Nicola Anne Wilkins

Nicola Anne Wilkins

Consultant Solicitor –
Business and Personal
UK Immigration Law

Nicola has over 8 years of experience advising on both corporate and private UK immigration law and has represented many of the world’s largest companies encompassing many of the FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies across a broad range of industries including the engineering, financial services, healthcare, insurance, media, oil and gas, real estate, sports, technology and telecommunications sectors.

Nicola has managed immigration law matters for a diversified portfolio of corporate clients encompassing multinational corporations (MNC’s), small to medium-sized enterprises (SME’s), hedge funds, charitable organisations and for one of sport’s leading international governing bodies.  Nicola has additionally managed immigration law matters for high net worth individuals, mainly from the jurisdictions of China, Russia and the United States of America.

Nicola has excellent technical knowledge of applications filed both within and outside of the UK’s immigration points-based system including Tiers 1 to 5, settlement, British nationality and European law applications and provides advice on complex immigration matters which are interlinked with employment and family law issues.

She also has significant experience advising on and working collaboratively with corporate clients on UK sponsor licence related issues, including audits and compliance and immigration issues relating to corporate restructurings including mergers and acquisitions.

Assisting both businesses and private individuals with their immigration needs, Nicola provides expert and client-tailored advice on all areas of immigration to the UK in a meticulous manner.

Expertise:

Business Immigration:

  • Tier 1 (Investor)
  • Tier 2 (General)
  • Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer)
  • Sponsor licence applications for start-up and established UK companies
  • Sponsor licence renewal applications for start-up and established UK companies
  • Sponsor licence management including managing organisational changes and reporting obligations
  • Immigration audits
  • Compliance advice to fulfil sponsorship duties
  • Right to work document checks and prevention of illegal working
  • Brexit planning and applications under the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme for employees
  • Advice on the immigration consequences of corporate restructurings including mergers and acquisitions
  • Advice on the immigration consequences of employment terminations and TUPE transfers
  • Representative of an overseas business visas
  • Business visitor visas
  • Permitted paid engagement visas

Individual Immigration:

  • Tier 1 (Investor)
  • Tier 2 (General)
  • Tier 2 (Intra-Company Transfer)
  • Tier 2 (Sportsperson)
  • Tier 4 (Child) Student and Tier 4 (General) Student
  • Tier 5 (Creative and Sporting)
  • Tier 5 (Government Authorised Exchange)
  • Tier 5 (Youth Mobility)
  • Ancestry
  • Indefinite leave to remain (ILR)
  • Long residence
  • British citizenship naturalisation
  • British citizenship registration
  • EU Settlement Scheme
  • EEA Family Permit, EEA Residence Card and EEA Permanent Residence Card applications
  • Spouses and unmarried partners of British citizens and settled individuals
  • Fiancé(e)s of British citizens and settled individuals
  • Dependant applications (spouses, unmarried partners, adopted and biological children)
  • Inter-country adoption and the Immigration Rules
  • Inter-country surrogacy and the Immigration Rules
  • Sole responsibility of children and the Immigration Rules

Experience:

  • Managed numerous successful sponsor licence applications for start-ups, multinational corporations (MNC’s) and small to medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) within the financial services, healthcare, media, technology and telecommunications sectors.
  • Advised on the immigration consequences of corporate restructurings including mergers and takeovers in relation to both the sponsor licences and the sponsored migrant workers involved in such transactions.  Most recently in relation to a leading US investment management company which acquired a majority shareholding interest in a UK investment management firm.  The deal was widely publicised in the media.
  • Supervised entry clearance, leave to remain and indefinite leave to remain applications for high net worth individuals in the Tier 1 (Investor) visa category (£2, £5 and £10 million).
  • Managed an international global mobility project from Saudi Arabia to the UK for one of the world’s largest and the Middle East’s largest petrochemicals manufacturer. Achieved 100% approval rate on 98 UK business immigration law cases for the global project.
  • Managed all UK immigration law matters for a portfolio of predominantly US-headquartered clients in the oil and gas, engineering, real estate and technology sectors.
  • Co-led the London Olympics 2012 Recruitment Programmes for two of the world’s leading global sports marketing and media communications companies and advised approximately 100 non-EEA nationals on Tier 2 visas.
  • Co-led a UK Graduate Recruitment Programme for an American global investment management corporation and advised on immigration requirements for approximately 60 non-EEA graduates inside and outside of the UK for the firm’s Edinburgh & London offices.
  • Managed many successful applications filed under the Immigration (European Economic Area) (EEA) Regulations for family members and extended family members of EEA nationals including complex applications for durable relationships involving unmarried partners.
  • Managed a large number of complex applications filed under the British Nationality Act 1981 for British citizenship by entitlement and discretion for adults and children.  Obtained successful approval for numerous discretionary applications where the residence and good character requirements were not met.
  • Delivered Brexit contingency planning training to businesses and advised on immigration options for businesses and EEA nationals in light of Brexit under the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme.

Career:

Prior to joining the firm, Nicola worked as a Senior Associate Solicitor specialising in UK immigration law at a global top 15 law practice.

Prior to this, Nicola worked as an Associate Solicitor specialising in UK immigration law at two US-headquartered law firms dedicated exclusively to immigration services worldwide, Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy LLP (known as Fragomen) and Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. 

Nicola completed her Legal Practice Certificate (LPC) with Distinction at The University of Law (formerly known as The College of Law).

Nicola also has a Master of Arts degree (MA) in International Business Management and a LLB (Hons) law degree.

Memberships:

  • Solicitor of the Senior Courts of England and Wales,
  • The Law Society of England and Wales
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office Registered Solicitor
  • Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA)

Nicola is happy to do home visits or Skype, or meet in the Chancery Lane London office or Guildford office of Setfords, whichever is the most convenient for the client.

Practice areas:

Immigration Law