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East Midlands Chamber News

Nottingham immigration law firm judged as one of the best

A Nottingham law firm has been rated as one of the best in the UK for the specialist work it does in immigration.

OTB Legal is the only immigration law firm outside of London to feature in the Chambers and Partners UK Guide for 2021, which identifies outstanding lawyers and law firms.

Directors and co-founders Aldijana Hoad and Mark Lilley-Tams have also been individually recognised in the guide, which is put together following independent research into firms and lawyers across the country.

It is a double celebration for OTB Legal which is also ranked in the Legal 500 2021 list, with clients praising the team for its ‘outstanding support and guidance’.

This follows a busy year for the specialist immigration law firm which launched in April 2019 and acts across both business and personal immigration law. In just over 18 months, the team has doubled in size and their office space at Chase Park has been extended.

Aldijana said: “We are delighted to be recognised in the Chamber and Partners and Legal 500 rankings. It is a real testament to the hard work we have been doing over the last year and to continue to receive such great feedback from our clients, makes us feel very proud.”

The news comes on the back of a surge in calls to the team at OTB Legal, as business bosses step up their preparations for Brexit post 31 December 2020 and the new immigration rules which came into force on 1 December 2020.

Aldijana added: “There has been a real increase in enquiries from companies since the Home Office published the rules last month for the new points-based system. This has reminded companies to apply for a sponsor licence or it could have a real impact on those reliant on attracting new talent and staff from overseas.”

The new laws mean that to employ EU nationals currently not living in the UK after 1 January 2021, all business, no matter what size, will need a Sponsor Licence. This licence grants a company permission from the Home Office to employ overseas staff – something currently only needed for non-EU workers.

The rules are also being relaxed to allow bosses to employ overseas nationals with A-level or equivalent standard, compared to the degree level required previously when filling a vacancy.

For companies currently employing EU nationals living in the UK, those individuals have until 30 June 2021 to apply to the Home Office for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. If they don’t apply before then, they would lose their right to live and work here and would be illegally employed.

Aldijana continued: “It’s not just about attracting new staff but also protecting your existing workforce and our advice is to seek guidance now to ensure everything is in order, allowing you to protect the future of your business and your current workforce.”