Senior Counsel and Head of Immigration at Macfarlanes
Co-convenor of the ILPA Economic Migration Working Group
James is head of the immigration team, with over 18 years’ experience providing specialist immigration advice to a range of clients including FTSE100 companies, Small and Medium Enterprises, Higher Education Institutions and high-net-worth individuals.
James provides strategic immigration advice to companies in various sectors and supports UK start-ups in relation to the Tier 2 Sponsor Licence regime. As well as assisting with the full process from the initial Sponsor Licence application itself through to obtaining visas for non-EEA employees, he also advises on compliance with the Points Based System and the illegal working legislation. In addition, he assists organisations in their discussions with the Home Office following the threat of, or actual, downgrading / suspension of their sponsor licences, ensuring they retain the ability to sponsor non-EEA workers.
James has successfully assisted high-net-worth clients with Tier 1 (Investor), Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Exceptional Talent) applications as well as complex family, permanent residence and naturalisation applications. James is renowned for troubleshooting difficult situations, often persuading the UK Home Office to exercise discretion and approve applications where they do not fully satisfy the relevant requirements.
James regularly advises on European Free Movement matters, with an emphasis on Brexit-related issues, and UK outbound immigration applications.
James has also worked with representative organisations in submitting immigration policy recommendations to UK Government departments.
James delivers ILPA’s training on Mergers and Acquisitions and has previously trained on ‘Essential tax for immigration practitioners’, ‘The death of the points-based system; the “genuineness” tests’, and ‘The New Immigration Rules’. James has has been a panellist at ILPA’s AGM and Conference and is a regular contributor to ILPA’s Sponsor Licence Conference and the Conference on Business Immigration in the UK.
James's Upcoming Training
James's Past Training
Tutors: James Perrott and Julian Grant, Macfarlanes
With the recent increase in merger, acquisition and restructuring activity in the UK, practitioners are more frequently being asked to advise on the immigration and right to work aspects of corporate transactions. Where one or more of the entities involved has a sponsor licence, this will often consist of reviewing the current sponsor licence arrangements, advising on the appropriate arrangement post-transaction and then taking the necessary steps to ensure that the appropriate entity is able to continue to employ its sponsored workers. This may involve either making a notification to the Home Office or submitting an application for a new licence. If the transaction involves staff transferring between entities, this can also involve right to work issues.
Depending on the complexity of the transaction, practitioners are often required to have a good working knowledge of corporate structures as well as employment law issues. Practitioners are also frequently required to have an understanding of the types of structures that international companies employ and advise on whether these structures mean that these businesses can transfer their non-EEA overseas employees to the UK under the Tier 2 (Intra Company Transfer) category. The course will concentrate on the issues which affect Tier 2 sponsor licence holders, although some reference will be made to where the Tier 2 requirements differ from those that apply to Tier 4.
The focus of the session is how Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 4 have evolved in recent years from being categories which were subject to objective criteria, with a sliding scale of points awarded for various attributes, to routes where points are awarded on an “all or nothing” basis and where there is an increasing level of subjectivity in the decision making process.
The presentation will highlight areas where, following the most recent changes to the UK Immigration Rules, there is an increased likelihood of subjectivity being applied and will provide information on how this new discretion is likely to be exercised.
The session is aimed at practitioners who have a basic understanding of the Points Based System and have some experience of submitting applications under Tiers 1, 2, and 4 of the Points Based System and want to gain a greater understanding of how applications may be dealt with in the future.
The topics to be covered are:
- An analysis of the areas of Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 4 where decisions are being made on an increasingly subjective basis or are likely to be in the future
- Case study examples of situations where subjectivity is already being applied
- Practical solutions on how to deal with requests for further information and documentation not required in the appropriate Immigration Rules and how to pre-empt such requests.
Tutors: James Perrott, Macfarlanes, Rachael Azimi and Peter Stack, PwC LLP
As a UK Immigration practitioner, you will be familiar with the immigration practices and processes associated with foreign nationals entering the UK to work. However, you have probably never had cause to consider the UK tax and social security implications for these people or the issues that may be created for the UK companies that employ them.
Over the past few years, information sharing between revenue and immigration authorities has been on the increase and we have seen a raft of new tax rules, including those which govern the taxation of non-domiciled individuals and short-term business visitors to the UK. Particularly with the statutory residency and non-domiciled consultation process underway and due to come into effect from 6 April 2013, now is the optimal time to develop your understanding of these issues and broaden the perspective which you bring to your immigration work. This course seeks to cover the pertinent and topical issues in this regard.
The main benefits of the course are that it should:
- increase your understanding of the UK tax and social security system, particularly as it applies to foreign nationals coming to work in the UK;
- assist you in identifying potential issues and opportunities during the course of your immigration work;
- de-mystify the tax rules surrounding non-domiciled individuals in the UK; and
- provide a forum for you to have your tax questions answered.
In overview, the course will comprise the following elements:
1) Introduction to the UK tax system
2) An overview of UK tax residence under current rules
3) UK tax for employees arriving in the UK, and employer obligations
4) UK tax for employees leaving the UK, and employer obligations
5) Introduction to the Statutory Residence Rules (SRT) that are due to come into effect from 6 April 2013
6) Impact of SRT on employees and employers
7) UK social security for employees and employers
8) The taxation of short-term business visitors to the UK
9) The taxation of non-domiciled individuals and personal income
Tutor: James Perrott, Macfarlanes
Since 2014, the Tier 1 (Investor) category has undergone a large number of changes, mainly driven by concerns that the category is not delivering sufficient benefits to the UK economy nor is it attracting the type of applicants that the UK Government wishes to encourage to come to the UK. These changes, often introduced with no consultation, have led to the Immigration Rules being inconsistent, difficult to interpret and challenging to comply with. The course will look at the challenging situations which practitioners frequently face when advising on Tier 1 (Investor) applications and how to resolve them. The session will concentrate on issues relating to the source, investment and maintenance of the required funds.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Seminar was very good indeed, in particular I founds case studies that James presented being extremely useful, sharing practical experience is always beneficial.