The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Gherson is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.
Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
22 | GHERSON
Principal Roger Gherson
Gherson was established by Roger Gherson in 1988 as UK
immigration, nationality and asylum law specialists. Today,
it is recognised as a market leader within the scope of its
work, utilising a proactive, discreet and highly individual approach
to the needs of every client. Roger tells
The Parliamentary Review
about the varied nature of the organisation’s skill set and
discusses its substantial growth and success over 30 years.
From the outset, we have dealt with the full spectrum of UK immigration applications,
including primary immigration routes – for those migrating to the UK as, for
example, Tier 2 employees on sponsorship licences, investors, entrepreneurs, sole
representatives of overseas companies and persons of exceptional talent – and family
reunion routes, for those joining primary migrants as a spouse or child or other family
member. We have also dealt with EU cases, based on the EU’s free movement laws,
and, with Brexit around the corner, we are assisting individuals and corporate clients
large and small regarding the status and consequences of EU citizenship after Brexit.
We have also dealt with all forms of protection, such as refugee claims or claims
under the ECHR. We have also handled British nationality claims by those who
assert they already have a British nationality and applications by those who have
no British nationality but seek to acquire it in one form or another. Regarding the
hostile environment, we have successfully represented a number of companies
accused by the Home Office of illegal employment.
We have represented a multitude of clients in respect of their immigration appeals
to the First-tier and Upper Tribunal of the Immigration and Asylum Chamber, as
well as judicial review proceedings before the High Court. We have secured a large
number of successful and important outcomes on appeal and statistically most of
our judicial reviews have settled favourably before coming before the tribunal.
The bulk of our practice in terms of volume of cases is centred on day-to-day
immigration matters as detailed above. We have spent a large amount of time
developing our website, which is highly regarded by individuals and practitioners
and used extensively as a resource by them.
Over the years, the firm’s expertise has expanded to include human rights law with
the introduction of the Human Rights Act 1998, extradition, white-collar crime,
representations to Interpol, applications to the European Court and the European
Court of Human Rights and providing advice to clients and firms located in other
countries. We have grown significantly and now have 56 employees. For many
years we were based in Marble Arch but in December 2018 we relocated to new
premises in Curzon Street.
The development of Gherson
Shortly after the firm was established, and in the build-up to the handover of Hong
Kong in 1997, 50,000 key residents were offered an opportunity to obtain British
AT A GLANCE
»Principal: Roger Gherson
»Founded in 1988
»Located in central London
»Services: General immigration
(domestic and EU), corporate
nationality, human rights
and asylum, Interpol,
extradition and financial crime,
sanctions cases, and UWOS
(unexplained wealth orders)
»No. of employees: 56
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
citizenship as an encouragement to
remain in the country, saving the
colony from a brain drain in its final
hours. The idea was that by having
British citizenship, they could move
to the UK at any time if Hong Kong
ceased flourishing once under Chinese
rule. This was our first foray into
assisting clients abroad, and between
1989 and 1997, I travelled to Hong
Kong on over 50 occasions to assist
applicants who were based there.
Next, the collapse of the Berlin Wall
and the opening up of the Eastern Bloc
in 1989 saw the emergence of a new
geopolitical terrain, new nationalities
and new migration trends. In 1994, we
were instructed in our first large Russian
case, which ultimately led to the
enactment of the Special Immigration
Appeals Commission Act 1997 and the
creation of a national security court
to try appeals against immigration
decisions involving a combination of
open and closed materials. At the
outset, SIAC was not expected to have
any work other than our case, but then
came the attacks of 9/11 and 7/7.
In 1996, the EU Association Agreements
came into force and we began to act
for applicants primarily from Romania
and Bulgaria, as well as nationals of
Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Czech
Republic, Slovakia and Poland, wishing
to establish themselves in the UK. From
2000, our protection cases became pan-
European as a consequence of politically
motivated prosecutions in the FSU
against high-profile individuals and their
associates. A single attack with multiple
targets resulted in asylum claims in
multiple jurisdictions across Europe. We
have acted in a number of jurisdictions
for such individuals. We have assisted
in connection with six such matters in
Cyprus, two in the Czech Republic and
cases in Spain, France, Germany, Italy,
Austria, Latvia and Dubai.
This in turn led to the development
of our sanctions practice. In 2014,
we were instructed in a number of
cases involving sanctions imposed on
Ukrainian nationals who were members
of the government administration
and close associates of Yanukovych.
We recently obtained a number of
landmark decisions from the General
Court of the EU vindicating our clients’
defence and resulting in the dropping
of sanctions against them.
Arising out of our asylum work, we
developed an “extradition, white-
collar crime and Interpol” department
internally, offering a complete
immigration and extradition service.
Most recently, we have been instructed
in the UK’s first Unexplained Wealth
It has been an exciting and challenging
30 years. We continue to be instructed
by a wide range of clients and the
challenges increase. The Ukrainian
sanctions cases we have handled and our
acting in the first Unexplained Wealth
Order case demonstrate our readiness
to grow into new areas and adapt
quickly to the changing legal terrain.
A growing problem with immigration
law is that it is governed by a complex
array of Immigration Acts and
Immigration Rules, which are now
so voluminous, interdependent and
volatile, often changing overnight, that
not even full-time immigration lawyers
and judges can keep pace, let alone
applicants. When the law becomes
this unclear and inaccessible, it offends
public law principles and becomes
unusable in practice.Time for change.
Gherson: in the heart of
approach to the
needs of every
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review
This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.
In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.
We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.
With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.
And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.
As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.