Immigration expert Grace McGill moves to Burness Paull

Immigration expert Grace McGill moves to Burness Paull

Burness Paull has added the most highly-rated immigration lawyer in Scotland and her team to its ranks to support clients in dealing with increasingly complex international visa and employment regulations.

Grace McGill plus four of her colleagues from boutique immigration firm McGill & Co have moved to Burness Paull and joined its existing immigration practice, which was established by partner Jamie Kerr in September 2018.

The expanded team will provide the firm’s clients with a best-in-class immigration law offering to assist them in navigating fast-moving changes to global work mobility rules.

Peter Lawson, chair at Burness Paull, said: “A combination of geopolitical effects resulting from Brexit and the pandemic is remaking the immigration law landscape.

“It’s a global issue that requires experience, vision and flexibility to navigate, and Grace brings these qualities in abundance.

“She is regarded as the top immigration lawyer in the market and her desire to join Burness Paull is a major coup for us.

“Grace’s strong international connections, particularly in Houston where she was based for a spell, are aligned to our own international objectives and will enable us to better serve the buoyant US markets we already have clients in.

“In partnership with Jamie Kerr and our existing immigration law team we believe we have an offering that is truly standout and can add significant value for existing and new clients of the firm.”

The firm has seen significant growth in recent years assisting clients in securing sponsorships for high-net-worth individuals, entrepreneurs, small family businesses and corporates.

In addition it has seen new work streams emerging in the aftermath of Brexit due to increased compliance issues – especially in sectors such as energy, sport, technology and media.

Ms McGill, who becomes head of immigration at Burness Paull, added: “With borders closed during the pandemic there was a significant impact on immigration instructions. The opportunities have not disappeared but are simply backed up, with changes to rules regarding movement of skilled workers also creating new opportunities.

“The way certain individuals and indeed entire industries work has changed significantly and we will see global migration increase at an accelerated rate as people start to move more fluidly for job opportunities.

“There is a realisation that jurisdictional borders are not a restriction on where people can work. Further changes, compounded by the Brexit effect, will see a renewed focus on inbound immigration due to skill gaps in the market and an entirely new focus on outbound work requiring support on the interpretation of complex Schengen rules.

“Domestically, the challenges are no different for both individuals and businesses. The key is truly understanding the changes and being ready to respond as clients adapt to this new world.

“I’ve always had a great deal of respect for Burness Paull having dealt with the firm on numerous occasions over the years, and I believe this is the ideal time to join forces with Jamie Kerr and explore new opportunities under the Burness Paull banner.”

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