OTS Solicitors are delighted to announce that Kristine Lauriaga has joined OTS Solicitors as a paralegal in the individual immigration and business immigration departments.
Kristine obtained a degree in law from the University of Westminster in London in 2017 and completed her Legal Practice Course in London in 2018. During her studies, Kristine developed an interest in the areas of Immigration
, Human Rights
and Employment law. Kristine currently helps the individual immigration and business immigration
departments on a wide range of Immigration
“I am delighted that Kristine Lauriaga has joined us as a paralegal in the busy Immigration
departments at what is both an exciting and challenging time for both the individual immigration and business immigration
teams at OTS Solicitors.
“It is exciting as the firm’s commitment to being at the forefront of Immigration
law has been recognised by OTS Solicitors receiving an award from SME news for “The Most Innovative business immigration
Law Firm 2019”. It is also challenging as Brexit
has led to a whole host of Immigration
rule changes, the introduction of the EU Settlement Scheme, new visa options such as the Start-up Visa or the Innovator
Visa, and changes to the Investor visa
Solicitors are used to having to rapidly absorb new rules, guidance and case law. However, at a time of fast-paced changes to Immigration
law, and the potential for more to come with Brexit
uncertainties, it is great to have a bright and very motivated paralegal like Kristine Lauriaga at OTS Solicitors. Kristine is helping support the Immigration
Solicitors meet the challenges of Brexit EEA Applications
and their daily interactions with the Home Office on diverse topics, such as Business Immigration Visas
Kristine Lauriaga, paralegal, says
“I aspired to a career in the law from the age of ten, after listening to a career talk from a solicitor who spoke about her path to becoming a lawyer from her BAME background. She talked inspiringly about how she saw her job as a solicitor to “fight for people’s rights”. Many years later, and a law degree achieved, her words still inspire me to continue to work towards qualification as a solicitor.
“At OTS Solicitors I am getting the opportunity in the individual immigration and business immigration
departments to “fight for people’s rights” and help people. What really appeals to me about Immigration
law, whether it is talking to individuals about Spouse Visas
or to a human resources manager about their sponsor licence
or right to work checks, is the feeling that the legal advice has a direct impact on people’s lives and business operations.
“OTS Solicitors and Immigration
law is the perfect fit for me to start on my path to qualifying as a solicitor, as my paralegal role at OTS Solicitors allows me to help those struggling with Immigration
law problems and provide legal advice and reassurance.
“As a child of Filipino parentage, born in the Middle East, and arriving in the UK at the age of six with no knowledge of the UK or the English language, I can empathise with both individual and corporate clients about the stress Immigration
applications and Home Office challenges can place on a family or business .
“I can also talk, with confidence and first-hand knowledge, about how children adapt to new environments and climates. On arrival in London, I quickly lost my native language of Tagalog, through immersion in London culture. I am pleased to say that I was able to regain my fluency in Tagalog and am now able to use my native language of Tagalog whilst working at OTS Solicitors.
“A recent example of where my fluency in Tagalog really helped was taking to a family who were desperately worried about their application for Leave to Remain
in the UK. The family had come to OTS Solicitors for help after having received poor legal representation from non-specialist solicitors. Their application was urgent. Stress levels were high, as the parents feared how their children’s lives would be affected by being sent to a country that would be alien to children brought up in London. We were able to help the family maximise their chances of not having to pack up their lives and leave London through expert Immigration
advice and specialist reports. When the family was in such a stressful situation, it was important for them to be able to express their worries and fears in Tagalog. It was reassuring to them that I was able to listen and talk to them in Tagalog when they felt at their lowest and most vulnerable.
“What I love about working at OTS Solicitors is the time taken with clients. Nothing is rushed. Yes, we are all tremendously busy with Brexit
and its impact on businesses and individuals, but nothing gets in the way of or is more important than client care. I understand that philosophy as my mother gained entry to the UK from the Philippines to work as a nurse in the National Health Service. She always says it is not the treatment that patients remember. It is how the treatment is delivered, with patience, respect and of course, a smile. My mother’s words and those of the solicitor that spoke so movingly to me in a sea of primary school faces at that long ago career talk, resonate with me. I hope they will make me become the sort of Immigration
solicitor that my mother and my mentors have high hopes of; that tricky combination of excellent lawyer, with complete grasp of the Immigration
rules and case law, but with empathy and words of reassurance for every client. I know, all too well, how it feels to be in a migrant’s shoes and the importance of that reassuring word; that you are in expert hands.
“In my spare time I mentor children and volunteer at a charity that works to improve children’s literacy. If I had not chosen a career in the law I think I would have become a teacher as, after winning a national debating championship, I was asked to become a mentor teaching young children and teenagers to debate for competitions. The skills I am now learning at OTS Solicitors and the mentoring received from senior Immigration
solicitors, is in turn helping with my mentoring and volunteer work.
“When I am asked “what would you rather be doing on a Friday afternoon?” I can honestly answer that, for me, it is answering client queries, researching and keeping very busy at OTS Solicitors. No one day is the same, from helping the CEO of a company with a Home Office mock interview for an Investor visa
to talking to a worried fiancée about whether the engaged couple will meet the Home Office criteria to secure a fiancée visa. I do not envisage that my love of the law and enthusiasm for how the law can be used to help individuals and businesses will ever change, and I am looking forward to a career at OTS Solicitors and qualifying as a solicitor.
How can OTS Solicitors help you?
OTS Solicitors are specialist in Immigration law matters based in London. The firm is recommended for Immigration law in the Legal 500 publication of leading UK lawyers. OTS Solicitors have Law Society accredited solicitors status as trusted specialists in Immigration law.