Appealing a Decision by the Immigration & Asylum Tribunal

A judge signing documents

If you believe the first-tier tribunal made a legal error, you can appeal to the Upper Tribunal. The tribunal is independent of the government and hears all sides of the case before making a judgement.

However, if you wish to appeal a decision, first, it is imperative to know the legal requirements and technicalities. Read on to learn everything you need to know about appealing a decision by the immigration and asylum tribunal.

When to Appeal a Decision

You can appeal a decision if you believe the judgement is legally incorrect. However, you must be able to demonstrate the error. A judgement may be incorrect in the following instances:

  • The tribunal did not apply the right legislation or read the law incorrectly
  • Proper procedures were not followed
  • The tribunal had no proof or insufficient evidence to back up its judgement

How to Appeal 

The first step is to request permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal from the First-tier Tribunal. You will be given a form to request permission. Fill it correctly and a copy of the judgement. Send the documents to the address mentioned on the form to receive permission to make an appeal. However, keep in mind that you must request permission to appeal within a specified amount of time after receiving your judgement.

The deadline is determined by whether you are inside or outside the UK.

If you reside inside the UK, you must make the appeal within 14 days from the date specified in the written reasons for the judgments. On the other hand, if you are outside the UK, you must appeal within 28 days from the date specified in the written reasons for the judgments.

What Documents You Will Need

Here is a list of documents that must be submitted with the application.

  • The First-tier Tribunal’s judgement
  • The First-tier Tribunal’s ‘refusal to admit the application’ or ‘notice of refusal to appeal’
  • A statement stating your grounds for believing the First-tier Tribunal erred
  • Any additional pertinent papers you submitted to the First-tier Tribunal

You must also submit any written documentation that demonstrates why you believe the First-tier Tribunal committed a legal error. When applying after the deadline, you must explain why you are late in writing. The tribunal will next determine whether or not to consider your application.

What Happens If Permission to Appeal Is Denied?

If the First-tier Tribunal denies or the request or grants permission to appeal on limited grounds, you can petition to the Upper Tribunal for permission to appeal. It requires filling out the permission request form for the Upper Tribunal and submitting it to the address on the form, along with the necessary papers. You must also state whether or not you want a hearing.

If the case was tried as a Detained Immigration Appeal at the Harmondsworth or Yarl’s Wood hearing centres, send the application and documents to the Harmondsworth. The deadline for requesting permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal is 14 days after the decision’s date if you live in the UK and one month after the decision’s date if you are outside the UK.

The Bottom Line

You can request the decision to be based merely on the information/documents you have provided or opt for a hearing. Either way, it is advisable to seek guidance from an immigration expert.

Contact us to learn more or appeal a decision by the Immigration & Asylum Tribunal. We will help you explore your options and guide you at every step of the way.

Understanding VAT Evasion: All You Need to Know

coins representing wealth

Value Added Tax (VAT) is a tax charged on UK businesses for their supply of goods or services that are categorized as taxable. It’s imperative that the tax is collected by a taxable individual in the business who must have registered for VAT requirements.

VAT manifests as input tax and output tax. The former is paid by a particular individual for the supply of the goods and services pertaining to them. Output tax is charged by a business that supplies the goods and services.

What Is VAT Evasion?

VAT evasion is a form of tax fraud committed by individuals and businesses that are required to pay VAT. It’s the most common type of tax fraud carried out in the UK and has serious implications and consequences. Any party found engaging in VAT evasion may be fined civil penalties, interest, criminal charges, o

VAT evasion occurs when a VAT registered business or trader suppresses their sales or inflates their purchases, thereby failing to declare their VAT returns. This intentional non-payment and failure to declare their true liability is a criminal offence. Businesses suspected of VAT evasion are targeted by HMRC and typically comprise cash-based ventures such as laundrettes, pubs, restaurants, taxi firms, and the likes.

typewriter with a document stating “tax return”

HMRC Penalties for VAT evasion

VAT evasion a classified as a criminal offence under section 72(1) of the Value Added Tax Act.

HMRC is the regulatory body responsible for conducting the primary investigation for VAT evasion. If you’re a suspect for VAT evasion or your case is eligible for criminal prosecution, you’re likely to face penalties under the civil evasion penalty regime. Typically, the penalty for this tax offence (VAT credits) is 100% of the amount evaded. In the case of payments and refunds, the penalty equates to the aggregate of the amount of input tax that you overstated and the amount of output tax that was understated. If you self-report the offence, you may face penalty mitigation with a reduction of up to 40% provided that you give an honest explanation for unintentional VAT evasion.

If you’re found guilty of VAT evasion, the Crown Court can issue you an unlimited fine and up to 7 years of imprisonment. Additionally, you may also be charged under the Fraud Act of 2006.

Are you being investigated for a potential VAT evasion case? Our criminal defence solicitors at AM International Solicitors can help you with VAT offences and excise duty assessments.

Get in touch with our criminal defence solicitors today!

r default surcharges.

Here’s Why You Need to Hire a Criminal Defence Solicitor

gravel representing justice

The criminal justice system in the UK is famous for its dedication towards serving justice. However, it’s naive to think that you can easily navigate through the judicial system on your own when you’ve been accused of a crime.

In this case, you need to hire a criminal defence solicitor. Here’s why.

They Provide Thorough Legal Representation

Let’s be honest; undergoing a criminal investigation is no joke. It’s a taxing and overwhelming process. Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time could land you in even deeper waters than you already are, and severely worsen your case. In these trying times, you need legal representation to not just guide you through the process but also act on your behalf.

Criminal defence solicitors can help you with this. They act on your behalf throughout the criminal investigation, whether this means representing you in court or speaking on your behalf when interacting with authority figures. They also help ease the nerve-wracking experience and ensure that you don’t do or say anything that could damage your case.

They Have Access to Resources Needed to Efficiently Handle Your Case

Professional criminal defence lawyers also have an expansive network of resources and connections that equip them to handle cases efficiently. They have the tools and the skills needed to prepare winning strategies and backup plans throughout your case.

Accessing reports, evidence, witnesses, and other crucial resources on your own can be challenging. With a criminal defence solicitor by your side, you won’t have to worry about this part of the process.

prison cell

They Can Help You Get the Best Outcome

A criminal solicitor is well-versed in criminal law. Experienced and professional criminal defence lawyers have dealt with all sorts of cases and have the knowledge and expertise needed to navigate through yours. Thus, they’ll do everything in their power to ensure that you get the best possible outcome in whatever scenario you have to encounter and will go out of their way to protect your interests.

Even if you’re caught in an ugly criminal investigation and can only picture the worst case scenario, a criminal defence solicitor will improve your chances of things turning out in your favour. A professional solicitor knows when and how to negotiate, file for a plea, and advocate on their client’s behalf. By hiring one for your case, your chances of attaining the best possible outcome are significantly higher than they’d be otherwise.

The team at AM International Solicitors provides thorough criminal defence services. They also offer their legal expertise in navigating through cross-border disputes, VAT offences, and excise duty assessments.

Get in touch with our criminal defence solicitors today!

Answering the Most Commonly Asked Questions about Divorce Settlements in the UK

wedding bands representing divorce

The divorce rate in the UK has increased in the last decade. While there are a number of reasons impacting the decision to divorce, there’s no denying the fact that divorces tend to be expensive.

Here are a few FAQs regarding divorce settlements that you should know about.

At What Point Do I Need a Financial Settlement?

There’s no specific time to get a financial settlement. However, it’s advisable that you consider getting one soon after deciding that you’re getting decided. The decision typically depends on what terms you and your partner are parting ways on. It’s best to settle before either of you remarries to avoid complications.

Can I Divorce Before Getting a Financial Settlement?

You don’t necessarily have to delay the divorce process because of the financial settlement. In fact, many former couples finalise a divorce settlement after they’ve already signed the divorce papers.

That said, a consent order is only legally binding after your divorce is at a specific stage. If during the proceedings you and your spouse are unable to agree on how to divide your assets, you can only submit an application to the court after you’ve already filed for a divorce petition. Typically, the settlement proceedings are handled alongside your divorce proceedings. However, you can choose to get a divorce before diving into the financial settlement process.

Will My Prenuptial Agreement Affect the Divorce Settlement?

In most cases, yes it will.

If you signed a prenuptial agreement prior to your marriage and specified your financial circumstances and possible outcomes, these will be taken into account during the divorce settlement. For instance, if you and your partner outlined what would happen to your joint or individual assets in the likeliness of divorce, then your settlement will honour these terms. This is why it’s imperative that you consult a family law solicitor before finalising a prenuptial agreement to avoid unexpected financial outcomes if you end up getting a divorce.

man signing a divorce agreement

How Much Maintenance Do I Need to Pay My Former Spouse?

The maintenance allowance depends on your specific circumstances. Several factors are taken into consideration before the jury decides how much you or your former spouse has to pay as maintenance money. These include:

  • The income, assets, and ability to earn of each partner
  • The standard living expenses before the divorce
  • The financial needs of each partner
  • The longevity of the marriage
  • Special needs (e.g. disability)
  • The contributions (financial and non-financial) made by each spouse in the marriage

Got questions about your divorce settlement? The team at AM International Solicitors provides thorough family law services and can help you with your divorce settlements. We also offer their legal expertise in navigating through cross-border disputes, VAT offences, and excise duty assessments.

Get in touch with our family law solicitors today!

Cross-Border Disputes & Considerations for Manufacturers & Suppliers

Post-Brexit Cross-Border Disputes

Brexit has created an uncertain climate in the cross-border trading sector in the UK. Companies trading within the EU have faced significant problems, including delayed shipments and more red tape, resulting in higher prices and even higher uncertainty. In these circumstances, the impact of Brexit on cross-border disputes is a key concern for both importers and exporters.

Changes to the regimes controlling cross-border conflicts pose issues for UK companies that continue to trade with EU businesses without revising their contracts to cater to the changing post-Brexit environment.


Key Considerations for Businesses 

Before Brexit, suppliers, and manufacturers benefited from civil litigation that allowed for reciprocal service of proceedings, enforcement requirements, and jurisdiction. However, things have changed. 

Even though some EU laws have been incorporated into UK law as a result of Brexit, UK firms must typically rely on regimes that were previously exclusively utilised in litigation with non-EU corporations. Here are a few things to consider for avoiding potential problems concerning cross-border disputes. 


Service of Proceedings

As the European Union’s Service Regulation is no longer in effect, overseas proceedings will have to rely on The Hague Service Convention or other treaties on service. This adds to the already lengthy, costly, and complicated procedure. 

However, parties can avoid this problem by agreeing to a service on a UK agent clause in the contract. It permits businesses to serve proceedings on a nominated agent in the UK instead of having to serve them abroad. It is standard for many multinational firms.

Post-Brexit, it is well worth putting in major new contracts or renegotiating with EU suppliers. It is a great option since more UK firms are creating subsidiaries in the EU and EU businesses are establishing subsidiaries in the UK to offset the consequences of Brexit.



Before Brexit, a jurisdiction clause in favour of one EU member state’s courts was recognised by all other EU member states’ courts. This regime is no longer in effect, making it important for manufacturers, suppliers, and traders to give their jurisdiction clauses more thought, as “one size fits all” is no longer applicable. 

The type of jurisdiction provision (exclusive, non-exclusive, unilateral, or asymmetric) may influence whether it will be recognised and respected by EU members, or if EU nations would use their own laws. Although most EU nations are expected to follow national law jurisdiction, this may not be the case everywhere, necessitating further measures.


The Bottom Line 

UK companies doing business with EU parties must evaluate their contracts immediately to verify that their dispute resolution provisions are adequate. It can save them from lengthy and costly cross-border litigation down the road. Schedule a consultation to learn more about the effects of Brexit on cross-border disputes or discuss contracts for revision

Decoding Cross-Border Immigration after Brexit

Impact of Brexit on the Immigration Policy

Immigration is easily one of the most pressing issues faced by the cross-border nations in the wake of Brexit. Britain finally exited the European Union on 31 January 2020, following the transition period, during which the benefits of freedom of movement remained available to the citizens of the UK and EU member states. Citizens of the UK or EU member states who relocated before the expiration of the transition period are allowed to live and work in their country of residence after Brexit. 

However, some necessary may be required to protect the current living and working status in the desired country. On the other hand, individuals considering immigration after Brexit must obtain a work permit, complying with the EU and national immigration rules. Cross border workers, business visitors, and assignees will also experience certain travelling restrictions.

Cross-Border Immigration after Brexit under the Microscope

A policy statement published on 19 February 2020 explained that after Brexit, the free movement of UK and EU member state citizens is to be replaced with a points-based system that will treat the EU and non-EU citizens in the same manner. 

The point-based system is designed to reduce overall migration, give priority to individuals with the highest skills, exemplary achievements, or greatest talents, and enable the UK to take back control of its borders. 

It cannot be denied that the new point-based system will not only affect employees and individuals seeking opportunities in the UK but also represent a major change for employers in the UK and vice versa. Read on to decode cross-border immigration after Brexit based on the skill level. 

· Highly-Skilled Workers 

The “Exceptional Talent” route has been rebranded as the “Global Talent” route to provide access to highly skilled individuals. The route has no cap, which means the UK is all set to welcome the high-skilled workforce. One of the major reforms includes expanding the route to make it more accessible to skilled workers from STEM backgrounds. High-skilled workers can migrate to the UK without a job offer as long as a relevant body endorses them.   

· Skilled Workers 

All skilled workers from the EU are required to obtain a visa, except Irish citizen. Individuals with an Irish nationality may leverage the Common Travel Area. The application process for EU citizens is completely online, with most citizens receiving e-visas. It must be noted that the minimum age for visa application has been increased to 18 years as opposed to 16 years. Moreover, skilled workers must meet a specific requirement, scoring a total of 70 or more points. They must also hold a job offer from an approved sponsor in the country.   

· Low-Skilled Workers      

In an effort to reduce cheap labour induction from Europe, the new policy does not contain a temporary work or general low-skilled route. The decision has received a great deal of attention from the press as well as employers. However, a few avenues are still available to low-skilled workers. For example, low-skilled temporary workers are permitted in the agricultural sector. Youth mobility arrangements are also available, allowing 20,000 young people to migrate to the UK yearly. 

These are some of the major changes pertaining to cross-border immigration after Brexit. For further inquiries regarding immigration to or from EU member states, get in touch or schedule a free consultation to explore your options.   

Practical Steps to Resolve Challenges Faced During Cross-Border Disputes

Resolving cross-border disputes

Disputes and disagreements between parties in the UK and EU member states are inevitable in the wake of Brexit. In most cases, a lot depends on the specific facts, figures, and individual circumstances of the cross-border disputes. Factors such as where the proceedings are issued may play a significant role in conflict resolution. However, the good news is that certain steps can be taken to resolve or at least mitigate the challenges that crop up during cross-border disputes.

Steps to Resolve Challenges Associated with Cross-Border Disputes  

Here are some practical measures that can be taken to minimize the risks accompanying the exit of the UK from the EU.

1.Dispute Resolution Laws

Consider including conflict resolution and governing clauses in contracts to streamline the process of dispute resolution. You may want to specify information like which courts have jurisdiction in the occurrence of a dispute and what laws govern the contract. It is advisable to seek specific advice on the jurisdiction provision in any case. It must be noted that courts in the EU member states recognize English governing law clauses. Therefore, you may want to insert them in your current or future contracts to avoid needless risk in the future.

2.Clause to Oblige Counter Parties to Accept Legal Proceedings in Your Jurisdiction 

When entering a contract with a counterparty that domiciled outside of England or Wales while the contract contains a clause in favour of the jurisdiction in England or Wale, it becomes important to add a clause in the contract obliging the counterparty to hire an agent in your jurisdiction and accept the legal proceedings. Adding the clause and taking these appropriate actions will make sure that in case of a dispute, you are able to serve a proceeding on the counterparty without facing any legal constraints.

3.Specific Advice for Ongoing Disputes 

If you have any ongoing cross-border disputes that did not get resolved during the transition period, it is advisable to seek specific advice from a lawyer to understand how the changes associated with Brexit will affect your cross-border dispute.    


Resolving cross-border disputes during the current volatile environment can be challenging. Moreover, the reforms associated with Brexit may increase the cost and time for cross-border disputes. The most effective approach is to connect with an experienced lawyer to obtain legal advice tailored to meet your individual needs, requirements, and preferences. Contact us today for more information regarding the implications of Brexit on cross-border disputes.  

Cross Border Contracts: Is Brexit a Force Majeure Event?

Is Brexit a Force Majeure Event?

Despite the gradual Brexit process, uncertainty lingers over businesses on both sides of the Brexit border. The true impact of Brexit on the EU-UK trade will inevitably become apparent with time.

Meanwhile, fulfilling the contractual obligations and rights has become increasingly complex for all parties, raising concerns regarding the disastrous results for businesses bound by cross-border contracts. This brings us to the question that everyone has been thinking about – could Brexit constitute a force majeure event? Read on to find out.

The Significance of the Force Majeure Clause

The first thing to understand is that businesses can rely on the Majeure clause only if the initial contract contains a force majeure clause. The primary reason why a force majeure clause is included in the contract is to excuse one of both parties of the contractual obligations in case of certain events beyond the control of the parties. It is crucial to understand that the wording of the clause determines whether it can be invoked for a particular event like Brexit.  

Does a Force Majeure Clause Cover Brexit?

Businesses may be able to invoke a force majeure only if the initial contract includes a force majeure clause. However, it is easier said than done. There are numerous complications and hurdles along the way.

For instance, if the force majeure events are defined as happenings beyond the parties’ consent, invoking the Majeure clause for Brexit will present certain challenges because events are described as outside of a party’s control only if the party has taken all possible steps to avoid the event or at least minimize its effects. If Brexit was a possibility at the time the contract was signed, the parties entering the contracts should have accounted for the risks involved and planned for the potential effects.

Furthermore, even if the exact wordings of the clause mean that the particulate Brexit event falls within the definition of the force majeure, the party seeking to invoke the close Majeure clause must demonstrate that Brexit is the sole reason preventing them from fulfilling their contractual obligations and duties. Demonstrating the effects of Brexit to prove it is the sole reason the party is unable to perform the obligations under the contract can be a challenge.

Even if the contract is deemed less profitable because of currency fluctuation or any other reason associated with Brexit, it does not constitute a force majeure event as long as Brexit does not prevent one or both parties from performing the cross-border contract.      

The Bottom Line        

While it is highly unlikely that the force majeure clause will assist in regards to the effects of Brexit, it ultimately boils down to the precise wordings of the clause used in the cross-border contracts. Get in touch for further inquiries or schedule a free consultation with our international team of lawyers to explore your options.    

Understanding Cross-Border Insolvency Post-Brexit

A puzzle depicting Brexit

The UK-EU Trade Deal left lots of questions unanswered for many law experts and corporations. One of the main concerns was recognising and enforcing foreign insolvency proceedings when there is a cross-border element.

Since EU Insolvency Regulations (EIR) does not apply to these cases, we need to look at other regulations to deal with these situations. Presently, insolvency-related domestic laws of each EU member state will apply to conduct the proceedings further. These change requires additional steps and formal applications to ensure that both countries are on the same page.

Here are a few things you should know:

Recognition of EU Insolvency Proceedings in the UK

The end of the transition period marks the beginning of cross-border insolvency post-Brexit. Any new EU insolvency proceedings seeking recognition and enforcement in the UK will have to adhere to British Cross-Border Insolvency Regulations. That includes adopting the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency.

At present, only four out of twenty-seven EU member states have agreed to use the UNCITRAL Model Law. These members include Poland, Greece, Romania, and Slovenia. Their acceptance simplifies the rules surrounding recognition and enforcement of cross-border insolvency laws.

Before Brexit, these rules applied to all non-EU insolvency cases that originated outside the UK. The proceedings require a formal court application by foreign officeholders who deal with financial assets in the UK. The request gets thoroughly reviewed to evaluate the ‘insolvent’s main interests’.

After that, the court will provide relevant assistance to support the foreign officeholder. If the foreign insolvency proceedings get recognised as the primary proceeding, the English court will hold their civil proceedings against the debtor. In these situations, the English court grants complete authority to foreign officeholders. That means the insolvency practitioners can freely manage assets present in the UK unless stated otherwise.

Recognition of English Insolvency Proceedings in the EU

The European Regulation on Insolvency Proceedings (the EIR) no longer applies to the UK. That means the EU will not recognise any English insolvency proceedings by default. The UK officeholder must provide relevant evidence to support their case. 

There are multiple ways to acquire recognition:

  • The EU court can initiate a parallel proceeding to verify the evidence and facts of the case.
  • Or, the UK officeholder can send an official request to the EU court to recognise the cross-border insolvency proceedings taking place in their country. 
  • Other EU member states can adopt the UNCITRAL to streamline the process.

The final decision depends on local authorities and laws surrounding insolvency in each EU member state. For instance, Belgium will give you a different verdict than Poland and vice versa.

What Next?

Cross-border insolvency proceedings presents several new challenges for practitioners. The lack of automatic recognition in EU states can inhibit the process. The presence of non-EU insolvency regulations that were used for other countries streamlines the process. These rules and the English court’s eagerness to assist distressed debtors can guarantee a fair resolution.

You can gain more clarity on the legal proceedings revolving cross-border insolvency post-Brexit with strategic alterations in your contracts and claims.

Are you looking for legal advice on cross-border insolvency? Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

The Legal Implications of Brexit on Anti-Money Laundering

An image of currency to represent anti-money laundering laws

What are the legal implications of Brexit on anti-money laundering laws?

The UK government has yet to specify any significant changes in the AML starting from 2021. We know that the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act 2018 (SAMLA) and AMLD5 are the benchmarks for these legal proceedings. British corporations have also relied on their EU membership to monitor the illegal exchange of financial assets.

Yet, some of these protocols will get altered in the coming years.

In this article, we discuss the legal implications of Brexit on anti-money laundering (AML) compliance.

Let’s begin.

Amendments in the AML Framework

At present, The Money Laundering Regulations will continue to serve as the primary resource for anti-money laundering cases. 

However, some amendments will be made regarding the UK’s status as a third country for the EU. That means the UK will no longer receive any advantages during UK-EU money laundering cases.

Here are some things to consider: 

1.Financial Action Taskforce (FATF)

 The UK will remain a FATF member and adhere to its rules and regulations.  

2.6th Anti Money Laundering Directive (AMLD6)

English courts will not incorporate the 6th Anti Money Laundering Directive (AMLD6). It feels that the current laws and clauses are taken from AMLD5 already cover the essential aspects of anti-money laundering rules.

3.EU as a Third Country 

All EU nationals within the UK and internationally have now become third-country entities. Due to this, British companies are advised to manage financial transactions with these individuals according to third-country rules and regulations. It is the only way to maintain AML compliance during business operations. 

Overall, these changes might seem small compared to other legal implications of Brexit. Yet, we suggest that you review and revise EU-based contracts to ensure that they align with the new rules. 

Interaction in UK vs. EU AML Approach

Currently, the UK and EU governments perceive money laundering as a criminal act. They aim to ‘support international efforts’ and abide by FATD rules to penalise money launderers. Their similar approach and mutual opinion on the matter can mean overlapping in the regulations and protocols followed by both governments.

However, a slight difference may emerge post-Brexit. These include the third-country status and new rules concerning UK-EU trade. These changes indicate the need for due diligence and awareness.  It is why commercial and private corporations should stay up to date with new developments in all financial and legal matters. Having a better understanding will enable them to make practical and compliant decisions when they transfer funds across the border.

Your Next Step 

In conclusion, leaving the EU has created a ripple effect in the corporate world. When in doubt, you must seek legal consultation to ensure that everything is in order. We can assess your current AML policies and make amendments wherever required. 

Do you want to know more? Get in touch for further details.