Stephens Scown receives immigration plaudits

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South west legal firm Stephens Scown has been awarded an ‘Excellence’ rating for its immigration work in an independent audit carried out by the Legal Services Commission.

Stephens Scown is one of only five legal firms across the whole of England and Wales to have been praised in the top category of a Peer Review Report for their approach to cases in this sector.

A detailed review of fifteen immigration files was carried out by the Legal Services Commission and validated by the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies – there were 84 Peer Reviews, as part of this process.

The Report said the work by Stephens Scown demonstrated ‘a very high degree of competence’ and that ‘meticulous attention to detail was given in preparing applications’.

In one particular case, the visa officer added that he had never seen such a ‘well presented, detailed application before’ and there was ‘excellent attention given to clients in their cases’.

Partner and immigration team leader at Stephens Scown, Phil Gregory commented: “This is a fantastic endorsement of the excellent work being done by the whole team at Stephens Scown and full credit to them for this. In particular, I would like to mention Judith Hockin – thirteen of the fifteen cases reviewed were hers. The Report clearly cements our position as a leading regional law firm and puts us on an equal footing with the best national firms for our quality of service – we’re delighted with this rating.”

Solicitor Judith Hockin’s work recently hit national headlines with her case of Exeter resident Robert McClellan, the son of a GI bride. He was told he was no longer allowed to work in the UK because he has no documents to prove he is a British citizen – despite having lived here since 1955. A change in the law towards the end of the year will mean McClellan can register as a UK citizen.

Other recent changes to immigration law include the introduction of a new points-based structure for the registration and monitoring of foreign workers and students. The new regulations are being accompanied by bigger fines and penalties for employers who fail to comply.

Stephens Scown’s litigation and dispute resolution team is top ranked in this year’s Chambers independent guide to the legal profession, being described as ‘absolutely first class’. Stephens Scown, which has offices in Exeter, Truro and St Austell, is also ranked highly in the Legal 500.