Talk to any business person who has done business with China and one word is certain to crop up and divide opinion every time ‘guanxi’. We don’t have a direct translation in English but in its broadest context it means ‘developing personal connections’. The power of guanxi is underestimated by so many businesses I speak with. In the UK we are lucky; we have a solid legal structure and business conventions that near enough everyone sticks to. This means we can parachute into a meeting, flick over our business card and start talking numbers. In China it is not so easy. Business is built around personal relationship. People would rather trade with their friends because they know what to expect. They are cautious about making business deals with new comers because the conventions we are privileged to enjoy in the UK, that of the hand shake and signing of deals, doesn’t carry much weight. In China, the best business is done between friends.

To read the full article by Paragon Law MD, Thalej Vasishta, please click here


The Court of Appeal have on Friday (11th July 2014) handed down their judgment in MM v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 985, the test case challenging the income requirement of £18,600 imposed on those wishing to bring their partners to the UK.


In an earlier article, we commented on the decision reached by the High Court that the £18,600 threshold was considered unlawful. (To read the article please click here)


Since the High Court reached the decision that the financial requirement was unlawful, the Home Office had put on hold all the applications by partners where the only reason for refusing the application would be because of the financial requirement. The outcome of this is that there are now thousands of applications on hold, awaiting the Court of Appeal’s decision in this case.


After considering the arguments, the Court of Appeal have on Friday (11th July 2014) released a very lengthy decision, finding, in summary, that the financial requirement of £18,600 is lawful. This will be an enormous set back for all of those applicants who are prevented from reuniting with their partners, because their British based partner is not able to earn enough. The Court of Appeal accepted that the outcome of this appeal was that there would be people who would never be able to sponsor their partner to come to the UK as they would not reach the relevant financial thresholds, but they did not accept that this would breach the UK’s obligations under human rights laws. It is possible though for individual applicants to show that refusing them a visa to come to the UK would breach their own human rights where they cannot meet the financial requirement, depending on all of the circumstances.


The Solicitors who brought the case have indicated that they will be pursuing a claim to the Supreme Court, however such a challenge is likely to take a number of months before it is fully resolved.




Chinese Horse Year, Paragon Law, Collaboration, A Bright Future

Those of us from the Orient or the Occident who are sagacious in coming together in business, friendship and love are helping to create a brighter world for our children.

We thank you for our collaboration and in the year of the horse we wish you a bright and healthy year ahead.

The Paragon Law Team


Paragon Law the niche corporate and individual immigration law firm

Nottingham Immigration Law firm Paragon Law have recruited two lawyers and a Business Development Manager.

Sally-Anne McEwen was previously heading up the immigration team of a large London practice, managing three sites in the City of London and South London. Sally-Anne’s particular areas of expertise include cases involving children and she will also be part of the team at Paragon Law that advises educational institutions on the management of their international student recruitment.

Nigel Smith is a qualified Solicitor from New Zealand who has previously run his own practice and prior to joining Paragon Law he worked for a large immigration consultancy in Central London. Nigel’s particular interest is on advising in emigration to New Zealand, Canada and Australia which through Nigel’s recruitment will be new services that Paragon Law will be offering to their clients.

Zhiwen Guan joins Paragon Law as a China Projects Manager, following a successful internship with the firm last summer. Zhiwen will be co-ordinating the workflow between the UK and Chinese team at Paragon Law.

Legal Services Director, Kirin Abbas said “2013 was a great year for Paragon Law. We made it into our tenth year in business in October and we were also awarded Business Immigration Law Firm of the Year by two publications – Global Legal Experts and Corporate INTEL”.

Kirin went on to say “Sally-Ann, Nigel and Zhiwen all bring areas of expertise to Paragon Law which will translate into a more enhanced service offering to our clients. It is particularly a testament to the firm that we are able to persuade lawyers from large London firms to locate to Nottingham to work with us. This puts us in good stead for developing our business both nationally and internationally. We hope to make further announcements of lawyers and support staff joining us in the first quarter of 2014”.

 Nottingham immigration law firm Paragon Law new recruitments

Left to right: Nigel Smith, Kirin Abbas, Sally-Anne McEwen and Zhiwen Guan

Applying for Indefinate Leave to Remain or British Citizenship after 27th October 2013?

British Citizenship and Immigration law specialist Aldijana Hoad warns those who will be applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (permanent residence) or British Citizenship through Naturalisation after 27 October 2013 will no longer be able to choose from either completing the Life in the UK Test or show progression on the ESOL Course.

From 28 October 2013 you will now have to:

1. Pass the Life in the UK Test and;
2. Have a speaking and listening qualification of at least Level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference or its equivalent.  Click here for a list of approved qualifications.

If you are a citizen of a majority English speaking country then you will only have to pass the Life in the UK Test.  Click herefor a list of countries.

If you need to discuss this change in the requirements further or need assistance with your Citizenship or permanent residence application contact Aldijana Hoad on 0115 9644104 or click here to email her.

Paragon Law are proud to support MELA 100 – Celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema and poetry through music, dance, arts and entertainment events throughout Nottingham in September

Celebrating 100 years of Indian cinema and the poetry of Tagore, this year’s Nottingham Mela100 – co-produced by New Art Exchange and the Nottingham Asian Arts Council – is set to be one of the biggest yet.

Held across five Nottingham venues during the first two weekends in September, the festival will be a vibrant, colourful celebration of South Asian and World culture which brings together music, dance, visual arts, film, street entertainment, South Asian cuisine, crafts and markets to entertain and engage all ages and communities.

Mela100 opens on Friday 6 September at Primary artist studios with Nadeem Chaudry’s installation and film screening of Pakeezah, one of India’s finest Bollywood films. On the same night Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s internationally renowned Qawwali group will be performing at the Royal Concert Hall.

Then on Saturday 7 September there will be a magical immersive visual space created with an evening of music curated and composed by MOBO and Mercury award winning jazz pianist Zoe Rahman. Rahman’s work will be inspired by the great Indian writer Rabindranath Tagore.

On Sunday 8 September there will then be a family day at New Art Exchange and a special screening of the film Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge on The Forest Recreational Ground in Chipperfield’s circus tent that evening. Finally Mela100 will culminate on Sunday 15 September in Nottingham Castle’s beautiful gardens as part of Heritage Open Day by creating a picnic in the park environment with market traders and stall.

Skinder Hundal, CEO of New Art Exchange and Creative Producer of Nottingham Mela said: “Nottingham Mela is special as it recognises that South Asian and cultures from across the world play an important part in our city and our lives, and that British Asian artists continue to pioneer practices capturing the traditions of the east and contemporary arts with a British perspective.”

Nottingham Mela is the oldest national Mela in the UK and aims to provide the public with an Asian event with the equivalent artistic content of the Edinburgh Festival, whilst having the carnival atmosphere of the Notting Hill Carnival.

Bhavesh Jani, Nottingham Asian Arts Officer said Mela100 presents fantastic free opportunities for all people to come together and enjoy events and entertainment.

“This year we are particularly thankful to Chipperfields for sponsoring the Cinema Marquee at the Forest Recreation Ground and to the City Council for making the Castle available for the Family Picnic,” he said.

Nottingham Mela100 has been made possible thanks to the support of Nottingham City Homes, Arts Council, England, Nottingham City Council and venue partners Primary, the Royal Concert Hall and Nottingham Castle as well as project partners Chipperfields Circus and TLC events.

For further information please contact: Emma O’Neill, Marketing and Communications Manager here or on: 0115 924 8630


Venues, dates and times of Mela100

Friday 6 September:
• Primary Arts Studios 7.00pm: Nadim Chaudry installation and film screening of Pakeezah
• Royal Centre, 7.30pm: Rahat Fateh Ali Khan in concert

Saturday 7 September
• New Art Exchange, 7.00pm: Zoe Rahman and friends in concert

Sunday 8 September
New Art Exchange 12 to 7pm: Family Day, launch of the Chaiya Chaiya Project and DJ Marathon
Forest Recreational Ground, Circus Tent 7.30pm: Film Screening of Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge

Sunday 15 September
• Nottingham Castle, 11 to 5pm: Picnic in the park with music and markets


About New Art Exchange –

New Art Exchange is a contemporary art gallery committed to stimulating new perspectives on the value of diversity within art and society. A stunning, RIBA award winning building, New Art Exchange is the largest space in the UK dedicated to culturally diverse contemporary visual arts, and is rooted in the community with a strong history of working with minority communities.
NAE presents major international exhibitions, launching the British Art Show in 2010, and every season presenting work from the highest quality, world-renowned artists.  NAE partners locally, nationally and internationally, connecting audiences and artists from all over the world with new and innovative collaborations and opportunities.


About Nottingham Asian Arts Council 

Nottingham Asian Arts Council (NAAC) is a non-for-profit organisation which is dedicated to the promotion of South Asian Arts within the Nottinghamshire region. It is a voluntary organisation formed in October 1986 with the specific aim of promoting South Asian Arts in Nottinghamshire.  NAAC began its work directly in Nottingham City with members of the resident Indian sub-continent communities, but later broadened out across the various boroughs of Nottingham. NAAC now works across the County, whilst also developing contacts nationally and internationally to support cultural activities and artists.
MELA – A Brief History 

The Mela scene started off in Nottingham and Bradford over two decades back, and has since enjoyed huge success all over the UK. Mela is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘gathering’, ‘to meet’ or a Fair.

The aim of the first ever outdoor Festival of Asian Arts & Music in 1988 was to provide the public with an event which would go a long way to satisfy the artistic and cultural needs of a diverse Asian community, whilst at the same time providing opportunity for the wider community to enjoy the rich cultural traditions of the Indian Subcontinent.

The festival aimed to increase the general awareness about Asian music within the UK and thus it was felt that Melton Medes could benefit. In the longer term, the aim of the festival has been to provide the public with an Asian event with the equivalent artistic content of the Edinburgh Festival, whilst having the carnival atmosphere of the Notting Hill Carnival.

The formative years’ festivals were two-day events which attracted national and international media attention. Links with activities and events on the European continent were also established, especially within the world music scene. For example, thanks to the first festival, Bhangra band “Pardesi” performed on the continent at huge events such as “Le Printemps de Bourges” (France) and in 1990 at the “Roma-Europa” concert (Italy); and had a video made about them by “Suisse Romand Coleur 3” national TV.

For the fourth annual festival a new environment was chosen to play host to the event – the Victoria Embankment. By this time the educational aspect of the festival was very strong, and growing. In addition to workshops in Sitar and Asian dance, traditional craftwork, mehndi, painting, sculpture and storytelling were some of the activities taking place.

APNA Arts continued to move forward in the 90s with more determination. The annual festival grew from strength to strength on various aspects, including a greater emphasis on visual arts, addressing environment issues and heritage. In later years the emphasis and focus of the festival has changed, looking closer at developing younger people, as well as nurturing the creative arts in an all-inclusive manner.

Britain’s premier Mela festival has consistently showcased live performances by national and international artists including the likes of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Nitin Sawhney, Anup Jalota, Najma Akhtar, Baluji Shrivastav, Aziz Mian Qawwaal, Alaap, DCS, Apna Sangeet, Golden Star and Apache Indian amongst others. The best in performances from the diverse artistic cultures of South Asia such as Bhangra, Ghazal, Qawwali, classical & folk dance and theatre.