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Immigration cap may hit legal sector

Legal experts believe it will prevent them from hiring foreign lawyers

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25th November 2010: A day after the Home Secretary announced a 21,700 annual cap on the number of skilled immigrants from outside the EU allowed into the UK, legal experts believe it will prevent them from recruiting foreign lawyers.

The Law Society Gazette has asserted the move will disappoint those in the legal profession.

The Gazette has added that the limit will prevent them from hiring foreign lawyers needed to service clients.

The Law Society has already asserted the limits on non-EU highly skilled migration could damage the legal sector.

In a submission to the Home Office, the Law Society had only recently warned the cap threatened the UK’s position as a prominent legal centre.

The limit would severely restrict law firms’ overseas work and their ability to employ international lawyers, the Law Society had added.

Law Society chief executive Des Hudson had asserted Chancery Lane had worked closely with its members to identify the impact of the cap on the legal sector.

He said: ‘Britain’s ability to remain internationally competitive is under threat, and our business community is also feeling the pressure at a time when we need to revive the economy rather than hinder it.

‘The UK could lose large volumes of legal transactional work to other jurisdictions if we are not allowed access the best talent in strong and emerging economies, such as China and India, as well as our partners in the US and Australia, for example.

‘Recruitment of specialist talent from the global market underpins the success of leading international law firms.

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