Experienced immigration lawyer Nicola largely assists businesses within the technology, AI and inward investment sectors on a range of immigration matters. She has provided immigration advice for over ten years and acts for a variety of companies, from large international corporates to smaller start-ups, those looking to scale up and beyond. Having worked alongside various tech companies, she is well versed in the challenges facing them as they look to grow and secure investment.
Nicola’s primary focus is on Business Immigration, and she can also offer value-added services such as on-site support, tailored training and general immigration advice.
Nicola has extensive experience in Business Immigration, particularly with the Sponsor Licence process, providing tactical advice for the recruitment of strategic hires. She provides a complete hand-holding service, where she will guide the Sponsor through the entire process, advising on hiring the right talent, providing advice on their immigration compliance duties, and assisting the visa applicant to apply for their visa.
Nicola can assist with the Defined and Undefined Certificate of Sponsorship process and acts as a Level 1 User and Representative for many of her clients, managing their Sponsor Licences for them.
As well as her Business Immigration expertise, Nicola also advises on applications under the EU Settlement Scheme, Spouse Visas under Appendix FM, Global Talent and Sole Representative visas. She is also experienced in Settlement and Citizenship applications and has successfully challenged the Immigration Rules when needed. Nicola also advises clients on the future of their European workforce in relation to Brexit.
Nicola is a true professional who did fantastic job supporting my applications from start to successful completion over the course of last couple of years. I was continuously impressed with Nicola’s high level of proficiency, responsiveness, attention to details and with her overall commitment and dedication aiming at meeting challenging deadlines. Nicola personifies qualities of true Legal & Global Immigration expert who is always up to date with all new Global Immigration requirements and procedures. Nicola is able to deal with multiple challenging tasks and to meticulously resolve them within record time frames while demonstrating a very friendly “customer first” ethos. I truly believe that Nicola will bring an immense value to any organisation as a Solicitor, Lawyer, Immigration or Legal Specialist and I am happy to recommend Nicola wholeheartedly.
Global Strategic Marketing & Competitor Intelligence Leader at an energy techniques company
I have worked with Nicola for over two years. Nicola has in-depth knowledge of immigration and visa processes/procedures. Using a consultancy approach Nicola provides detailed and tailored information to each individual case, whist maintaining a high level of customer service.
Executive Recruiter at an energy techniques company
I always found Nicola to be helpful, personable, highly organised and professional individual. We continue to work with Nicola on a number of projects and we trust her knowledge and advice. I would recommend her without question.
Founder & Managing Director at a HR provision and management company
Working with Nicola is always a pleasure. She's always one step ahead of my questions and requests and is unflappable even in the most challenging circumstance.
Senior Director, People at a marketing software company
Nicola was instrumental in helping the London office work with the UK Border agency on the VISA application process. Nicola is an extremely organised, professional and highly experienced member of our extended team. I also found her and the rest of the team extremely easy to work with. The whole VISA application process was very smooth from start to a successful conclusion, this significantly helped our London office in becoming fully operational. I would highly recommend working with Nicola to make entry into the UK market as efficient as possible.
Managing Director EMEA & APAC at cloud cost management platform
I first met Nicola in January, 2012. It has been my pleasure being her client and will continue to be. Despite some visa challenges, Nicola and the team saw the process all the way through on my behalf. Nicola provided guidance and expertise during each step of the process and explained all of the legal terms to me to ensure I was comfortable throughout the application process, and my visa was ultimately approved. Given Nicola and the team's expertise, they were extremely efficient with their time spent. I would highly recommend Nicola to anyone seeking legal advice, I would recommend Nicola's pro services to anyone looking for an attorney.
Head of EU Sales at a digital debt collection software & solutions company
Nicola was a great help when my wife and I were first moving to London. My ICT Visa was accepted without any problems, and she was very knowledgable about immigration policy. I would definitely work with her again in the future.
Founder & CEO at a blockchain company
Nicola has been an integral part of the team helping us launch our business in the UK. Her ability to help us efficiently navigate through oceans of red tape and new legal requirements, all the while explaining in both layperson and transAtlantic terms, has been a big reason for our initial success. I recommend her services, without hesitation.
Managing Partner at mobile marketing business
- Points Based System (PBS)
- Private client applications
- Sponsor Licence applications
- EEA applications
- Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visas
- Sole Representative visas
- Settlement and Citizenship applications
- Business Visitor visas
- Professional Paid Engagements
- Tier 5 visas
- Brexit Immigration advice
- Advised and assisted a UK-based technology company in obtaining a digital skills Sponsor Licence, in order to take advantage of the Shortage Occupation in relation to those applicants with specific technology skills.
- Advised an AI consultancy start-up on the impact of its successful fundraising round, and the implications of this on its Sponsor Licence and sponsored employees.
- Advised on how to incorporate an acquired company’s Sponsor Licence into the global acquirer’s Licence, which included managing a large transaction internationally, with multiple parties and stringent deadlines, as well as the transfer of several hundred employees.
- Advised on a complex private client case for a Tier 1 Investor extension application. This involved challenging the Immigration Rules and Policy Guidance regarding supporting documentation for co-ownership and successfully arguing that the Policy Guidance was vague and that it required redrafting, which the Home Office confirmed.
- Successfully obtained Citizenship for an individual outside the Immigration Rules on a discretionary basis, owing to excessive absences from the UK. This involved detailed representations as to the nature of the absences and successfully arguing in the applicant’s favour.
- Worked with Sole Representatives and advising them and their employers on the processes involved when establishing a trading presence in the UK.
- Supported global corporate clients and their employees with their international relocation immigration needs and offering strategic commercial advice.
Please note: The experience list above may include examples of work completed prior to joining Keystone Law.
Recognised by The Legal 500 2022 for Immigration
“Nicola Richards was a pleasure to work with. Her assessment of the process and likely outcome was 100% accurate. She went beyond the call of duty.” The Legal 500 2022
“Nicola Richards is exceptional and has supported us for years. She’s pragmatic, knows our business and industry well, and gives a great candidate experience – those she’s helped bring over rave about how great she is. She’s also happy to do the heavy lift where we need support, and is one of the most responsive lawyers I’ve ever worked with. I recommend Nicola to every tech company that ever asks me about immigration law.” The Legal 500 2022
Recommended in The Legal 500 2018 for Immigration
Nicola qualified as a solicitor in 2009. Prior to joining Keystone Law in 2019, she worked at the following firms:
- Doyle Clayton
- Redfern Legal