• He is clear and helpful in his advice and he keeps to his timelines.

    Associate to Watch, Chambers UK 2021

  • Recognised as a Key Lawyer

    Legal 500 2020

  • Matthew James' work ethic and attention-to-detail is excellent; he is highly professional and pleasant to deal with.

    Legal 500 2020


I’m an Associate in the Immigration Department. I advise on all aspects of personal and business immigration. A main area of my work is helping EEA nationals and their family members with their status in the UK. This includes advising on naturalisation and registrations for British citizenship. The last year has also seen me advise on points based system, family and Human Rights applications.

Before I joined the Immigration team, I worked for four years with Bates Wells’ Charity and Social Enterprise department. So I have a strong background in advising charities and social enterprises on their immigration needs as well.


  • Brexit

    I have advised a number of EEA nationals and their families on the impact of Brexit on their status in the UK. I have assisted people with making applications under the EU Settlement Scheme and helped employers with briefing their employees on what they will need to do once the UK leaves the EU.

  • Overturning ban for musician

    When a musician needed to overturn a ban to perform in the UK, I helped them overturn the historic decision and get a visa to perform. I even then got to go back stage.

  • Suitability issues regarding historic tax payments

    I advised a client who was looking at having his application refused due to his historic tax issues. I was able to ensure that he would not be required to leave the UK and continue living with his wife and kids.

  • I advised a client on a complicated partner application as the unmarried partners had unusual living arrangements
  • I advised on a difficult application for British citizenship where both the individual and parent were born outside the UK
  • I have also recently advised on numerous entry clearances and leave to remain applications under the points based system, including Tier 1 Investors and Entrepreneurs, and Tier 5 Charity workers

Qualifications and career

  • University of Nottingham, BSc (Hons) Physics, 2007
  • Nottingham Law School, Graduate Diploma in Law, 2009
  • Nottingham Law School, Legal Practice Course, LLB, 2010
  • Joined Bates Wells, 2011
  • Paralegal, Bates Wells, 2012 - 2015
  • Trainee Solicitor, Bates Wells, 2015 - 2017
  • Admitted as a solicitor in September 2017

Pro bono, memberships, and appointments

  • Member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association
  • Trustee of Three Feathers Theatre Company
  • Former company secretary of the European Social Enterprise Law Association