Raj Balu

Raj Balu

Consultant  – Immigration

T: 020 7831 3176 | E: rb@austenjonessolicitors.co.uk

Raj joined the immigration team at Austen Jones Solicitors in 2020 and is a London consultant, based in the City.

Bringing with him more than 20 years’ experience of working across the entire spectrum of immigration, Raj boasts a wealth of corporate and private client expertise. He provides bespoke immigration advice for high-net-worth individuals and their families, often from Asia, Russia and the Middle East under Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Investor) categories.

He has an extensive understanding and working knowledge of the Points Based System and advises SMEs, large corporates and household brands on Sponsor Licence applications, as well as other categories – Tiers 2, 4 and 5, Immigration & Nationality, EEA Regulation – including the consideration of Discretionary Leave and applications under the Human Rights Act.  He frequently advises businesses on their immigration strategy and compliance issues and conducts pre-Home Office compliance audit checks.

In one of Raj’s most recent successes he represented and made submissions on behalf of a company who’d received a Penalty Notice of £300,000 for employing illegal workers and was able to negotiate a reduction in liability to just £40,000.

Recognised by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner, Raj has Level 3 accreditation – the highest accreditation achievable – having demonstrated an advanced level of competence and knowledge in Immigration Law, as defined by OISC.

An avid Liverpool fan, Raj loves football, rugby, boxing and also enjoys a spot of cricket, especially when India are playing. He likes to work out and trains in Krav Maga. He cooks a mean curry and is fluent in Punjabi.


International Arbitration and Commercial Dispute Resolution
  • Represented the Ministry of Oil & Minerals of a Middle East Government (Respondent) against an Indian oil company (Claimant) in a commercial arbitration over contractual claims arising out of a Production Sharing Agreement for exploration of oil.
  • Advised a Middle East Government in an investor-state arbitration arising from the construction of an airport runway.
  • Represented Respondents, the Republic of Yemen and the Yemeni Ministry of Oil & Minerals in a commercial arbitration against Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation.
  • Advised a UK oil company in its dispute with a state-owned oil company in West Africa
  • Represented a US energy company in mediation against a Libyan company
  • Represented Scottish Power in an English high court litigation (Scottish Power UK plc v BP Exploration Operating Co Ltd & Others).
Charity Law
  • Drafted the governing law document of a new charity and registered it with the Charity Commission
  • Advised a development charity on the duties and powers of its trustees
  • Advised a charity on raising funds for its £1 million rebuilding project
  • Represented a charity in a Charity Commission investigation.
Immigration and Asylum Law
  • Represented clients with family visitor applications
  • Drafted grounds of appeal in a spouse visa application
  • Represented a client in a human rights application to remain in the UK
  • Represented clients in Further Leave to Remain and Indefinite Leave to Remain applications
  • Native in English and Bengali and proficient in Arabic
  • Founding Committee Member, Arab Legal Forum
  • Editor, Young ICCA Blog
  • Member, London Court of International Arbitration Young International Arbitration Group
  • Member, Young Arbitrators Forum of the International Chamber of Commerce
  • Member, Young International Council for Commercial Arbitration
  • Associate Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • The US$50 billion Yukos award overturned – Enforcement becomes a game of Russian roulette: Kluwer Arbitration Blog
  • Out of the Shadows: Global Arbitration Review
  • Challenging the United Nations’ sanctions before domestic courts: Arab Legal Forum
  • A Guide to the IBA’s Revised Guidelines on Conflicts of Interest: Kluwer Arbitration Blog
  • A Rubik’s cube of ethical rules?: Global Arbitration Review
  • To Forfeit or not to Forfeit? – Enforceability of Forfeiture Clauses in Oil and Gas Joint Operating Agreements (JOA): Kluwer Arbitration Blog
  • Key Changes in the LCIA’s new Arbitration Rules: Kluwer Arbitration Blog
  • Give environment its own court: The Lawyer
  • Spotlight on International Arbitration as a Means of Settling Disputes Arising from Climate Change: Kluwer Arbitration Blog
  • British Virgin Islands: A new arbitration centre in the Caribbean?: Global Arbitration Review
  • How far do the new LCIA Guidelines for Parties’ Legal Representatives and the IBA Guidelines on Party Representation go?: Kluwer Arbitration Blog

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