highly regarded.

Recommended:

Practice head(s)
: Ahmed Aydeed



East Midlands Guide



Immigration - Tier 3

Duncan Lewis Solicitors’ immigration practice has a strong focus on immigration, asylum and judicial review claimant matters and is one largest providers of publicly funded immigration services. The ‘very professional and friendly’ team is headed up by director Alexis Masolo, who specialises in, among others, representing unaccompanied asylum seeking children, applications under the European Economic Area regulations and complex asylum-based matters and frequently handles judicial review cases for claimants.

Recommended:

Practice head(s)
: Alexis Masolo



Yorkshire and the Humber Guide



Family: Leeds, West Yorkshire, North Yorkshire - Tier 4

The family team at Duncan Lewis Solicitors' Bradford base is led by Abbid Majeed and Meena Kumari. Recognised specialists in all aspects of matrimonial and private children law, the firm has a niche practice representing domestic abuse victims under both legal aid and financial order proceedings. In addition, it is recognised for representing clients in matters linked to forced marriage protection orders, FGM, domestic abuse and and emergency protection orders. Sophia Hussain is another key contact.

Recommended:

Practice head(s)
: Meena Kumari; Abbid Majeed
Other key lawyers: Sophia Hussain

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