Our team is renowned for offering strategic advice for employers who must navigate complex regulatory regimes in order to attract and retain their top talent.

We handle all types of business immigration matters. Our corporate clients range from large corporate powerhouses to SMEs to start-ups, covering a range of sectors including technology, manufacturing, retail, financial, sports, pharma and film.

Clients turn to us again and again because they know we can help their key talent leave or enter key jurisdictions swiftly and efficiently. Our service is built around good communication, speed of response and sensible, pragmatic solutions.

The team comprises highly experienced individuals in all our offices across Europe and Asia working together to facilitate international relocations and cross-border advisory, as well as ensuring continuity of client care.

We provide expertise in all the following for businesses:

Global Mobility

Bird & Bird is one of the few law firms with a dedicated global mobility practice. Rather than focussing on a particular part of an international move, we recognise that mobility is a holistic issue for business and a project does not necessarily end with the granting of a visa.

Our Business Immigration Team sits within our International HR Services group, with lawyers able to advise across all elements of a global mobility project, including drafting appropriate contractual documentation, employee incentives and benefits and expatriate management issues such as disciplinary, grievance and performance issues with a mobility/immigration angle.

Strategic Advisory

We offer bespoke surgery services for employers who need assistance to address complicated immigration queries at all stages of people planning, talent management and succession planning.

We have expertise in advising companies on how Government regulations are enforced in practice and our capabilities also include horizon scanning for potential immigration issues arising due to corporate restructuring and advisory work for due diligence enquiries in acquisitions and de-mergers.

Brexit Contingency Planning

Although Government proposals for EU nationals' status are yet to be formalised in the Withdraw Agreement between the UK and EU, we know that forward planning is indispensable. Indeed, reassuring EU employees and attracting the best talent from the EU remain top priorities for business.

We believe the best approach is to clearly communicate your contingency plan with EU nationals and continuously engage with employees with the most recent information, and we have developed a range of tools and resources to enable you to do this effectively.

Immigration Compliance

Compliance is a significant risk issue for many employers. In the UK, for example, the Home Office is able to impose civil penalties of up to £20,000 per illegal worker - with approximately £7.6 million in illegal working civil penalties issued in the first quarter of 2018 alone. In addition, criminal offences include unlimited fines and imprisonment of up to 5 years for senior executives who had reason to believe that an employee did not have a valid permission to work but ignored such information.

Bird & Bird has experience of assisting clients with bespoke risk management strategy to ensure that company HR practices are geared to prevent illegal working while meeting broader immigration obligations. Our mock audit provides an unbiased assessment of your HR systems, providing you with specific action points to identify and control your risk factors.

Our International Employment Group Heads are Ian Hunter in London and Philip Hartman in The Hague.

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