Simon Kenny

Simon is an immigration lawyer who helps with individual immigration applications, permission to work, illegal working penalties and sponsor licence suspension. He specialises in Skilled Worker and sponsor licence applications, right-to-work processes and defences to civil penalties and has been engaged in this since 2005.  He also has significant experience in managing global immigration programmes and post-Brexit immigration compliance in respect of business travellers working across the EEA.   

Simon has specific expertise in working with institutions and individuals in the higher education sector.  He has worked with universities on preparation for audit, right-to-work processes, defence to civil penalties and reviewing Certificates of Sponsorship for employees.  Helpline services to both HR teams and individual employees of universities have been a major part of Simon’s recent career.  He helps academic staff make applications within the Global Talent programme.

Training in-house teams to handle immigration queries is an important part of Simon’s practice. Simon has provided training for the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association, the Universities and Colleges Employers’ Association, Business Forums International and other organisations.

Some recent experience of Simon’s includes:

  • Advising companies starting operations in the UK on suitable options within the current set of Global Mobility visa options.
  • Applying for and obtaining a new sponsor licence for an organisation using the priority service
  • Preparing Certificate of Sponsorship applications for new hires of an organisation and extending permission to stay for existing staff
  • Obtaining Global Talent (Exceptional Promise) endorsements for a group of academic post-doctoral researchers
  • Applying for an Innovator Visa on behalf of the founder of a company
  • Helping couples seeking Spouse Visas to handle potential long delays in processing

Simon was an immigration officer for several years and, after becoming a solicitor, an immigration manager in Big 4 professional services companies. This experience has provided him with a focus on achieving the best outcomes for clients, having reference to wider global mobility issues and being creative in finding solutions that work. Drawing on his practical experience, Simon seeks to identify any related legal issues at an early stage of each assignment. Clients frequently comment that Simon develops a full understanding of what his clients require on the basis of which he is able to find creative solutions to their immigration issues. 

As an experienced immigration lawyer, Simon has been listed as one of the UK’s leading practitioners in every edition of the Legal 500 since 2015.  He was individually commended in the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Europe Awards in 2019 for research and analysis conducted following a Freedom of Information Act request regarding Certificate of Sponsorship allocations.  This featured as a headline news story across numerous national publications in June 2018.  Simon is a regular writer of articles and a keen blogger and Twitter user.