Annabel Mace is a partner in our Labour & Employment practice group and leads our UK Business Immigration team. She has more than 20 years’ experience advising businesses across a range of sectors on all aspects of business immigration and employment law.

She has in-depth expertise in the Home Office’s Points Based System, particularly in relation to compliance issues arising out of maintaining sponsor licences. She also regularly advises clients on more complex matters (particularly where there is an immigration/employment overlap) such as:

  • The immigration implications of mergers, acquisitions and business restructures
  • Reinstatement of sponsor licences where they have been suspended or revoked
  • Illegal-working allegations where civil penalties have been (or are likely to be) threatened by the Home Office (and defending them, if issued)
  • C-suite hires and departures, including where visas need to be obtained urgently and/or there is an immigration-related challenge of a sensitive nature
  • Supporting employees whose visas has been curtailed or who have been detained at a port of entry
  • Cross-border projects and international assignments, including overseas remote working and the impact of Brexit
  • Immigration compliance programmes and audits

Annabel speaks regularly at seminars and workshops as part of the Labour & Employment Practice’s national seminar programme, as well as at bespoke client training sessions. She is also an updating author for immigration matters on the employment law website XpertHR.

She is an active participant in the firm’s pro bono initiatives.

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  • Advised a multinational energy provider on the immigration implications of a complex restructure and change of ownership, as well as a high volume of visa applications for highly specialised employees.
  • Supported a global private healthcare provider’s startup operations in the UK, including over 200 Skilled Worker visas from within the UK and overseas over a period of six months and continuing to provide practical and strategic guidance on its rapid growth.
  • Advising a multinational information and insights group on a high volume of visa applications for its specialist tech workers, who are in high demand in large part due to post-Brexit skills shortages.
  • Supporting an international creative transformation group and its operating companies on all of their UK inbound transfers and compliance requirements, including those arising out of its corporate reorganisations and the transfer of sponsored employees from one group entity to another.
  • Advising a major high-street retailer on a range of immigration right-to-work issues for its UK workforce, which exceeds 100,000 employees, including the often-problematic overlap between immigration and employment law.
  • Advised an international healthcare devices manufacturer on the immigration implications of separating from its parent company, which involved applying for a new sponsor licence and transferring its existing sponsored employees from the parent’s sponsor licence.
  • Providing immigration support for a fast-growing EMEA hotel and hospitality group in relation to chefs and other key workers, as well as its talent strategy in light of post-Brexit skills shortages.
  • Advising a worldwide mass media company in relation to the suspension of its sponsor licence, which was successfully reinstated.

Education

  • University of Warwick, LL.B., Honors
  • Nottingham Law School, L.P.C.

Admissions

  • England and Wales, 1999

Languages

  • English
  • French
  • Recommended as a Leading Individual in The Legal 500 UK 2024 for Business Immigration:
    • “Annabel Mace heads the practice and is noted for being ‘extremely knowledgeable’ on matters relating to immigration compliance issues, reinstating sponsor licences at risk of revocation, and defending civil penalty claims.”
  • Recommended in Chambers and Partners 2024 for Business Immigration:
    • “Annabel Mace is a seasoned immigration partner with considerable expertise advising companies on the transfer of employees to the UK and sponsor licence compliance.”
    • “Annabel is incredibly knowledgeable, supportive and professional.”
    • “Annabel has an unrivalled ability to distil a complex legal position into pragmatic and commercial advice.”
    • “Annabel has done a wonderful job partnering with us and we consider her a valuable resource in answering immigration questions.”

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