A law firm has ceased trading and employees from two law firms found guilty of providing unregulated immigration advice following a two year investigation by the OISC and a subsequent court case at the Old Bailey.
Dan Romulus Dandes and Babbar Ali Jamil (company officers at DDR Legal Services LLP) and Ms. Zia Bi (Director of Burlow & Spencer Ltd) were found guilty of 6 counts relating to 19 offences of providing unqualified immigration advice and/or services contrary to section 91 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
By claiming qualification as an EU registered lawyer, Mr Dandes established a supervision scheme for DDR Legal Services LLP, (a UK registered company).
A number of individuals and organisations in the UK signed up to the scheme, which was designed to circumvent regulation by the OISC or any other appropriate regulatory body.
Following a number of complaints (95) against one of the companies claiming supervision by DDR Legal Services LLP, Burlow & Spencer Ltd, and our own investigation, the OISC challenged DDR Legal Services LLP’s claim to being qualified to provide supervision, and that any subsequent immigration advice given was unregulated and therefore illegal.
Burlow &Spencer Ltd has now ceased trading with former clients being advised to contact Fortis Insolvency on 0161 694 9955 (email@example.com) in respect of fees paid or the return of documents.
Sentencing has been adjourned until 26 September 2019 at the Old Bailey after consideration of a financial investigation and possible confiscation orders.
Dr Ian Leigh, Deputy Commissioner of the OISC stated:
“In a devious and calculating way over a considerable period of time the scheme put in place by DDR Legal Service LLP, was successful in dishonestly taking a significant amount of money from vulnerable people.
“There was a total disregard for statutory requirements, and they acted in deliberate defiance of the law. The degree of culpability is high, as is the harm they have caused. They owe a considerable amount of money to individuals and by the high number of complaints against Burlow & Spencer Ltd. alone, they have clearly undermined the immigration system.
“These are serious offences that are aggravated by a knowing and calculating disregard of the statutory regime; the sophistication of the offences is reflected by the time and effort put in by officers of the OISC to investigate and prosecute.”
Notes to the Editor
- The OISC is an independent public body, established under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, to regulate the provision of immigration advice and services in the UK.
- The legislation regarding qualification and supervision is provided by section 84 Immigration and Asylum Act 1999
- For further information contact Stephen Seymour, Director of Operations at the OISC on 0207 211 1638.
- For media enquiries, please contact Cornelius Alexander, Corporate Communications Officer at the OISC on 0207 211 1617.