A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Gherson's best practice article

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.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

Highlighting best practice
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
»Principal: Roger Gherson
»Founded in 1988
»Located in central London
»Services: General immigration
(domestic and EU), corporate
immigration, complex
immigration litigation,British
nationality, human rights
and asylum, Interpol,
extradition and financial crime,
sanctions cases, and UWOS
(unexplained wealth orders)
»No. of employees: 56
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
Order case.
Going forward
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
A proactive,
discreet and
highly individual
approach to the
needs of every

This article was sponsored by Gherson. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister