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This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
Laura Devine's new book, Immigration Employment & Business Practice, is handsomely published with a clear, if not innovative, layout. This slim work could function as an aide-memoire to assist when that unexpected telephone call comes.
But other comparable texts are of a manageable size and offer more. For example, the JCWI Handbook covers the EU Association and Co-operation Agreements,whereas Devine's answer is to refer readers to "specialist legal advice".
There are other problem areas in the book. For example, it is incorrect to state that holders of passports with indefinite leave are free to enter for work. Also, given the limitations in what is effectively a pocket book, it is irritating to be told that referral of applications to the Home Office by entry clearance officers "will add to processing time".
Devine states that her book should not be taken as providing legal advice on the areas covered.
Given such a frank disclaimer it might be thought that practitioners engaged in the more lucrative side of immigration practice might invest in a more comprehensive work. There is a place for such a book on such a topic but this one requires further work.
The same cannot be said of Macdonald's Immigration Law and Practice. Not only is it the leading text book on the subject, it is also a pleasure to use. Relied upon by judges, adjudicators and practitioners alike, this magisterial work, carries off its job with ease.
The new edition has an expanded section on illegal entry, detention and removal - welcome in view of an increasing call on practitioners to deal with the issue of detection.
Complex areas such as the interaction between the European Convention on Human Rights and domestic law are dealt with thoroughly and fluently and the same is true of other fast-developing subjects such as immigration appeals and refugees.
Both authors have substantial immigration practices and the benefits of such experience can be seen, for example, in the expanded section on exclusion from refugee protection.
The book is clearly indexed, has a logical scheme and also benefits from the use of paragraph numbering.
In this most political of legal arenas there is always another dimension. Perhaps the most attractive quality of Macdonald is that the authors rarely shirk historical and moral comment. It is a relief to learn annual supplements are planned and that practitioners will not be deprived for a further five years.