KIELANOWSKI LLM & Co
“The Practice - 1981 – 2011“
Spanning just about three decades in the background of profound global legal, political and social changes, The Practice of Matthew Kielanowski inspired tremendous loyalty in the many clients he successfully represented. With unrivalled expertise in advising individuals and organisations through his extensive knowledge and experience in selected areas of law, he established a firm reputation for reliability and proper professional conduct. His actions were dynamic, determined and thorough in pursuing his clients’ objectives and protecting their interests and entitlements. Most times acting “ outside the box”, always giving priority to the interests of the individual, he frequently fought against government institutions for the sake of preservation of the sacred rights of the individual over the imposing Government – rights not always protected by the blind provision of modern and “politically correct” laws and constitutions introduced in times of galloping erosion of public liberties and drastic increases in power of the autocratic and unaccountable machinery of the State.
In the late Seventies Matthew Kielanowski, Master of Law, a graduate of English and Polish Universities worked in legal departments of two major London television companies where he dealt directly - and in many cases single-handed, in authors’ & performing rights issues and music licensing for television productions and for commercial Music Libraries – at that time a novelty, a break-through concept in storage of audio and video tapes for use in broadcasting, television and film productions, sale or hire.
Matthew Kielanowski actively engaged his contacts within the Polish Radio and TV and their recording studios, aiming to forge a bridge between Eastern European artist management, the State-media owners of recording rights - and any prospective commercial media purchasers in Britain. The consequences of this successful engagement were surprising, if unforeseen in its social dimension. A growth of Music Libraries of Classical and stored Light Entertainment Recordings in Britain - with rights to recordings often performed by renowned classical, jazz or pop musicians, rock groups or orchestras from Eastern Europe – contributed to a rapid reduction in the otherwise treasured British live classical orchestras and ensembles salaried by the BBC – traditionally maintained locally at an exorbitant cost to the BBC’s licence payer. In direct consequence of provision of the ready-made soundtracks or recordings from Eastern Europe - countless BBC musicians were made redundant at the time, when the country’s economy in “the early Thatcher years” was still suffering from a decade of economic neglect.
His engagements and interests at the London Weekend Television were anchored in the field of light entertainment area of music for television productions, with deals to rights of titles in jazz, rock and pop, etc – often purchased or leased via the broadcaster’s subsidiary, the Essex Music Library of London’s Soho, or the Essex Music Ltd, among many other companies on the list of their prospective clients.
Forced redundancies amongst live performing salaried musicians caused a wave of solidarity industrial disputes within the BBC in 1979 and 1980, first by it’s journalists and then also by technicians - months of strikes, and programme black-outs - although with a noted and growing country-wide public support for the sacked musical artists ; events ever since remembered under the banner “ Keep Music Live” – with it’s car stickers, signs and posters planted everywhere. Eventually and under a strong pressure from the general public the BBC relented, reduced it’s purchases of rights to cheaper orchestral recordings from abroad and reinstated some British orchestras and ensembles ( or re-negotiated their contracts ), but the traditional idea of maintaining a full classical BBC radio orchestra or ensembles on a pay-roll in every main city - was lost forever.
It was also a time of political changes and economic turmoil in Eastern Europe and recording industries there – especially the Polish Radio and TV own music libraries – the main source of quality exportable rights of recorded music - were running dry.
Matthew Kielanowski moved to a leading legal firm Messrs Theodore Goddard in the City of London, to work under the guidance of one of its learned senior partners, gaining overall legal experience in drafting, general litigation, contract and matrimonial law. He still continued engagements with the subsidiaries of the LWT in Birmingham, setting up legal contracts for recordings of “jingles” in television advertising; drafting and executing agreements with individual musicians, studios and production companies.
Simultaneously, he established contacts with the Immigration and Nationality Department of Home Office monitoring the developing political situation in Poland consulting immigration policy makers on the workers strikes, social unrest and it’s likely outcome. He enrolled on the English Law Society’s informal register of legal experts conversant in foreign laws, to research questions and suggest answers and opinions on international law issues filed by other practitioners.
In the early Eighties with the outbreak of martial law in Poland in 1981, the British Isles flooded with refugees – stranded tourists, students, visitors afraid to return home and political activists linked to the de-legalised Polish Trade Union “Solidarity”. Émigré organisations mushroomed in London, but only in political sense. There was a frightening vacuum in provision of professional immigration law advice and all-round practical legal assistance. The existing, old established legal firms were not always keen on taking Eastern European immigration cases; sometimes because of fear of individual clients or misinterpretation of their instructions, sometimes because of ignorance of their background and of political complexities; often with bias, or pre-conceived adverse attitudes and misconceptions as to their clients motives and intentions.
Matthew Kielanowski since advised and successfully represented many prospective and actual refugees, or illegal entrants and overstayers in their applications to the Immigration and Nationality Department of the Home Office seeking on their behalf leave to remain in the UK under the provisions of Geneva Convention on Refugees of 1951. He took part in preparation and implementation of the Home Office “Special Policy Paper” for Polish refugees under which those who did not qualify to remain under the Convention, were permitted to stay nevertheless for a limited but extendable periods, without working restrictions. At the same time he assisted managers of Harold Holt Ltd, a major British classical music artist management and other impresarios, i.e. Peter Finch Ltd, or Sogobunkasha Inc., in securing stay and working permits for prominent musicians, soloists, directors and orchestras from Eastern Europe stranded in London and unable or unwilling to return to their home countries in times of political struggle and uncertainty.
Many of his clients from those early years later became successful in business, politics, arts and professions; many peacefully settled in Britain and around the world, in various trades, contributing their best to their hosting nations.
In those days Matthew Kielanowski briefly collaborated with the “Polish Refugees Rights Group” of Acton in West London, financed by the Labour Party and the Trade Union Congress in unison with the “Solidarity with Solidarity Group” of Tadek Jarski – at that time first in terms of the British public and media recognition. Matthew Kielanowski provided many of their clients with legal advice and appeal court or tribunal representations and thus established his independent Practice advising clients apart from immigration - also on matrimonial, housing, conflict of laws, employment and the law of succession – all issues essential for refugees when beginning their new life in a new country, or when ending it due to natural causes.
The Practice filled a niche in London for general immigration and refugee practitioners. Before mid-eighties, rather stagnant economic circumstances were uninviting; removal/deportation rules were strictly applied, discretion in deciding application was limited, relatively few foreigners sought residence status in the UK, unless forced by irretrievable personal position or waves of deadly or dangerous political upheavals, as seen in applications of Hungarian, Yugoslav, Iranian or Polish refugees. These were however cases of qualifying individuals rather than cases of mass social trends. The Commonwealth UK arrivals were still manageable, the Middle East and East European still limited in numbers. With hope for rapid political and economic changes of early eighties implemented by the new UK Government under Margaret Thatcher, British economy became quickly de-regulated, industries privatised and country suddenly booming. The attraction was there to explore – and immigration exodus from the rest of the world soon followed. The term “economic migrant” was nevertheless still one that would bar anyone from entry; Britain was not yet a country officially ready, or open for mass immigration.
Matthew Kielanowski’s Practice has grown in early eighties in parallel with growth in numbers in general UK immigration phenomena. Some who came and were allowed to stay subsequently married, divorced, bought houses, sold flats, sought mortgages and entered into financial or business disputes. They needed legal assistance in all those areas and in majority of cases remained faithful to The Practice.
If a core of The Practice interests remained immigration, its branches had grown in all directions of legal dispute. The Practice collaborated with, made and received referrals from a significant number of prominent firms of solicitors, if only to mention Messrs Judge Sykes & Harrison of Holborn, SEMPIK & Co of Richmond, Rumbold Speechley Tilson Philips of Ealing, Turner & Debenhams of Boreham Wood, Claude Payne Skillington & Brown of Coventry, Pictons of Milton Keyenes, Gillian Radford, Saunders & Co, Royds Treadwell, Lawrence Jones, Michael Ambler & Co, SZ Kmiecik & Co, Bond & Banbury, Meadows & Moran, Murray MacLean & Krieger, Barry Posner Pentol & Co, Percy Short & Cuthbert, Tyrer Roxborough & Co, Amhurst Brown Colombotti of London, AEP Zaleski of Southfields, Russell Cooke of Putney, Ronald England & Sons of Sheffield, and many others.
At the same time skill in drafting parliamentary representation quickly became a specialism, if not a trade mark of The Practice. If there was an imminent danger of removal of an alien following a failed appeal or discovery of illegal status, a parliamentary assistance was crucial in securing endangered clients’ additional time and hence chances to remain in the UK either to continue in pursuit of further legal avenues - or in order to seek leave to remain permanently on compassionate basis.
From 1984 Matthew Kielanowski Practice collaborated closely with Messrs Sempik & Co of Richmond, assisting inter alia in a highly publicised, fascinating High Court action against North London Polytechnic brought by a student accused ( foolishly ) of extreme Nazi connections. The case had later spilled against The Guardian newspaper, who accused in print (even more foolishly) the said student’s legal representatives, of Nazi sympathies.
But still and in between consulting in matrimonial cases, property and inheritance disputes, company formations, mutual claims and settlements (i.e. publicised Oxted Rest Home, Ballantine Financials Plc, Grosvenor White Housing Ltd –v- BT Plc, Halifax –v- Khalid, etc ) - The Practice primarily dealt in immigration applications and appeals at all levels, Immigration Adjudicator cases, High Court and Court of Appeal appearances in it’s own cases and in cases referred to from other firms - as specialist experts; or in cases requiring parliamentary representations of failed asylum applicants - always considered The Practice’s favourite priority.
Later in the Eighties The Practice was run from its Park Royal office at Abbey Parade in London W5, supported by hundreds of clients seeking what The Practice was best at : a professional advice, legal representation, general legal assistance and carefully designed referrals wherever necessary - conveyed to a client with a personal touch - and at all times - “outside the box”.
In the field of further emigration - from 1988 The Practice secured agreement with it’s Canadian partners known as “ The Canadian Scheme” – aimed to benefit prospective emigrants for settlement to that country, who had no relatives academic qualifications or sufficient funds to apply for a lawful “within the rules point-system ” entry. The Practice provided applicants with Canadian sponsors, individual or institutional, who vouched for the applicants, and meanwhile lobbied the UK Immigration Department or the feared UK border Immigration Service of the Home Office - in many cases with assistance from Members of Parliament - for permissions to remain in Britain pending the outcome of Canadian application; the alternative being a deportation to the country of origin.
The Canadian Scheme became popular (and copied). In just under seven hundred applications, only eight percent failed. The main beneficiaries were those who found themselves unlawfully in the UK - and then sought to emigrate further away to their new chosen country of their dreams.
In the fields of property law and conveyancing, The Practice excelled itself by acting for hundreds of first-time buyers and providing access or referrals to financial institutions and accountants for clients in order to secure non-status mortgages. It was a time of economic boom in Britain, and the “core” clientele, once their immigration problems were solved, were taking next steps into building households - in the most literal sense.
In the fields of matrimonial and inheritance matters, The Practice assisted a steady stream of clientele seeking advice, referrals and representations or litigation help in international law cases, and final negotiated settlements of their claims, often in conflict of law matters. The two-jurisdiction cases in the field of inheritance became frequently dealt with by The Practice, often raising additional issues of domicile of birth versus domicile of choice, sometimes with need for a judicial establishment of facts in more complex scenarios.
In 1987, Matthew Kielanowski inspired by a successful London based business-woman and philanthropist Elizabeth Holc, became one of the founders of the UK Charity “ The Polish Hospice Fund”, later known as “Gdansk Hospice Fund”, under the chairmanship of a prominent barrister and academic Muir Hunter QC. Mr Lech Walesa, the former Trade Union “Solidarity” leader and the President of Poland, agreed to became Charity’s Patron and Honorary President in its formative years.
The Practice was involved in preparations and translation of legal papers, in drafting a number of statutes for the Charity, research into existing laws, and draft proposals for a new charity law for Poland. Matthew Kielanowski served as Charity’s vice-Chairman from 1992 – to 1997.
The experience and knowledge drawn from this interest allowed The Practice to advise on charity law and in consequence, by 1995 the Practice set-up twenty three UK registered charities for individual and institutional clients, nineteen international foundations, over twenty-five trusts and sixteen benevolent societies, some later transformed into charities.
In the field of structured international immigration, Matthew Kielanowski took part in an internationally sponsored programme of applicant selection for settlement into the USA, New Zealand, Canada and Australia, run by the charity Segovia Transitions in concert with the Center for International Legal Studies in Salzburg. This involved a programme of quarterly evaluations and interviewing for emigration to the USA or Australia, of a number of qualifying previously screened and selected applicants, semi-detained in refugee camps around the Bavarian town of Berchtesgaden in Germany. The programme run from 1987 – to 1996, when in consequence of unification, withdrawal of the US Forces and its administration from Germany and the Balkan war, it was suspended, later modified, moved to Belgium and terminated in 1996.
In the early Nineties whilst The Practice was reaching record numbers in terms of new clients weekly, Matthew Kielanowski was among those asked to advise the Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister on issues related to formation and activity of a British Fund for legal education and promotion of English law in the Republic of Poland. Drawing from the £50 million Know-How Fund provided for Poland by the British Government, a British-Polish Legal Association was registered and chaired by a High Court Judge Mr George Dobry. Matthew Kielanowski, an early member of its Committee, participated in arrangements for legal training of Polish lawyers through variety of internships and working practices in London. In later years, the BPLA advised successive Polish governments on privatisation procedures and took part in creation of Courses of English Law at the University of Warsaw and held conferences and meetings in London with Polish legal luminaries, politicians and law makers.
The immigration from Eastern Europe to Britain was on the increase and the Practices’ visible successes in securing UK leave to remain for its clients - especially after failed appeal or despite early refusals due to successful parliamentary representations - came to the envious attention of some other London immigration legal organisations dealing with clientele from the Middle-Eastern and Indian regions. Inspired by them, a Channel4 “Dispatches” television programme of February 1994 concocted and procured a set of wild allegations against The Practice aiming to discredit its achievements. It has achieved the opposite. In the long run it served as a free prime time advertising of its success, especially, that the weekly prime time “Dispatches” was one of the most viewed television programmes in those years.
In mid-and late Nineties The Practice took part in forming the basis for the UK immigration regulatory response to the EU induced Association Agreements with the European Union whereas immigrants of the future accession countries – if verified as self-employed in specific trades – could seek permission to settle with their families in a Member State prior to the accession of their home country to the European Union planned to take place in 2004. It was a novelty concept – the first lawful gap in the otherwise closed UK door for mass immigration. The Practice was proud to file first applications to the Home Office on those grounds and later represented hundreds of individual applicants keen to legalise their status as self employed entrepreneurs.
Simultaneously, it accepted briefs in number of naturalisation and UK registration cases seeking British citizenship status ; international inheritance cases, property purchases, setting up and/or de-registration of off-shore entities, third-jurisdiction’ matrimonial cases, transfer of corporate personnel between jurisdictions and investment related applications for leave to remain in the UK from around the world.
In late XX Century and early New Millennium years the Practice relocated to its new offices at 30B,Wimpole Street in London W1 and from 2003 moved to it’s current offices at 7, Portland Place in London W1.
The Practice then took active interest in negotiating provisions for the Home Office implementation of the so called “Regularisation Scheme for Overstayers”, which when finally operational, allowed many hundreds of clients to settle permanently in the UK following their previously unsuccessful attempts, living in the UK for years as “ghosts”, lives of trauma and misery.
Matthew Kielanowski intensified his interests in provision of legal research and feasibility studies for parliamentary lobbying in the UK and European Parliament and Institutions and from late nineties contracted regular assignments with international law firms operating in Brussels, specialised in drafting legal documentation for presentation to European Institutions in pursuit of their corporate client’s interests. These assignments have increased to a level, which required a reduction of his personal involvement in the running of daily practice in London. And so, after years of endless struggles with the UK immigration authorities, after changes in the world’s geo-political landscape, which caused changes in the general profile of “ an immigrant” - The Practice took to “ a peaceful backwaters”, scaled down it’s exposure to regular immigration operations concentrating exclusively on advice in complex appeals and linked parliamentary representations.
Late in the first decade of the Second Millennium The Practice continued to advise from Portland Place in London in general on alien establishment and UK naturalisation issues; in 2005-2007 it represented - in concert with its associated firm of solicitors both acting for the UK settled Defendant - a high-profile business law-related extradition case brought before the UK courts on a controversial European Arrest Warrant ; the matter finally ascending to the House of Lords and the European Court of Justice in Strasburg. It has achieved a European record of time in securing 2 years of stay in the host country for the Defendant under the said Warrant.
The Practice is currently consulting on a four-jurisdiction linked international inheritance matters, an extradition case between the USA and Switzerland, a conflict of law property disputes and immigration appeals by judicial reviews in the High Court – maintaining its relations with members of the House of Commons and the European Parliament - and submitting representations for relief via parliamentary pressure on behalf of its clients. Matthew Kielanowski, Olivia Vernon and Randi Solvang, the initial legal trio of the early eighties, are there to assist their clients.
In it’s thirty years of continuous activity, the Practice provided advice to thousands of individual and institutional clients, some of whom were : three Prime Ministers , the Cabinet and government ministers, State officials, Lords of the Realm, politicians and academics, army generals, soldiers, businessmen, actors, stage performers, commercial pilots, musical arrangers and composers, violinists, orchestral conductors, artists and painters, writers art designers, publishers, fashion models, television presenters editors and producers, sailors, poets, rock musicians, singers, pianists, impresarios, cartoonists and sketch-writers, architects, doctors and dentists, funeral directors, jewellers, masseuses, insurers, veterinary surgeons, psychiatrists, bankers, African land owners, nurses, restaurateurs and chefs, waiters and cooks, house-keepers, builders, electricians, entrepreneurs, house-wives, escorts and hostesses, strippers, exotic dancers, journalists, camera men turn hoteliers, immigrants, emigrants and refugees from persecution, illegal entrants, the alleged smugglers, fugitives, cleaners, beauticians, baby-sitters, students, estate agents, the retired, the ex-combatants, pensioners and the unemployed – of all nationalities .
1981 – 2011
1. 10, Station Parade
2. 8/9, Abbey Parade
North Circular Road
3. 1, Loveridge Mews
4. 30B, Wimpole Street
5. 7, Portland Place