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Nottingham – City of Legends

They say legends from Nottingham wear green tights, but sometimes, very occasionally, they wear red shirts.

Whilst Robin Hood’s outlaws famously lived in trees, Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest squad of the late 70’s and 80’s pulled a few up in their epic journey towards being crowned champions of England and Europe as well as seemingly having their own season tickets to play at Wembley finals on a regular basis.

Two players who perhaps define that era more than any others, and for that reason are revered by Forest fans as giants of the game, are John “Robbo” Robertson and Des “you’ll never beat Des Walker” Walker.

On Friday 30 October 2015, Paragon Law was proud to sponsor a table at the “Legendary Evening” within the photo-adorned rooms of the Nottingham Forest Robin Hood Suite to raise funds for the John Van Geest Cancer Research Centre. Following an inspiring talk on the work on the of the Research Centre from Professor Robert Rees we were treated to a full hour of anecdotes from Robbo and Des about their respective careers under “Cloughie” and how the great man had inspired them in different ways and at different times, instilling a mixture of fear, awe and respect in varying measures. In many ways the lessons learnt were applicable to management techniques from all sectors and certainly not limited to football in any way.

With a clear mutual respect between Des and Robbo as well as a shared love of a cigarette or 20, the evening was a great success raising close to £5,000 for the Cancer Research Centre, topped only by seeing Des join the band on stage for a cover of the Bob Marley Classic “Redemption Song” at the end of the night.

And, of course, we couldn’t let the opportunity pass by without us having photographs taken with the undoubted stars of the show, Robbo and Des, as well as another legend; the High Sheriff of Nottingham.

Paragon Law with Nottingham Forest Legends


Pardon Law Grows with Girl Power

                                                             Paragon Law

Paragon Law New Hires And Promotions

 New hires and promotionsjpeg

From L – R:  Emma Okenyi, Poppy Lockwood, Maaria Mahmood, Decla Palmer, Holly Costema, Charlotte Roberts, Kirin Abbas, Emily Bodden-Burton, Martha Kagusuma, Maria Markopoulou, Yingxiang (Jo) Long.

Paragon Law are delighted to announce that Emma Okenyi, Decla Palmer and Karen Rimmer have commenced training contracts at the firm.

Charlotte Roberts and Jo Long have joined the expanding corporate immigration department as legal caseworkers.

Emily Bodden-Burton has passed the Law Society Level 2 immigration law accreditation and has been promoted to a senior caseworker.  Maaria Mahmood has been promoted to legal secretary in the personal immigration department whilst Holly Costema has been promoted from legal secretary to the finance department.

Maria Markopoulou joins Paragon Law as Trainee Operations Manager with a particular interest in human resources management and manages a team including new apprentice administrators, Poppy Lockwood and Martha Kagusuma.

Kirin Abbas, Paragon Law’s Legal Services Director said, “That each of the new recruits were the outstanding candidates during the recruitment process and those that have been promoted have been done so because of their hard work and because of their shared values with the firm”.  She went on to say, “I am particularly delighted with our strong relationship with the 2 universities in Nottingham with 6 of the recruits coming from the Nottingham universities.  We are not only doing our share to recruit talent into Nottingham but also ensuring that it is retained after graduation”.

Right to rent checks introduced for all landlords in England

Human Key - right2rentThe government has announced today that from 1 February 2016, all private landlords in England will have to check new tenants have the right to be in the UK before renting out their property. This is a further roll-out of the Right to Rent scheme introduced by the Immigration Act 2014, the first phase of which has been piloted in the West Midlands since December 2014. The Home Office have now published their review of the pilot and this can be seen here.

Under Right to Rent, landlords must check identity documents for all new tenants (with some exceptions) including lodgers, take copies and store them for future reference. The Home Office claim that “the scheme has been designed to make it straightforward for people to give evidence of their right to rent and a range of commonly used documents can be used”. Others argue that the range of documents which can be used, alongside their lack of experience in this field, make this a far from straightforward process.

What is certain though, is that the penalties for not complying with these rules can be tough. Currently civil fines up to £3,000 per tenant are in place and the Immigration Bill 2015-2016, which is currently before Parliament, proposes criminal sanctions including prison for those who breach the rules.

Immigration Minister, James Brokenshire claims:

The government’s new Immigration Bill builds on the reforms in last year’s Act, making it harder for people to live and work in the UK illegally. The Bill proposes new measures to make it easier for landlords to evict illegal tenants as well as a new criminal offence targeted at unscrupulous landlords who repeatedly fail to carry out right to rent checks.”

In response Mark Lilley-Tams, an immigration law solicitor at Paragon Law, said:Mark Lilley-Tams

“Evidencing the right to be in the UK is a difficult process given the wide array of different documents available to prove this and landlords are generally not experts on immigration law. Delays in proving the right to rent can be expensive and time consuming for landlords and that is before you factor in the risk of civil fines, imprisonment and even uncapped discrimination claims if they make a mistake or fail to correctly store the documents they rely upon.

To assist landlords and letting agents we have introduced our Right2Rent service which allows us to take on legal responsibility for carrying out these checks and storing documentation. The feedback we have from the pilot area is that landlords really do not feel comfortable with this added responsibility of carrying out immigration checks and the threat of criminal sanctions will not make this burden any easier.”

The Right to Rent scheme was given legal status by the Immigration Act 2014. Some of the additional powers required to toughen up the government’s approach to enforcement of the scheme are within the Immigration Bill which is currently being debated in Parliament. The progress of this bill can be viewed here.

Further information on Paragon Law’s Right2Rent scheme can be seen at

Paragon Law – Ranked Top-Tier in the Legal 500

Legal 500


Once again we are grateful to our clients, associates and friends for ensuring that we remain ranked in the Top-Tier for immigration law advice in the Legal 500.

To view the full details of this please click here

To discuss how we can help you with your business or personal immigration matters please email or call us on 0115 9644 123


Right to Rent Checks Result In Discrimination Against Those Who Appear ‘Foreign’





The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) has conducted an independent evaluation of the Right to Rent scheme and has uncovered a number of negative impacts on tenants and landlords as a direct result of the scheme. These include:


  • There is evidence that landlords are prepared to discriminate against those with complicated immigration status and those who cannot provide documentation immediately.
  • Many landlords have found the checks confusing and have therefore undertaken them incorrectly.
  • The ‘Code of Practice for Landlords’ and the ‘Code of Practice on Avoiding Discrimination’ are difficult for landlords and agents to understand.

Although these rules are complicated and the risks to landlords are very real, there is help available. Paragon Law’s service for landlords and tenants, known as Right2Rent, can help landlords to navigate through the myriad of Rules and Regulations which are causing such confusion and leading to fines, the risk of imprisonment and discrimination claims. To find out more about the services we can offer landlords and tenants please see the link below.


Right2Rent Services for Landlords

Right2rent Services for Tenants


or email


To see the full JCWI report please click here.

Calais migrant crisis and the UK immigration and asylum system

Paragon Law - Stewart MacLachlan


Stewart MacLachlan, Senior Caseworker at Paragon Law, analyses what the UK’s obligations are towards the Calais migrants and considers whether the UK’s immigration system is fit to deal with the crisis as part of an interview by Lexis Nexis PSL.

The Calais migrant crisis and the UK immigration and asylum system

For more information please email

Law and the ‘illegals’: reforming UK immigration detention

Paragon Law lawyers, Mark Lilley-Tams and Stewart MacLachlan, have put together a fantastic article describing the impact of legislative changes on UK immigration detention.

To read this analysis on just one of the many number of national wesbites which are publishing and engaging with their opinions, please follow the link below:

To contact either of the authors please email: or

Paragon Edge – A new partnership to serve Nigeria


Paragon Edge brings together leading British niche immigration law firm Paragon Law and Inside Edge a Nigerian based market entry and education specialist.

The partnership’s foundations are a strong, ethical and knowledgeable team comprising of:

Thalej Vasishta, MD, Paragon Law; and

Peter Stephenson, OBE, ex-First Secretary, British High Commission, Nigeria; and

Lebari Ukpong, MD, Inside Edge and ex-Trade Development Manager, British Deputy High Commission, Nigeria.

Peter Stephenson said, “Obtaining a UK visa is not easy and most Nigerian applicants fail because of poor advice and documentation”.

Paragon Law has won multiple accolades for both its legal services and business processes. The firm is ranked in the top tier by the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners Directory to the legal profession, with the latter having described Paragon Law as an immigration law powerhouse, best known for handling complex and high profile cases”.

Thalej Vasishta said, “Once we have given our client an assessment of the merits in making the visa application, the secret of success is then in the preparation of the supporting documents, how this evidence is presented and explained to the visa officers”.

Paragon Edge will provide advice on all areas of UK immigration law be it whether a client wants to invest, trade, set up business, study, visit or join family members in the UK.

Inside Edge offices in Lagos will be the point of contact for Nigerian based clients. The UK team will set the case strategy and will be supported by the Lagos office to prepare documents and coordinate effective communication between the client and Paragon Edge.

Lebari Ukpong said, We are all excited about this partnership particularly as the knowledge and know-how with which we will serve our clients is unparalleled in Nigeria. This service is further enhanced by the fact that our clients will continue to be cared for once they are in the UK through Paragon Law”.

If you require further information or wish to instruct Paragon Edge please get in touch with your Paragon Edge contact in the usual way. Alternatively, email


Inside Edge Ltd

  • Suite D26, Dolphin Plaza, Corporation Drive, Dolphin Estate, Ikoyi, Lagos, Nigeria
  • Tel: +234 8035352685 / +234 1 4623411 ext 500
  • E:

Paragon Law

Are You Looking To Set Up An Overseas Operation?

World connect



Nelsons Solicitors together with Paragon Law and Baker Tilly are holding a free to attend event hosted by EMITA. The event will explore key aspects and challenges of establishing an overseas office.


Andy Jamieson will discuss the highly topical issue of the Bribery Act, Thalej Vasishta will discuss his experiences of setting up in India, China and Nigeria and will explore issues such as staffing, cultural differences and business support available. Jacky Kinsey will explore financial and tax implications when setting up overseas and will cover topics such as paying staff, repatriation of profits and tax implications.


For further information and to book on the event please click here.

Travelling to India for Business or Leisure Just Got Easier

Travel to India

15 August 2015 will be India’s Independence Day and the same day that UK and 35 other countries will be eligible for the Indian e-tourist visa (eTV).


The other countries being added to the existing list include Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Aruba, Belgium, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, East Timor, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland, Jamaica, Malaysia, Malta, Mongolia, Monaco, Mozambique, the Netherlands, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Seychelles, Slovenia, Spain, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Turks & Caicos Islands,  Uruguay and Venezuela.


Those who intend to travel to India for no more than 30 days for the purposes of recreation, site-seeing, visiting friends or family, medical treatment or business can apply for an eTV.


Each applicant must have their own passport (with at least 6 months validity and 2 blank pages), have a return ticket and evidence of sufficient funds for the duration of their stay in India.


The cost of the eTV is US $60 per applicant which is paid online at the time when you apply for your eTV. You are able to apply 4 days before you travel and have 30 days within which to present yourself at the port in India after the eTV has been issued. It should also be noted that you can only apply for the eTV for a maximum of 2 visits in a calendar year and that on each occasion the eTV will be valid for a single entry only.


You must present yourself with the printed eTV (and your passport) to designated airports. From 15 August 2015 there will be a choice of 16 airports to travel to under the eTV.


For further information and how to apply please go to the following link:


For further information on business and employment visas for India please feel free to contact me at