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A good year for IAS

A good year for IAS

The Immigration Advisory Service has been around since 1972, although, out of the ashes of the old United Kingdom Immigrants’ Advice Service, it transmogrified into its current incarnation in 1994. IAS is one of the biggest providers of immigration and asylum advice and representation, but has traditionally punched below its weight, producing few landmark cases or legal challenges. While Chief Executive Keith Best has something of a reputation for outspoken boat rocking, IAS staff have been fairly anonymous in the sector in the past.

Immigration Lawyer of the Year Kalvir Kaur
Immigration Lawyer of the Year Kalvir Kaur

That is definitely changing. One of the biggest immigration cases this year, EB (Kosovo), was an IAS case, and the long running Zimbabwe litigation was brought to a successful conclusion by IAS. Meanwhile, the organisation has recruited some hot legal talent. The indominatable Sheona York, formerly of Hammersmith and Fulham Law Centre, will shortly be joining them as some sort of lead lawyer and Kalvir Kaur at IAS (right, flanked to the right by the severe-looking Julian Bild and to the far left by Martina Flanaghan – both very good lawyers themselves) was recently recognised as Immigration Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year for her fantastic work with children and victims of trafficking.

Hopefully all this will give IAS staff a bit more to be proud of and instill a bit of justified self confidence.

Oddly, though, IAS was recently joined by a senior secondee from the Home Office, who is helping out for a year with management processes. Bringing in help from an organisation that (a) is hardly a model of administrative efficiency and good practise and (b) is your opponent in everything you do doesn’t sound terribly self-confident.

Free Movement
The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.

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