Norton Rose faces hiring battle in wake of new Govt visa quota

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  • My firm is not desperate in hiring indian trainees. We prefer hiring uk uni grads.

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  • I am a british graduate from oxbridge and my application ( ive got a 2.1 btw) was turned down for a training contract at Norton Rose. They prefer to take Indian trainees these days. Perhaps Norton rose should relocate to India.

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  • Good! They can hire from among the many talented UK graduates who keep getting turned down in favour of "overseas talent".

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  • @ Michel Burbridge - why do you think that Norton Rose owes you a training contract, just because you got a 2.1 from 'Oxbridge'?
    There are lots of people who get 2.1s (and better) from 'Oxbridge', and from UCL, LSE and Imperial.
    The world does not owe you a living. And 'Oxbridge' is not the be all and end all.

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  • "I am a british graduate from oxbridge...ive got a 2.1 btw". A gigantic sense of entitlement or what ? Dude, you need a better interview technique...

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  • The change in rules will effect all firms which hire from outside the EU. It is a new reality. I don't see how one application from Norton Rose makes them a special case.

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  • It takes real arrogance to believe that any firm has to take you just because you are a 2:1 from Oxbridge.

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  • To be fair, it would be easier to agree with the comments ridiculing the guy with a 2:1 from Oxbridge if, when one browses the lists of Partners at top firms and Silks at top Chambers, one didn't find that virtually all of them graduated from Oxford or Cambridge.

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  • Michel Burbridge - maybe it was the poor standard of your written English?

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  • I think the MB Oxbridge post may have been a wind up to spur comments from others. Most Oxbridge graduates will be excellent but of course some will come across as disappointing. Having graduates from around the globe with the increasingly international aspect to much of the legal work is vital for UK firms in maintaining their status as world leaders in legal services. Arbitrary caps may well be harmful.

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  • I cannot help but notice the unfairness of the rules applying only to non EU skilled workers. Reminds me of Thatcher's objections to a boat full of Vietnamese refugees vis -a- vis Polish unskilled immigrants.

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  • I forgot to mention I got accepted at Linklaters. May be Norton Rose should be called Norton Rose & Singh. It pays of course to be at Oxbridge :) Im proud to be at Links.

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  • Surely Norton Rose could have found trainees from the resident labour market. Why were they applying for work permits for non EU nationals when there are so many law graduates looking for work?

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  • If Mich[a]el Burbridge really is the name of the author of the comment above, then that's a nice own goal, although probably not particularly detrimental. Well played.

    It certainly isn't as bad as the guy who offered advice on the Legal Week career clinic a couple of years back by saying "I got a training contract with Slaughters this year, and I lied on my application. Said I got 5 A's when I only got [XY grades]". That was quite special.

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  • A bit of a strange attitude. Of course one may also question how many of the English qualified lawyers are working in other countries? Should they all come back and practice only in England & Wales?
    if you wish your business to be a bit international and you know your revenue is going to come from certain quarters of the world, perhaps it makes sense to build a team from those quarters of the world. Being English does not automatically entitle you to work anywhere in the world in much the same way as being a non-European does not entitle one to work in England.
    Just a thought.

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  • Michael Burbridge - you wouldn't mind working abroad involving Indian clients, would you?
    However you do mind sitting next to an Indian lawyer doing the same as what you are doing in the office.

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  • Michael Burbridge - Get a life.

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  • I am under the impression that for non-EU nationals to work in the UK they need to have skills that are in short supply/cannot be met in the UK. If they are qualified in Indian law and will work on Indian law transactions from the UK then a work permit would surely be given. If they are to work on English law transactions from the UK then there are lots of graduates from the UK ready and willing to do this work. The position is largely the same across the world. An English qualified solicitor doesn't expect to be able to work on Indian law transactions in India.

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  • It seems to me that MB's comment has been taken out of context and deliberately misconstrued. The point he mas making was that the impact of overseas hires is to reduce the number of openings available to ostensibly well qualified UK candidates. Or is someone now going to suggest that a candidate who has an Oxbridge 2.1 is not ostensibly (and I emphasise that word) well qualified ?

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  • It makes sense for firms to hire from abroad,especially from places like India. In the end it provides a way of obtaining contacts with potential clients in emerging markets.
    That overrides any application from an Oxbridge graduate.

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  • @ MB.

    Thanks for clearing this up.

    Norton Rose, what pr** eh? I take it from your post that Links don't have any Indian or other trainees in London because of their concern for recruiting purely from the domestic labour market? Or else you wouldn't be there, right?At last, an international law firm that puts nation first.

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  • After going through all comments it is clear that if any graduate from Oxbridge having 2.1 thinks i can replace an Indian or any other overseas by the qualification mentioned then he or she is wrong if there are Indian companies buying Uk companies then your 2.1 from oxbridge is of not much use what is important is knowledge of both law and that type of candidate will be selected

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  • I agree with Anonymous (3:57pm). As an Oxford graduate I am proud of my University and feel that there is a degree of unease in the UK whenever 'Oxbridge' is mentioned.

    I understand its traditional image but Oxford has tried hard to increase diversity amongst its student body. Ironically, graduates may then find it difficult to find a job. As a postgraduate entering law, I found it equally as challenging and had my fair share of rejections but I certainly do not believe that I deserved to be given a training contract simply due to the name of my University. Equally I expected to be treated no differently from overseas applicants.

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  • i am indian by birth.what the hell is going on.why are lawfirms recruting in india.where will the next generationof parners come for.?
    Outsourcing is a dangerous developmnt and will eventually impact on laboure force as a whole.

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  • "It makes sense for firms to hire from abroad,especially from places like India. In the end it provides a way of obtaining contacts with potential clients in emerging markets.
    That overrides any application from an Oxbridge graduate."

    So it's who you know, rather than what you know? As if that would EVER happen in law...

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  • Re Oxbridge & Michel Burbridge.
    Seems like a bit of jealousy in the comments by the others.
    Michel, those others will forever resent you; keep mindful of that.

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  • If Norton Rose likes Indian lawyers so much, maybe they can open an office in India.
    Oh, wait, India won't let them. I guess free trade is good for some but not for others. I suppose, according to the free traders, if India won't open up it's own protectionistic legal market, the UK should help Indian lawyers get a leg up here as well.

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  • Scared of a little competition?

    Ha ha!

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  • I don't buy these arguments about firms being allowed to source talent from wherever they want, whenever they want.
    Nobody seems to be taking into account that the logical outcome of continuously solving skills shortages by buying in your talent is the death of domestic talent.
    Firms need to bite the bullet and pay domestically talented solicitors to qualify in a foreign legal system, if this is what they want to achieve.

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  • So, this is what people of this fair country REALLY think of foreign workers .. ..

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  • Seems like a spectacular own goal from the authorities in the UK. The Indian market is far more lucrative for western firms than the UK is for a handful of (already privileged) Indian graduates; yet stupid restrictions like this will only add vigour to the protectionist arguments raised by Indian lawyers in keeping western firms out of India. It was the west that wanted the WTO, globalisation and all the other wonderful benefits of that movement, not countries like India. The west gives India industrial mechanisation with resulting redundancies, not to mention the joys of McDonalds, Starbucks and Fox TV but then complains when globalisation (arguably) results in well qualified Indians "stealing jobs". Also, why this particular focus on India in the first place in this thread as being the real non-EU threat to legal jobs? There are (and have been, for decades) far more Aussies and South Africans in the British legal sector than there are Indians yet I don't see the presence of those nationals being criticised by the Brits as a threat to domestic legal jobs. Strange, that...
    Oh, and this little (Indian) Piggy went to Oxbridge, too, but didn't think that his First gave him any sense of job entitlement. Grow up.

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  • If you want to call yourself an international firm then you have to be prepared to hire internationally. It only makes good business sense to employ trainees who come from markets which the firm wishes to enter into. You are also forgetting the international work of law firms allow them to expand and to hire more trainees every year. The international hires can be said to be creating more jobs for UK graduates. That said, a large percentage of hires are still UK graduates so if you got your oxbridge 2:1 and still did not get the job, please ask yourself why that is so instead of criticising hiring policy regarding internationals. I'm sure that NR has recruited many other UK graduates from not so prestigious universities. Just be glad that Links gave you a job and don't look at things in such a myopic way. It dilutes the wonderful impression people have of oxbridge graduates.

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  • Isn't it simply economics?
    Norton Rose isn't going to pay Indian trainees any more than they pay those of UK origin so as with all employers they hope to get more for the same outlay - i.e. a more talented worker. With plumbers and tradesmen the "more for less" phenomenon drives down the earnings of locals directly because the newcomers compete for the available work. With trainees for professional places it is indirect in operation but ultimately locals have to take less well paying jobs so their earnings are lowered.
    It seems to me that there is actually no shortage of law graduates of UK origin many of whom are extremely bright. But if even brighter law graduates from elsewhere compete for training contracts then UK graduates will be bumped down the hierarchy.
    The Economist newspaper in June had an article that mentioned Ritu Solanki an English law graduate who was working in Gurgaon just outside Delhi billing about 12% of what someone of her seniority would bill in the UK and one supposes being paid 12% of what she would be paid in the UK. So we can have a market in talent in which the really bright, no matter where they originate, work for City firms and the not so talented work in outsourced jobs in sub-continent.

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  • English lawyers are lazy, whining sods by and large.
    Hard working indians, aussies, kiwis and americans are needed to keep the big firms ticking over.

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  • Michael – lets not forget that this kind of protectionist attitude lead to the great depression. Based on some of your comments, I find it quiet surprising that you got a job in the city, let alone at Linklaters, which I know has both a diverse work-force (based nationality) and is heavily committed on being global.
    Let us not kid ourselves; these firms are successful because they are all perceived to be global and not local. It is this distinct competitive advantage which attracts clients from all over the world. You will not be doing the best global deals without being committed to a business community which is global by nature. Attracting talent from all around the world is just one of the ways a law firm shows such commitment.

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  • So you want to be an international law firm?
    You have to be international in your outlook and your strategy as well. To call yourself an international law firm by having offices abroad and working on deals involving multinational clients does not necessarily make one an international law firm.
    You don't think NR would hire English grads if they could? But you only need so many grads to serve the limited size of the UK market. In India, there is a virtual treasure trove of deals that are just waiting to be mined. Deals which involve INDIAN law and accordingly, would necessitate a need for Indian lawyers or lawyers qualified in Indian law. In addition to deals, there are people who might have been holding back due to what they perceive as the lack of sophistication in the Indian legal market (there are quality law firms that will rival the best firms of the UK in terms of quality of work, but there are not too many of them and they can only serve so many clients at any given time, given their size). These would be attractive to firms like NR as well.
    So, if you wish to do something constructive rather than wallow in self-pity, then I suggest that you enroll in Indian law schools. Therefore, when NR comes down to National Law School of India for recruitment, you can get in the queue, just like everybody else and land a place in some magic circle firm.

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  • Dear MB,
    Sorry to disappoint you ... but am gathering the reason NR rejected is you is your utter lack of knowledge beyond your little oxbridge bubble.
    Btw ... u may be proud to be at links ... but i might tell you a little something about the UK hiring scene you dont know : NR hired from india for the first time in 2008. Linklaters on the other hand has hired 4-8 indian trainees every year since 2000.
    I am guessing your insular pea sized brain and lack of reading is what got you rejected in the first place honey.

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  • The decision to impose the cap is unjustifiable from a policy perspective. It has been done because the government wants to be seen to do something and non-EU migration is the only migration that it can actually control.

    It is a requirement (of the Tier 1 or Highly Skilled visa at least) that the applicant earn more than £40,000 p.a., which means that applicants only qualify for a visa if they'll be paying the higher 40% tax rate. Applicants can have no recourse to public funds, so the applicant takes all the risk of finding and maintaining employment - if they can't they have to support themselves and won't be able to renew their visa.

    From the country's perspective, these visas enable UK businesses to draw on a pool of talented workers that have cost the country nothing in terms of education, will pay tax at the highest rate and will not be a drain on public resources.

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  • @ a: love it!
    'oxbridge' means sod all except: having the innate ability to memorise and regurgitate things at exams, having an overly priveleged background (yes daddys money is good for something) and having a real lack of understanding, empathy and compassion for the REAL WORLD... get a life... theres more to life than saying my firms better than yours and definately more to life than being jealous of others who actually had to work hard to get where they are... so glad i gave up law! Enjoy your bickering :-)

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  • @ M. Burbridge:

    Depending on a large number of factors including:
    - your school
    - your subjects at A-Level
    - how pushy, well connected and wealthy your parents are and which universities they went to
    - your Oxbridge college
    - your subject at university
    - how hard you worked
    - how close you were to a First

    you could have an IQ anywhere from 115 to 190.

    Merely saying '2.1 from Oxbridge' tells very little about your intellectual ability, and even less about your creativity, originality, interpersonal skills, commercial awareness and drive.

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  • In reality, foreign recruits are attractive because it is supposed that, after working through the years of their career at which they are most profitable to their employers, they will return home, thus avoiding any whingeing about partnership as a reward for their efforts.
    As for the Oxbridge dude - a clear wind-up. Probably went to one of these polytechnics who now call themselves universities.

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  • So Linklaters are hiring trainees with only a 2.1 at a time when degrees are easier than ever? Standards are slipping...

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  • A few points I think desperately need making;
    • MB clearly has an overinflated sense of his own importance either based on or fuelled by his university. However people who think Oxford and Cambridge are still like the institutions described in Brideshead Revisited clearly have little or no experience of either place – yes there are plenty of rich and posh Oxbridge students but I worked my backside off to get to Oxford and get my training contract and it certainly wasn't to do with "Daddy's Money" as I earn more and am the one helping put my sister through university now. Plenty of my friends at Oxford put themselves through Uni and were eligible for the full student loan. Personally I think you'll find as many if not more Rah types at Bristol or Durham so perhaps it's worth avoiding stereotypes.
    • My firm takes Indian trainees and my supervisor is Indian. None of them are allowed to practice Indian law here or even put in their autosignature that they're Indian qualified as the Indian authorities are very particular. I think firms are taking on Indian lawyers/trainees to be able to adapt if this changes but also based on the quality of the trainees they can recruit. I have no problem with that but just to point out that the Indian qualification is nigh on useless outside of India and that's not why they're being taken on.

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  • Haha - well this has all been very great fun - I can tell you all (I interview for trainees and associates at one of the bigger firms) - that for me diversity is very important - I don't take "Oxbridge" as a guaranteed stamp of anything - I like to see my firm take on a range of people from different educational and social/ethnic/international backgrounds as I think its the blend which provides added strength to the mixture. But that's only once someone has convinced me at interview they're intellectually alert, got commonsense, and shown aptitude for learning through experience. Its a statement of the obvious but you take your 2:1 from Oxbridge and it can just as often be on the CV of someone I'm keen to recruit as someone who I am not.........

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  • Michel Burbridge is quite possibly responsible setting back any plans to liberalise the Indian legal sector. Comments like his are noted.

    No sooner do we seem to be making progress, idiots like the above expose their xenophobia, arming the key proponents of the anti-liberalisation faction.

    The fact is that Indian trainees come here, train, and return home, leaving the NQ jobs for British graduates. Large law firms realise this, was it not for this factor retention rates would be lower.

    If you can't even get a training contract at NR, what do you think your chances of getting a job as a qualified solicitor would be? I suggest you try to exercise the grey matter that got you into Oxford in the first place, before venturing an ignorant opinion. For those who suggest that his comment was simply an attempt to “wind-up” people, stop making excuses and/or underplaying a clearly bigoted comment.

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  • @anonymous 4:19pm

    "Personally I think you'll find as many if not more Rah types at Bristol or Durham so perhaps it's worth avoiding stereotypes"

    brilliant comment.

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  • Has to be a wind-up, I can't imagine anyone saying such stupid and bigotted comments and using their real name and saying where they work. Possibly another trainee who's not to fond of MB?

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  • I am a British national with a LLB (2.1) from LSE and qualified in the US and another common law jurisdiction. I do hope the firm considers me before it considers foreign nationals for jobs!

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  • well my problem with all this is that some foreign nationals like myself actually qualified within the UK. If they do not want us to work here, then do NOT takeour money and allow us to do the GDL or The LLB and then refuse us work permits and the opportunity to work. I cannot wait to do my 2 years time or however long and get out of this horrible place

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  • The concept of British Jobs for British people makes sense - especially in the legal profession where so many people who have completed the LPC are without TCs. If it is diversity firms require, I know many British Indians, Africans etc with good academics who would love a TC.

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