It seems that news of this has circulated fast. After what must be fifteen years at the helm, former Tory MP Keith Best is departing the Immigration Advisory Service to take up the prestigious job of Chief Executive of the Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture.
Keith oversaw enormous expansion at IAS, from an organisation of 80 staff to over 300, and the shift in work from immigration-only in the aftermath of the split with the old UKIAS refugee unit, which became the Refugee Legal Centre, to asylum-also. He has always divided opinion in the sector, it would be right to say. Free Movement has a real soft spot for his old boss, though, and is very glad to see he is moving on to such a good job. Times are very tough at IAS by the sounds of things, since The Axe Woman arrived. And likely to get tougher.
With Barry Stoyle and Keith Best having left RLC/RMJ and IAS respectively, with Susan Rowlands having retired from ILPA, it feels like the old guard has gone. The new era of unified contracts, bidding wars, fixed fees and Efficiency is certainly upon us.