Rogue lawyers trade on false hope


MISPLACED TRUST:
Exploitative solicitors
drum up huge bills for
botched work
MISPLACED TRUST: Exploitative solicitors drum up huge bills for botched work

by NADEEM BADSHAH IMMIGRANTS ARE BEING TARGETED AS THEY ARE LESS LIKELY TO GO TO THE AUTHORITIES ROGUE solicitors are overcharging immigrants in Britain thousands of pounds for legal support – and in some cases do not carry out any work. Charities have warned that migrants wanting to extend their visa or apply for indefinite leave to re­main are being conned by being charged up to £25,000 by some law firms. Rani Bilkhu, founder of support group Jeena In­ternational, said one in three of the cases it deals with are related to immigration problems. She told Eastern Eye: “It’s a silent crime because rogue solicitors know migrants won’t go to the au­thorities. We have to report these vultures who are preying on them. What can be done is inform vul­nerable people that they can go to the authorities if they are being duped. “It needs to be policed together with the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Solicitors are getting away with it as people are not coming forward due to issues around their immigration status or they may be illegal immigrants.” Bilkhu added: “One woman who came to our ad­vice surgery is a nun on a work permit who wanted to extend it. She paid £650 and the solicitor did not put an application to the Home Office. “Or some solicitors claim asylum for their client which they do not have a chance of getting. “One Sikh client didn’t know what his solicitor had put in his application. It said he was going out with a Muslim girl and was thrown out by his family; he said he didn’t know anything about this. “One Gujarati couple and their two children paid £25,000 to their lawyer to get indefinite leave. We are helping them as they have to return to India volun­tarily. They…

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