Maria is a Partner in Mishcon Private and sits on the Board as Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Partner. Maria advises individual and corporate clients on all areas of Immigration law. Her clients benefit from her vast technical knowledge and experience in dealing with exceptional cases, as well as her ability to provide innovative and bespoke solutions.
Maria has substantive expertise across all UK visa application types from Points Based System applications and settlement route applications, to highly complex and discretionary applications outside of the Immigration Rules. Under the Points Based System, Maria regularly advises on sponsor licences and sponsor compliance for companies wishing to employ workers under the Skilled Worker and Global Business Mobility visa categories. She also has considerable experience in relation to Sole Representative visas which now also fall under the UK Expansion Worker visa category. Maria regularly advises on and assists with fiancée/spouse/civil partnership and unmarried partner applications and often assists such clients where complex circumstances arise. Maria's clients also include European nationals seeking advice in relation to their UK immigration status post-Brexit and clients who require assistance with appeals to the Immigration Tribunal and with Judicial Review applications.
Many of her clients wish to obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK and subsequent British citizenship. This often involves complex matters such as excess absences from the UK requiring the exercise of discretion by the Home Office. Maria assists with the provision of long term strategic advice, as well as establishing links and connections with the UK for such clients.
Maria has recently been awarded Human Rights Solicitor of the Year by the Law Society for her extraordinary efforts to ensure that the protection of human rights law is available to all. In fact, she has many years of experience, especially with regard to political asylum claims mainly on the basis of clients' political affiliations or membership of certain social groups. Maria also regularly assists clients with obtaining second residencies or citizenships.
Maria led the firm's involvement in a Judicial Review on behalf of the Project for the Registration of Children as British Citizens ("PRCBC"), which went to the Supreme Court, in relation to the profit-making element of the citizenship application fee and it being unaffordable for some children. The finding from the Court of Appeal on the PRCBC case in relation to section 55 and the best interests of the child still stands and demonstrates Maria's conviction to advocate for a fair and accessible immigration system.
The immigration element of Pink Law, a free legal advice service for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, was founded by Maria. As a result of the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, Maria also co-founded the Black Justice Project in partnership with Queen Mary University, University of London Legal Advice Centre, to help tackle/combat the long-term discrimination against the Black community.
Maria is the immigration representative in the firm's Sports Group. She regularly advises football clubs in the UK regarding obtaining visas for players and has also advised in relation to rugby, golf and darts. Maria has also advised various sports governing bodies in relation to their immigration sponsorship rules. Maria has delivered the Immigration & Sport training for MBL for a number of years.
She is also part of Mishcon Purpose, which provides specialist and purpose-driven advice and she recently launched Climate Migration Project. Its aim is to recognise and raise awareness around the issue of climate-induced mobility and displacement of people, and legislate on the issue of recognising climate migration refugees in the UK by potentially creating a separate immigration category.
Recognised as an expert in her field by both Chambers and Legal 500, Maria is described as "skilled, calm, effective and knowledgeable" and "very strong technically, and a great professional". She was listed as a Spears Wealth Top 10 Immigration Lawyer and was also named a "rising star".
Maria often appears in the press and has been quoted in the FT, The Times, The Guardian, The Evening Standard and City A.M., as well as featuring on Sky Sports News, Channel 4 online and BBC television and radio in relation to topical and high profile immigration matters.
Maria is also a part of the Surrogacy and Modern Families group advising clients in relation to overseas surrogacies. She advises families on the UK immigration status of the child and helps them to navigate the immigration and nationality law complexities to bring the child to the UK as quickly as possible.