Midlands law firm Sydney Mitchell has announced the launch of its new immigration department.

Andre Minnaar, senior associate, and Melissa Southall, associate, have taken the reins of the newly-formed immigration department covering the whole of the Midlands and beyond. Both join the firm from Cartwright King.

Minnaar is an expert in resolving complicated UK immigration, asylum and nationality problems. He is an experienced tribunal advocate, having successfully represented hundreds of appellants during his long career.

Southall is an experienced solicitor and provides extensive personal immigration advice on spouse visas, applications for children, asylum and European applications. She has experience in immigration and asylum work, and has a particular interest in applications involving the rights of children. She has worked with a number of local authorities representing children in local authority care who have immigration problems.

Senior partner Karen Moores welcomed the team, commenting: 'Both Andre and Melissa are a great addition to the firm. As a firm we are always looking to help and develop the service we offer to our clients. As a divorce lawyer and senior partner of the firm, I see first-hand the complexities encountered in dealing with children and family matters where there are foreign jurisdictions involved. I am looking forward to working with them both.

'Individuals, who are looking to work, live or just visit the UK from countries where they have been refused entry into the UK will be in safe hands with Andre and Melissa.'

Minnaar comments that: 'I am pleased to be joining such a well-established and respected legal firm in the Midlands.

'I pride myself in delivering a friendly and excellent service where no stone is left unturned to ensure that not only I meet my client’s expectations, but exceed it. As an immigrant who went through the immigration process myself, I understand exactly what my clients are going through.'

Southall added: 'I am passionate about helping those affected by strict immigration rules. Whatever stage our clients are at, we put our heart and soul into overcoming the hurdles that they face to ensure their applications are dealt with fairly and ultimately reach a favourable outcome.'

Sydney Mitchell has offices in Birmingham city centre, Sheldon and Shirley with additional facilities in Sutton Coldfield.

The firm has specialist teams that include employment, commercial property, company and commercial services, litigation and insolvency. Private client teams include family law, residential property, dispute resolution, immigration and wills and probate, tax and trusts and personal injury.


Pictured above: Andrew Minnaar, senior associate, and Melissa Southall, associate, immigration team, Sydney Mitchell LLP