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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

The International Who's Who Of Corporate Immigration Lawyers - Fifth Edition

by Whos Who Legal

Most Highly Regarded Individuals - Global

Roxana C Bacon, Littler Global, Phoenix

Ted Badoux, Everaert Advokaten, Amsterdam

Robert E Banta, Banta Immigration Law Limited, Atlanta

Scott M Borene, Borene Law Firm PA, Minneapolis

Daryl R Buffenstein, Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP, Atlanta

Eugene Chow, Chow King & Associates, Hong Kong

Steven A Clark, Flynn & Clark PC, Cambridge

Richard S Goldstein, Law Offices of Richard S Goldstein, London and New York

Joel Guberman, Guberman Garson, Toronto

H Ronald Klasko, Klasko Rulon Stock & Selzer LLP, Philadelphia

Ira J Kurzban, Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli PA, Miami

Steven M Ladik, Jenkens & Gilchrist PC, Dallas

Warren R Leiden, Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP, San Francisco

Julia Onslow-Cole, CMS Cameron McKenna, London

Angelo A Paparelli, Paparelli & Partners LLP, Irvine

Jan M Pederson, Pederson & Freedman LLP, Washington

John L Pinnix, Allen & Pinnix PA, Raleigh

Edwin R Rubin, Rubin & Dornbaum, Newark

Theodore Ruthizer, Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, New York

Liam Schwartz, Kan-Tor & Schwartz, Ramat Gan

Joan Squires-Lind, Squires-Lind Law Offices, Paris

Stephen Yale-Loehr, True Walsh & Miller, Ithaca

Paul L Zulkie, Zulkie Partners LLC, Chicago

Receiving more nominations than any other practitioner in this publication, the "outstanding" Angelo Paparelli of Paparelli & Partners, Irvine, California, is, according to our research, the world's leading lawyer for corporate immigration work. Another extremely highly regarded Californian practitioner is Warren Leiden of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP, regarded as "one of the finest immigration lawyers in the state".

Roxanna Bacon of Littler Global, Phoenix, is the most highly nominated lawyer in the state. Her strong showing in the research also catapults her into this list of the top global practitioners. Similarly well regarded by both clients and peers was Steven Ladik of Jenkens & Gilchrist in Dallas, with one respondent remarking that Ladik was among "the very best in the country".

"The kingpin of the Minnesota immigration bar" is Scott Borene . Not only is he highly regarded in the state, his reputation extends internationally and he received enough nominations for inclusion in this list of the world's leading practitioners. The leading lawyer in Illinois, by virtue of the number of nominations received, is Paul Zulkie, the founding member of Zulkie Partners. The president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), Zulkie is praised for his in-depth knowledge of the field and he is regarded as one of world's top corporate immigration lawyers.

Ira J Kurzban is a "legend in the field" practising at Miami firm Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli. Receiving more nominations than any other lawyer in the state he is praised for having written "the definitive book on US immigration law." Nearby, the state of Georgia boasts two practitioners in this top tier. Respondents commented upon the "character, dignity and extreme competency" of Daryl Buffenstein at the Atlanta office of Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP where his team was seen to be "a cut above the rest in a difficult matter". Also highly regarded is the "very good" Robert Banta.

Joining Banta and Buffenstein in this global list is the "outstanding" John Pinnix, immediate past president of AILA, and the most highly nominated lawyer in North Carolina.

Moving up the eastern coast of the United States, our research finds Jan Pederson of Pederson & Freedman LLP leading the nominations in the District of Columbia. Highly regarded within the state, she is also one of the leading immigration lawyers on an international scale. Ronald Klasko of Klasko Rulon Stock & Seltzer LLP "dominates the Pennsylvanian market" in the opinion of one respondent, and this view is backed up by the overall research. Indeed, many commented that the firm had done extremely well following its spin-off from Dechert LLP in early 2004.

Edwin Rubin of Rubin & Dornbaum heads the nominations in the state of New Jersey. Extremely well regarded in the field, he is the only NJ-lawyer to make it into the top tier of global practitioners. In contrast, neighbouring New York, with 27 lawyers listed, is the most highly represented US state after California. Theodore Ruthizer of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP leads the research based on nominations with one respondent praising him as "a great immigration lawyer who is not egocentric". Given the number of practitioners nominated in the state it is unsurprising that another NY-based lawyer, Stephen Yale-Loehr of True Walsh & Miller, should join Mr Ruthizer in this global list. Comments were that Yale-Loehr is a "very important figure in immigration law, a prolific writer and a scholar". The "extremely good" Steven Clark of Flynn & Clark in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is also highly praised and is the only lawyer from that state to appear in the top tier.

Outside of the United States there are a number of practitioners appearing in the top tier of listed lawyers. Joel Guberman of Guberman Garson in Toronto is, according to our findings, the leading lawyer in Canada for corporate immigration matters. England, with 19 outstanding nominees, is the largest jurisdiction for immigration law experts outside of the United States. Specialising in UK immigration law is Julia Onslow-Cole , described by one respondent as "a superstar". Richard Goldstein , with offices in London and New York, specialises in US immigration law. His London based practice is said to be "excellent" and he is one of only two UK-based lawyers to appear in this top bracket.

Joan Squires-Lind is the only French immigration law specialist to be listed in the publication. The apparent lack of quantity is made up for in quality: she is extremely well regarded. Similarly, the "world renowned" and "terrific" Liam Schwartz is the only Israeli lawyer in the publication and respondents praised him for the quality of his service. The "excellent" Ted Badoux of Everaert Advokaten received numerous plaudits, one respondent commented that he is "the best in the Netherlands". The leading practitioner in Hong Kong, our research suggests, is Eugene Chow of Chow King & Associates.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals - Canada

David LP Garson - Guberman Garson

Evan J Green - Green and Spiegel

Howard D Greenberg - Greenberg Turner

Joel Guberman - Guberman Garson

Benjamin J Trister - Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

As mentioned previously, Joel Guberman is the most highly nominated lawyer in Canada. He is joined in the book by his partner, David Garson, and with both name partners included in our final list, Guberman Garson can be viewed as one of the leading firms for corporate immigration expertise in Canada. Evan Green of immigration boutique Green and Spiegel had respondents commenting that they were "very pleased with his services". Stephen Green and Mendel Green, partners and relatives of Evan, have something else in common with him-they are also included in this publication and their firm has more practitioners on the Canadian list than any other. Howard Greenberg of Greenberg Turner is viewed as "a leader of the Canadian bar", and this is borne out by the number of nominations he received. The "excellent" Benjamin Trister of Borden Ladner Gervais is also well regarded.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals - England

Peter Alfandary - Reed Smith LLP

Hilary Belchak - Kingsley Napley

Laura Devine - Laura Devine Solicitors

Graeme D Kirk - Gross & Co

Chris Magrath - Magrath & Co

Julia Onslow-Cole - CMS Cameron McKenna

Karen L Sturtivant - Sturtivant & Co

Philip Trott - Bates Wells & Braithwaite

Of the UK immigration law specialists based in England, Julia Onslow-Cole is the only one to appear in the list of most highly regarded practitioners across the globe. Karen Sturtivant was, however, frequently and emphatically recommended to us. Sturtivant, like the "excellent" Hilary Belchak of Kingsley Napley, is regarded as one of the leading immigration lawyers in the UK. Peter Alfandary of Reed Smith is similarly well regarded and respondents commented upon the strength of his firm's immigration team. (In support of this view, Caron Pope 's presence in this publication means that Reed Smith is the only firm operating in England to have two practitioners listed.) The "wonderful" Graeme Kirk of Gross & Co, chair of the Immigration and Nationality Committee of the International Bar Association, is also widely recognised by his peers as a leader in the field.

Laura Devine is described by one respondent as "superb" and is said to have a strong team behind her at her own firm. The "very good" Chris Magrath , also at his own firm, is "very well respected" and judging by the number of nominations he received is undoubtedly one of the UK's leading immigration law specialists. Philip Trott of Bates Wells & Braithwaite is equally well regarded. "An excellent practitioner", he emerges from the research as one of the jurisdiction's most respected individuals in this field of the law.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals - US Specialists Based In England

Paul W Ferrell - Andrews Kurth LLP

Richard S Goldstein - Law Offices of Richard S Goldstein

Edward S Gudeon - Gudeon & McFadden

Kehrela Hodkinson - Hodkinson Law Group

Among lawyers based in England and specialising is US immigration law, Richard Goldstein is the most highly nominated. Described by respondents as "excellent" he also practises out of his New York offices. The "very good" Edward Gudeon, who recently founded Gudeon & McFadden, is also praised for his US immigration law practice. Kehrela Hodkinson, Gudeon's former partner at Gudeon & Hodkinson, has formed Hodkinson Law Group and is commended on her in-depth knowledge of business immigration, as is also the case with Paul Ferrell of Andrews Kurth.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals - California

David P Berry - Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

Peter N Larrabee - Larrabee & Zimmerman LLP

Martin J Lawler - Lawler & Lawler

Warren R Leiden - Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP

Edward R Litwin - Litwin & Associates

Robert A Mautino - Mautino & Mautino

Angelo A Paparelli - Paparelli & Partners LLP

Carl M Shusterman - Law Offices of Carl Shusterman

Bernard P Wolfsdorf - Wolfsdorf & Associates

Angelo Paparelli is the most highly nominated practitioner in our research. As previously mentioned, he is joined in the top tier of worldwide practitioners by the equally impressive Warren Leiden of Berry Appleman & Leiden. Also highly regarded in the state of California are the "quite excellent" Carl Shusterman, who practises at his own firm, and the "top tier" Martin Lawler of Lawler & Lawler.

Illustrating the strength in depth on offer at Berry Appleman & Leiden is the appearance of David Berry in this top tier of Californian practitioners. In total three Berry Appleman lawyers feature in the book making them one of the leading firms in the state in this area. In the same weightclass, comes Wolfsdorf & Associates, also with three Californian nominees. Bernard Wolfsdorf, principal of the firm and currently national secretary of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), fared particularly well in the research.

Larrabee & Zimmerman was described by one respondent as "a quality firm" and in Peter Larrabee they have "one of the best" immigration practitioners in the state. Similarly well regarded are Robert Mautino of Mautino & Mautino and Edward Litwin of Litwin & Associates, who is praised in particular for his work in the IT sector.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals - New York

Frances C Berger - Law Offices of Frances C Berger

Austin Fragomen Jr -Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy LLP

Robert E Juceam - Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP

Stanley Mailman - Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke LLP

Deborah J Notkin - Barst & Mukamal LLP

Michael D Patrick - Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy LLP

Theodore Ruthizer - Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Naomi Schorr - Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP

Leon Wildes - Wildes Weinberg Grunblatt & Wildes PC

Stephen Yale-Loehr - True Walsh & Miller

Ellen G Yost - Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy LLP

Twenty-seven New York lawyers appear in our final list. With the exception of California there is no larger hub for corporate immigration expertise, according to our research. Both Theodore Ruthizer and Stephen Yale-Loehr were recognised by clients and peers as leading practitioners on a global scale. Stanley Mailman of Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke is also extremely well regarded and is one of the leading immigration lawyers in the state. Praised by respondents for the strength of his litigation practice, Robert E Juceam was highly nominated in our research, he is viewed as a leading light for corporate immigration advice. The experience of Leon Wildes of Wildes Weinberg Grunblatt & Wildes was noted during the research and from our findings it is evident that he is one of the leading practitioners in New York, as is sole practitioner Frances Berger.

The highly regarded Deborah Notkin is one of three Barst & Mukamal lawyers to appear in the New York section of this publication. This would make them one of the leading firms for immigration expertise in the state. The high number of nominations cast for Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel's Naomi Schorr ensures that she is viewed as one of the leading NY-based immigration lawyers. Her inclusion also highlights the strength in-depth offered by Kramer Levin who are one of only two firms to have two or more nominees in the top tier of New York practitioners. With three in the state overall they also rank alongside Barst & Mukamal as one of the leading firms for immigration expertise.

Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy partners fared particularly well in our New York research. In Austin Fragomen , Michael Patrick and the "excellent" and "very international" Ellen Yost , they have three of New York's most highly nominated individuals. Coupled with their strong showing in New York, Fragomen is also identified by our research as the world's leading firm for corporate immigration expertise. Indeed, with eight nominated lawyers across four states they not only have the most lawyers in the publication but also a greater geographical spread than any other firm.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals - the District of Columbia

Michael Maggio - Maggio & Kattar PC

Jan M Pederson - Pederson & Freedman LLP

Eleanor Pelta - Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Denyse Sabagh - Duane Morris LLP

Palma Yanni - Palma Yanni Attorney at Law

Jan Pederson is the most highly nominated lawyer in the District of Columbia and the only practitioner from DC to appear in the list of leading global practitioners. Michael Maggio of Maggio & Kattar also comes highly recommended and is one of the leading Washingtonian lawyers for immigration advice, as is the "very good" Denyse Sabagh of Duane Morris. Respondents see Palma Yanni as "among those who are at the pinnacle of the field" and the number of nominations she received backs this up. Also highly regarded is the "outstanding" Eleanor Pelta of Morgan Lewis & Bockius.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals - Florida

Magda Montiel Davis - Montiel Davis & Woodward PA

Tammy Fox-Isicoff - Rifkin and Fox-Isicoff

Ira J Kurzban - Kurzban Kurzban Weinger Tetzeli PA

Ira J Kurzban is the most highly nominated among the 11 lawyers we list in Florida. He was also recommended to a degree that corroborates his reputation as one of the world's leading practitioners. The other most highly regarded Floridian lawyers are Tammy Fox-Isicoff who is recognised for her considerable knowledge of the practice area and the "excellent" Magda Montiel Davis of Montiel Davis & Woodward.

Most Highly Regarded Individuals - Texas

Kathleen C Campbell Walker - Kemp Smith LLP

Charles C Foster - Tindall & Foster PC

Steven M Ladik - Jenkens & Gilchrist PC

Peter D Williamson - Williamson and Chaves

Leading the nominations in Texas is Steven Ladik, considered by one professional we interviewed to be "one of the best in the country". Coming highly recommended to researchers was the "fabulous" Charles Foster of Tindall & Foster. "Top-notch" Kathleen Campbell Walker fared particularly well in the research and on the basis of our findings is one of the leading Texan immigration practitioners. Peter Williamson of Williamson and Chaves also comes in for a great deal of praise and is recognised by peers as "a highly dedicated professional".

Most Highly Regarded Individuals - Georgia

Robert E Banta - Banta Immigration Law Limited

Daryl R Buffenstein - Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker LLP

Charles H Kuck - Weathersby Howard & Kuck LLC

Dale M Schwartz - Dale M Schwartz & Associates LLP

Jay I Solomon - Law Offices of Jay I Solomon

Nine lawyers from the state of Georgia were nominated for inclusion in this edition of The International Who's Who of Corporate Immigration Lawyers. Of these, Robert Banta of Banta Immigration Law Limited and Daryl Buffenstein of Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker received a level of international recognition that warrants their inclusion in the global list. The highly rated Buffenstein is accompanied in the publication by two of his partners at Paul Hastings, which, in terms of our list, is the best represented of all firms in the state.

Charles Kuck of Weathersby Howard & Kuck is widely praised for his work in the field, as are the "exceptionally good" Dale Schwartz and the "excellent" Jay Solomon, both practising at their own firms.

Other Outstanding Individuals - Global

Argentina - Pablo HD Käufer Barbe, Estudio Käufer Barbe & Vinent

Australia - David L Bitel, Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers

Belgium - Herman Croux, Marx Van Ranst Vermeersch & Partners

Italy - Marco Giovanazzi, Avv Marco Giovanazzi

Japan - Yoshio Shimoda, ILS Shimoda Office

New Zealand - David John Ryken, Ryken and Associates

South Africa - Gary S Eisenberg, Eisenberg & Associates

Spain - Fernando Scornik Gerstein, Fernando Scornik Gerstein Abogados

Switzerland - Urs Haegi, VISCHER

The practices of a number of other individuals around the world were consistently recommended to our researchers and deserve mention.

In Argentina, Pablo HD Käufer Barbe is the only lawyer recognised in the research as having a significant expertise in global corporate immigration matters.

The Australian research is led by David Bitel of Parish Patience Immigration Lawyers. Described by one respondent as "exceptionally knowledgeable" is one of six individuals in the jurisdiction to be included in this publication, and stands out in particular. David Ryken is similarly well regarded in New Zealand. Principal solicitor at Ryken and Associates, he received more nominations than any other lawyer in the jurisdiction. Yoshio Shimoda of ILS Shimoda Office leads the Japanese research and was in fact the only lawyer from that country to receive sufficient nominations to justify inclusion in the final publication. Gary Eisenberg of Eisenberg & Associates finds himself in a similar situation. "A very resourceful practitioner" he is the only lawyer in South Africa we recommend for their immigration practice.

In Europe, our research finds that Marco Giovanazzi is the leading Italian practitioner. Practising at his own firm, he is said to be "extremely experienced" on corporate immigration matters. The only firm to feature in the Spanish section is Fernando Scornik Gerstein Abogados and in the figure of Mr Scornik Gerstein it has the jurisdiction's most highly nominated individual. With two of the three nominated individuals in Belgium, Marx Van Ranst Vermeersch & Partners is recognised to possess the country's leading corporate immigration practice. In the figure of Herman Croux it is able to boast the jurisdiction's leading individual and he is accompanied in the publication by the "very able" Bernard Caris. The "excellent" Urs Haegi from the Zurich offices of the Vischer law firm is, according to the findings of our research, the leading corporate immigration practitioner in Switzerland.

The research concludes that some 257 lawyers across 25 countries deserve to be considered leaders in the field. Our congratulations to all of them, the full results can be viewed at

About The Author

Whos Who Legal assesses the foremost legal practitioners in over 20 distinct areas of the international legal marketplace. In total, this site features over 5000 private practice lawyers from over 90 national jurisdictions. is updated on a daily basis to reflect developments in an increasingly volatile marketplace. Although this site represents our current findings, our knowledge derives from independent research conducted since 1996.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinion of ILW.COM.

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