16th October 2017
Recent Case Highlights the need for Regulated Immigration Advice
A self-styled legal practitioner has received a prison sentence after being convicted of providing illegal immigration advice.
It was the second time Prince Adewale Adeola had provided support in relation to immigration matters, having previously been fined £500 by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx). On this second occasion, he has been sentenced to five months in prison at Woolwich Crown Court.
According to a notice published by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner, Adeola is company director at Vinbrooke Legal Practitioners in Kent. He misrepresented the firm as being able to provide immigration advice.
A CILEx spokesperson said Adeola was an associate member and that his membership ended in April this year.
Sentencing Adeola, His Honour Judge Miller, said:
"You knew the regulations in respect of providing immigration advice. Public interest in such matters is obvious, given the desperate circumstances of those seeking immigration advice. The consequences of immigration proceedings are hugely important and in most cases dealing with complex matters. It is right that people who charge for such services must be qualified."
Mark Benton, Immigration Solicitor at Cartwright King, outlines the importance of seeking advice from a qualified immigration advisor:
“The recent custodial sentence of an individual purporting to be a qualified immigration advisor serves as a stark reminder that those requiring immigration advice should ensure to instruct a professional. The unfortunate reality is that immigration law attracts many individuals who are looking to take advantage of ordinary people and charge them for a service they are not qualified to provide. If you are looking for legal assistance with an immigration matter it is hugely important to contact a professional firm – who are properly qualified and regulated. Anyone speaking to a so-called “specialist” should be wary of those who will provide guaranteed results (something that no practitioner can do – as the Home Office are the ultimate arbiter of decisions). Low fees should also be an indicator as to quality of service.”