Who We Are - Arona St James Solicitors
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Who We Are

Proudly situated at the heart of the East London community, but with a footprint that crosses borders as a result of its partnership with national and international clients, Arona St James Solicitors focuses on providing bespoke solutions tailored to meet the needs of its clients.

The firm was founded by Arona Sarwar, a solicitor with over 18 years experience of advising individuals and businesses, with the ambition of doing law differently. We make things personal. From the moment you first come in to see us, our solicitors and barristers make themselves available either by phone, e-mail or in person to ensure that solutions are found to your problems. For us, no problem is too small or too large – if it matters to you, then it matters to us.

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Arona Sarwar LLB (Hons)

Head Of Personal & Corporate Immigration Team

Arona Sarwar was trained at Cartwright Cunningham Haslegrove Solicitors. She went onto head the Immigration team at Stuart Miller solicitors before starting her own practice.

She recently joined a Central London firm to head their Immigration Corporate and Personal Immigration team before setting up Arona St James Solicitors. Arona works on both personal immigration cases and corporate Immigration work.

Arona has over 18 years worth experience as well has years of business acumen. She is known for her strategic skills and providing a diagnostic service to all her clients. Arona has always taken pride in her work and loves handling complex cases through to succession.

She now heads our point based Corporate team.

“I love what I do and finding a solution. For me, it is about humanising each scenario and working with the client to achieve their goal. Immigration is moving target and I enjoy working with those who want my firm to manage their immigration affairs on a regular basis. More often it allows my business clients to concentrate on their day to day business. Over time my clients have grown with me and alongside my business. I see myself as a business woman with expertise in the immigration field. Employers often recognise I have insight into their business needs and truly look out for their interests. I act for a number of Tier 1 Investors and entrepreneurs from around the world. I am instructed to review their visa and carry out visa health checks on a monthly basis, this reduces the risk of refusal and gives both my client and I comfort that any dip in their fund or business issues can be picked up and acted on. My firm is a boutique law firm and we do more than just provide legal analysis and representation. We strive to offer a holistic approach.”

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Gillian

Family & Immigration

Gillian joined the practice in May 2019, bringing with her a wealth of experience in family and immigration matters. Her most successful cases have included special guardianships, domestic and foreign leave to remove applications, Child Arrangement applications requiring expert evidence or where Children’s Services are involved, as well as committed work with financial orders, such as maintenance and financial settlements to Final Hearings.Gillian specialised in family law from her qualification in 2011 and she advises on all aspects of family and divorce law, inclusive of adoption, along with immigration matters and Wills and Probate. She has been commended by clients and barristers alike for her care, empathy and direct approach to individuals from a variety of backgrounds, providing a dedicated and personal service.Gillian has been accredited by the Law Society in Family Law and is an active member of Resolution, the organisation dedicated to non-confrontational resolution of family matters.In her spare time, Gillian enjoys restaurant recommendations, especially if they’ve come from the Great British Menu, going to the theatre and travelling.

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LAILA MAHEN

Executive Paralegal

Laila is an experienced caseworker who joined the firm in April 2017 and works in our immigration and family teams. She specialises in various aspects of immigration law, including cases involving family and private life, entry clearance, British nationality, outside of the rules applications and human rights. In addition, Laila assists with family matters.

Laila completed an undergraduate degree in Education and later went on to complete a graduate diploma in law. She is currently completing a legal practice course/masters in law.

In her free time, Laila enjoys spending time with her family and friends, fashion and trying new restaurants.

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Emma Santos Clewley

Executive Paralegal

Emma is an experienced caseworker working in our immigration and family teams.

Emma has completed an undergraduate degree in Latin American Studies with Human Rights, a Graduate Diploma in Law and a combined LPC/LLM. Alongside studying she volunteered at JCWI and Citizens Advice. Emma also lived in the USA for a year where she studied and volunteered at an Asylum and Refugee Centre. Through this work Emma developed a keen interest in assisting vulnerable and marginalized people and social welfare law.

Emma has 2.5 years of immigration experience specifically in EEA, nationality, human rights, points-based, asylum & humanitarian protection and appeals applications. In addition Emma assists the family team with cases such as international adoption, divorce and child proceedings (UK/internationally).

Emma is a Spanish heritage speaker and is currently learning sign language. She enjoys watching documentaries, travelling and coffee.

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Hubert Ellis

Liaison Officer

Hubert works as a consultant on a non advice basis. He liaises with clients who are vulnerable and ensures that we secure a full set of instructions from our clients that reside out of London.
Hubert is a valuable member of our firm and adds more than legal expertise by listening and ensuring a plan of action is implemented for our long distance clients.

” I enjoy being that stepping stone and knowing that such individuals are in the hands of experienced solicitors who care about the service they deliver. I have seen clients achieve successful outcomes where many have failed. I enjoy cooking and making cocktails in my spare time. I am keen to travel more and be a positive role model to others.”