Role and Background
Amie is a Senior Solicitor, admitted to the Roll in 2008 and qualified under the Law Society’s Immigration & Asylum Accreditation Scheme (IAAS) as a Level 3 (Advanced) Caseworker and Supervisor. Amie was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in October 2005 and as such is a qualified non-practising Barrister.
Amie is an Associate Solicitor at OTB Legal where she specialises in Immigration, Asylum and Public Law matters.
Bar Standards Board (BSB) & working with Barristers & Chambers
Amie particularly specialises in advising and assisting individual Barristers and Chambers in dealing with the Bar Standards Board (BSB). She is frequently instructed in respect of the following;
- Advising on, preparing and submitting BSB regulated entity authorisation applications
- Advice and assistance with the HOLP and HOFA roles
- Advice and assistance with the Equality & Diversity and Data Diversity Officer roles
- Drafting and preparing Business Plans
- Drafting and preparing Financial Plans
- Drafting and preparing Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery Plans
- Advice and assistance with completing Regulatory Returns
- Drafting BSB compliant plans, policies and procedures
- Advice and guidance on compliance with the BSB’s Transparency Rules
- Conducting website reviews and drafting updates to ensure compliance with the Transparency Rules
- Advice and assistance with annual reviews of BSB compliant policies and required documentation
Office of The Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) Applications
Amie has a wealth of experience in assisting Immigration advisors seeking registration of a new firm with the OISC. Amie provides advice and assistance with the following;
- Advising on, preparing and submitting new firm applications to the OISC
- Drafting and preparing Business Plans and cashflow forecasts
- Drafting and preparing OISC compliant template documents
- Drafting OISC compliant plans, policies and procedures
- Mock OISC audits and pre-audit advice
Having set up her own niche Immigration & Human Rights law firm, Bankfield Heath Solicitors in March 2012, Amie grew the business from three members of staff to twenty three with four offices. As such, she has extensive experience in business development and management of staff at all levels.
Amie offers advice and assistance in the following areas;
- SRA New Firm Applications
- Outsourced file reviews (monthly/quarterly)
- Advice and assistance with the COLP / COFA roles
- Complaint handling
- Outsourced appraisals and performance management reviews
- Business development and practice management
- Supervision Systems
Immigration & Legal Aid
As an experienced Immigration and Public Law specialist with experience of advising and assisting clients on all aspects of immigration, asylum, human rights and public law work, representing both private and legally aided clients from initial application to appeals in the First-Tier/Upper Tribunal, High Court, Court of Appeal and the European Court of Human Rights, Amie has an impressive success rate and is a highly sought after practitioner.
Amie won Immigration Lawyer of the Year award in 2010 and has been recommended as an individual practitioner in the Legal 500 since 2015. Amie is well known for her work with vulnerable clients, in particular victims of trafficking and modern slavery, and has been involved in country guidance cases and policy developments in this area.
Amie offers advice and assistance in the following areas;
- Advising and assisting firms in respect of LAA audits
- Assisting firms in relation to Peer Review. Amie has been instructed by a number of firms requiring assistance after receiving a rating of 4 or 5 following a Peer Review. Amie has drafted detailed representations against these ratings which has often resulted in the Peer Review rating being overturned
- Challenging Contract Notices, Contract Sanctions and Contract Termination with the LAA and before the Contract Review Body with a 100% success rate
- Obtaining and maintaining Lexcel and SQM accreditation for firms
- Drafting standard precedent file notes and letters
Training & Development
An experienced trainer, Amie delivers a range of training to firms and individual practitioners on issues relating to;
- Legal Aid queries
- File Management
- Supervision Requirements
- Billing/claim amendments
- Immigration & Asylum Peer Review
- Best Practice in Asylum Applications & Appeals
- The 2018 Contract and Specification
- Maximising Costs
- Escape Fee Cases
- Exceptional Case Funding
- Modern Slavery and Human Trafficking
Amie offers bespoke training courses designed to meet your requirements.
What Clients Say
For any advice, guidance and assistance on BSB compliance matters and the governing policies, Amie Higgins is the go to person. She is knowledgeable, extremely thorough and a pleasure to work with.
Barrister, Garden Court North Chambers
Amie was just brilliant, informative and reassuring, super efficient and extremely helpful. I felt in very safe hands at every stage with her preparing the required documents for my application and explaining the content and the process, would not hesitate to recommend her, thank you!
Heritage Park Family Law
We were terribly impressed with Amie Higgins and grateful for all her tremendous work. Please pass this on.
Jason Sugarman QC
Foundry Chambers and R S Legal Strategy
Our firm contracted DG Law to run various legal aid immigration training sessions. Amie Higgins, a consultant at DG Legal gave such a clear step by step guide that helped us not only to run our legal aid matters in an easy and efficient manner in no time, but to successfully get SQM accreditation in what felt like an effortless way. Amie has been there with ready advice for every question we have had, with detailed explanations of the procedure and the law, drafting templates for any possible step or correspondence to ensure compliance with the best care for the client and their matter. After our training, it felt like we have been running legal aid for years. Huge thanks to Amie. Highly recommended.
Head of Immigration, Milestone Solicitors
This was an amazing training. Learnt so much from the training and received some sound advice on managing the LAA contract as well as doing casework. The Trainer Amie Higgins was very knowledgeable and helpful. Her training style was friendly, non judgemental, clear and concise. Would recommend the course to anyone working under an Immigration contract a great refresher for both management and staff.
Great trainer, great course.
For newcomers to legal aid contracts I strongly recommend Amie Higgins whose training is well prepared without being top heavy. The fact that she has worked and continues to work in the area of immigration and public law is a big advantage to those in the filed.
Solicitor, Tann Law