Clare Hedges


Legal Director - Head of Immigration

‘I do know other immigration experts, but Clare Hedges’ passion for her industry and her drive to make a difference to her clients puts her head and shoulders above the rest.'

Legal 500 [UK 2021]

Experience

Clare qualified as a Solicitor in September 2007. She is a Legal Director and leads our Immigration Team, applying her extensive knowledge of immigration law to help clients find creative solutions to achieve their goals in the UK. She helps organisations to recruit and retain the migrant workers they need and supports individuals and families wishing to enter and/or remain in the UK.  

In addition to regularly obtaining Tier 2 General and Intra-Company Transfer visas, Clare’s work with our charity clients means she also has experience of more unusual categories of the Points Based System, including Tier 2 Ministers of Religion and Tier 5 Religious and Charity Workers. She also helps education institutions protect their Tier 4 Student sponsor licences.

She also deals with sponsor licence issues arising following mergers and acquisitions and helping overseas companies obtain the appropriate visa for their sole representative in the UK.

Clare advises individuals on a wide range of applications, including family-related visas, those based on UK Ancestry and visas for Entrepreneurs and Investors. Due to Brexit Clare is increasingly supporting EEA nationals with permanent residence, settlement and naturalisation, by submitting applications on their behalf or offering a checking service.

Thanks to her previous experience as an employment lawyer Clare has particular expertise in advising on the prevention of illegal working, ensuring employers balance competing Home Office and employment law requirements.

Clare helps our clients to manage immigration risk, by providing training on sponsorship duties and carrying out immigration compliance audits. She also delivers workshops for HR and line managers on right to work checks and regularly runs seminars for EU nationals regarding their options to secure their status in the UK.

Clare is based in our Cambridge office and supports colleagues and clients in all five offices.

Other Information

Clare supports overseas clients setting up in the UK and has experience of managing international projects. A fluent French speaker, she also acts as local contact for French law matters.  Clare is an active member of AIJA (the international network for young lawyers) and regularly represents Birketts at meetings of IAG Global, our network of lawyers, accountants and tax advisors at independent practices in over 60 countries around the world.

Clare is recommended and named as a 'Leading Individual' by Legal 500 [UK 2021] and is described as 'easy to work with and very personable'. Other clients in this edition say:

‘I work mostly with Clare Hedges, head of the immigration team at Birketts. Over the last 12 months, I have been particularly impressed with Clare’s proactive approach to keeping her clients updated with the various Brexit scenarios and negotiations and what that might mean for employment immigration. Clare’s communications are always perfectly pitched, simple to understand but engaging and sometimes with a little humour too!'

‘I do know other immigration experts, but Clare Hedges’ passion for her industry and her drive to make a difference to her clients puts her head and shoulders above the rest.'

‘Clare Hedges has been our family’s solicitor since we first decided to come to the UK in 2013 and I firmly believe that without her assistance I would not have been able to achieve my lifetime goal of obtaining a doctorate and a better life for myself and my daughters.'

‘Clare Hedges, who handled my case, paid close attention to every detail about the case. She was also very thorough when exploring what the options are with regards to my case. Moreover, she worked tirelessly and was quick to respond to any queries I had.'

‘My main contact is Clare Hedges for our immigration advice and she is always extremely helpful and clear in her advice. She always ensures she has all of the background before giving a final recommendation. Clare always responds in a timely manner.'

‘We receive wonderful professional advice from Clare Hedges on immigration legislation. She is the best immigration lawyer in Cambridge!'

Clare has been named as an 'associate to watch' by Chambers [UK 2020]. Clients say she is "absolutely brilliant" and highlight that "she knows the law, is very good at giving structured advice, but doesn't forget that she's dealing with people's lives". In the previous edition she is praised for her "high knowledge base and attention to detail."

Legal 500 UK 2021 Leading Individual