CMS Cameron McKenna is taking advantage of the downturn through a partnership with outplacement company Penna Meridian
The firm will provide immigration advice to high-level executives who are sent to Penna Meridian by their companies after they have been made redundant. Penna Meridian and Camerons have not worked together before. The company, which focuses on the financial services market, services clients such as West LB in the UK. As one of the UK's biggest outplacement providers, Penna Meridian doubled its staff last autumn to cope with soaring redundancies at banks and other firms. The company will outsource all of the immigration-related legal advice required by redundant overseas executives to Camerons. As Camerons is a partnership and Penna Meridian a company, the joint venture will be managed as a typical client relationship. Julia Onslow-Cole, Camerons' head of immigration who is in charge of the firm's involvement in the partnership, said: "We're in partnership with Penna in that we are the people they are outsourcing the work to, although it is also the same as winning a new client. The work was not put out to tender. It wanted a firm and we were basically on a list of one." Onslow-Cole has recently secured two appointments from the Office of Immigration Services Commission (OISC), an independent public body set up under the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. She has been appointed to the OISC advisory panel and was also named one of seven experts who will work as consultants to the OISC.