Smith Stone Walters – Excellence in Employee & Family Support

Always hotly contested, this category is a particularly broad one, open to individuals and organisations, from any sector, that provide a specialist service to relocating employees and their families.

Smith Stone Walters win Relocate Award
That the New-York-based USA team of immigration consultancy Smith Stone Walters (SSW) was named winner is testament to the fact that immigration is now being given the recognition it deserves, not only as a key component of any international assignment or relocation move but also as an important part of the relocation experience.Established in 2001, SSW is now the largest UK inbound immigration consultancy. It provides end-to-end immigration management for some of the world's largest corporations, including financial institutions, law firms, and technology and media companies, as well as supporting numerous small start-ups operating in the UK.SSW's team of 51 is based in the strategic locations of New York, Hong Kong and Mumbai, as well as the UK. "Our unique approach of staffing global offices with UK immigration experts gives us an edge over many of our competitors. Our foreign-language capability covers 20 different languages, and our global offices allow us to operate across multiple time zones," explains director James Walters.Vital to SSW's success is providing ongoing support to assignees and their families, as well as a bespoke service based on clients' individual needs – a fact not lost on the Re:locate Awards judges.Said one, "The case study supplied showed evidence of going the extra mile and the outcomes of excellent customer service and sound, practical advice. The focus is on the employee and family, but the implications for the client organisation are also clearly addressed."The entry statement was strong, and I Iiked the fact that SSW focuses on the personal and not just the purely legal."Says James Walters, "We are delighted to win this award, and fully agree with the judge's comments about immigration not being solely a legal service. We provide a specialist service, not only on a technical and legal level but also on a human one, focused always on the wider relocation picture in relation to the challenges and pressures faced by those we seek to help."One of the reasons for setting up an office in New York was to facilitate a hands-on service in a location which accounts for a significant number of the relocation moves for SSW's corporate client base. The current USA team of three deals with more than 600 cases for employees and families relocating from the Americas to the UK each year.Says James Walters, "Team members are regularly thanked for their sympathy, patience, insight, understanding and kindness – words you may be surprised to hear from customers commenting on a legal services provider! Customers frequently remind the team of the importance they place on their visa applications in relation to their overall relocation experience."The glowing assignee testimonials that supported the entry bear this out. "No question was too trivial – I felt supported all the way through the process," said one. "I can't recommend any improvements – my experience was excellent," said another.For more Re:locate news and features about employee and family support, click hereFor further information about Smith Stone Walters visit: www.smithstonewalters.com

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