One to One: Shalini Bhargava

Keith Vaz Wednesday 27th September 2023 09:47 EDT

Shalini Bhargava was born in India and was raised and educated in Delhi. She completed her BA(Hons) in English Literature from University of Delhi and soon after graduating was married to come to the U.K. In the UK, Shalini as a single parent picked up her education once again and qualified in the legal field. Shalini V Bhargava is a practicing solicitor with 23 years of experience in the legal field. She is registered with the Law Society of England and Wales.

Shalini set up her own law firm in 2011 and is the Managing Director of Aschfords Law Solicitors based in Harrow, London. Shalini was named in the Asian Who’s Who 2011 in the U.K. She has been a regular guest on Zee TV channel and other TV channels broadcast in the U.K and throughout Europe, giving immigration advice. Her business also assists with Family Law, Litigation and Wills & Probate.

She is also a Trustee at Harrow Carers, a charity providing support to carers in the community.

1)Which place, or city or country do you most feel at home in?

I was 21 years old when I came to the UK from Delhi. For many years I felt unsettled, I was neither here nor there. Almost 35 years on, London is definitely my home but somehow, I will always be a Delhite at heart.

2)What are your proudest achievements? 

I am very proud of the person I am today, the most challenging phase of my life has taught me the real meaning of spirituality, compassion and hope. I was never career oriented so achieving my Law Degree as a mature student from The College of Law in London was amazing.

3)What inspires you? 

The deep core feeling of wanting to help and give someone “hope” inspires and motivates me the most. This is what I thrive upon, and it gives me the will to start my day and be at my desk everyday.

4)What has been biggest obstacle in your career?

For me the biggest fear and challenge was how I would catch up with my peers as a newly qualified lawyer of mature age and a single parent Asian woman. In hindsight I do not think I saw that as an obstacle or challenge, I was determined and focused just like Arjun from Mahabharata who only focused on the eye of the fish and nothing else mattered.

5)Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date? 

My son has been the biggest influence on my career. His existence was the reason I turned to academics again. He was the source of strength and determination to obtain my Law Degree. I had no option but to achieve and provide for my son, there was no place for failure, it had to be only progress and success.

6)What is the best aspect about your current role? 

I enjoy the interaction with clients and helping them to find solutions for their complex legal issues. I like the friendly and compassionate approach that my law firm has when delivering the legal services to people not just in the U.K but across the world.

7)And the worst?

The continuous changes in the UK Immigration Law and the inconsistencies in the decision-making process of the Home Office.

8)What are your long term goals? 

The long-term goal is to build the team of Aschfords Law Solicitors to provide UK immigration advice to individuals and businesses in the U.K and across the world with the same passion and compassion that I have.

9)If you were Prime Minister, what one aspect would you change?    

Definitely the UK immigration policies to bring stability in the law and promote good economic growth for the country. To name one change, I would allow the British citizens to bring their parents to the UK under the Adult Dependant Relative route to look after their elderly who are living outside the U.K.

10)If you were marooned on a desert island, which historical figure would you like to spend your time with and why?

Florence Nightingale. was a legend in her own lifetime and one of the most famous women in British history. She was an English social reformer, statistician and the founder of modern nursing. One of the famous quote from the “lady with the lamp” that I resonate with is “Mankind must make heaven before we can go to heaven”.

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