All of those City lawyers celebrating the end of the Gordon Brown government back in May might be choking on their champagne (or more likely austerity-era prosecco) this week after the coalition’s new immigration laws began to pinch.
Norton Rose is the first big UK law firm to feel the pain (see story) with one Indian trainee, due to join the firm this month, already turned away.
With many firms relying on a constant stream of talent from the sub-continent and Australasia, this could be the tip of a particularly large and tricky iceberg. At least one other top 10 firm has been given fewer visas than it needs for next year’s intake.
Australian firms are already marketing themselves aggressively at ex-pat lawyers shivering through the dog days of a northern European ’summer’. And the continuing sluggish performances of the pound and euro against the Aussie dollar isn’t helping either.
Good news, maybe, for a few UK grads who would be struggling to make the grade against their overseas competitors. But if churn rates begin to get back to pre-recessionary levels, the brain drain might start to affect quality.