Role and Background
Chris is a Senior Solicitor having qualified as a Solicitor in 1998 and has specialised in Immigration and Asylum Law ever since. He is accredited at the highest level of the Law Society’s Immigration & Asylum Accreditation Scheme – Immigration Law Advanced.
After working in London for a number of years, Chris moved to Yorkshire in 2001. He headed the Immigration Team at Parker Rhodes before establishing his own niche immigration and asylum law practice, Cole & Yousaf Solicitors, in 2007. Cole & Yousaf then merged with Parker Rhodes Hickmotts in 2012, where Chris remained a partner until 2020.
Since stepping down as a partner at Parker Rhodes Hickmotts, Chris has worked as a consultant immigration solicitor providing advocacy and consultancy services to various firms. He also works part-time as the Senior Solicitor at Sheffield Hallam University’s Helena Kennedy Centre for International Justice Refugee Rights Hub.
Chris has been involved with The Law Society’s Immigration & Asylum Accreditation Scheme for many years. Previously he was the Co-ordinator of the accreditation exams for Central Law Training, and he is now the Chief Examiner for The Law Society. He is also an assessor for the Immigration Law Advanced accreditation scheme.
Chris was appointed a fee-paid judge of the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration & Asylum Chamber) in February 2019.
Chris is renowned for his conduct of complex Asylum and Human Rights cases and has been involved in numerous Country Guidance cases (particularly with reference to Iraq). He has been recognised as a Leading Individual in Immigration Law by the Chambers UK Directory for a number of years, having been praised for his “sharp intellect and inspiring level of knowledge and commitment.”
Chris was previously a Law Society Council member, and he has been a member of the Law Society’s Immigration Law Committee since 2006. He has sat as one of The Law Society representatives on the Legal Aid Agency Contract Review Board since 2016.
Chris offers advice and assistance in the following areas:
- Advising and assisting firms in respect of LAA audits
- Assisting firms in relation to Peer Review
- Challenging Contract Notices, Contract Sanctions & Contract Termination with the LAA
- Obtaining and maintaining Lexcel & SQM accreditation for firms
- Outsourced file reviews (monthly/quarterly)
- Drafting standard precedent file notes and letters
- Advice and assistance with the COLP/COFA/MLRO roles
An experienced trainer, Chris delivers a range of training to firms and individual practitioners on issues relating to legal aid such as billing/claim amendments, the 2018 Contract and Specification, Exceptional Case Funding, and tendering, as well as training on all aspects of immigration & asylum law & practice. Chris offers bespoke training courses designed to meet your requirements.