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

From 1 January 2014, passport holders of Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates will be able to visit the UK for up to 6 months using an electronic visa waiver (EVW).

The EVW will require the applicant or their representative to complete the online procedure via the Visa4UK website. It can be used for travel to the UK on or after 1 January 2014.

The EVW must be completed at least 48 hours before travelling to the UK. EVW will be available for visits of up to 6 months. However, those coming to the UK to work or study will still need to apply for visas in the normal way.

UK businesses that are collaborating or have Group offices in Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates will also be able to benefit from the EVW to invite partners to the UK for business visits.

For further information please email

Paragon Law, Visa changes, Oman, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Visa4UK, electronic visa waiver (EVW)

“Attracting and retaining the best staff is important to the success of all businesses regardless of size. One of the ways to do this is to ensure that all staff are encouraged to develop new skills through training. However how does the business assure itself  that there is a return on investment? Read this report from a Talent Forum in which Thalej Vasishta and other business leaders participated:”


Following recent changes in the Post Study Work Visa, there has been alot of press coverage regarding international students ‘turning their back’ on the UK and choosing to study elsewhere. Yet this sector of the economy is key in both the short and long term for UK PLC’s success. To date there has not been any research as to international student perceptions of the UK as a place in which to engage in further study, skilled employment or entrepreneurial activity. Given this concern Paragon Law in conjunction with Loughborough University have investigated international student perspectives on the UK as a country in which to participate in skilled activity on graduation.


Thalej Vasishta, Managing Director of UK Immigration Law Firm Paragon Law has announced today that he has set up a joint venture company called Complete Sports Solutions (Asia) Limited.  The other shareholders and directors of the company include former England and Chelsea player Tony Dorigo and Jamie Digwood (left in picture above) who has worked for the English FA Medical Science team, Chelsea FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers, primarily developing the football academies at these clubs.

Complete Sports Solutions (Asia) Limited will specialise in bringing school tours from initially China to the UK and during their trip to the UK the boys will have the opportunity to train at top Premiership football club academies such as Manchester United, Liverpool, Everton etc.  The tour will also be completed with watching live Premiership games, stadium tours, meeting players and sightseeing.

In addition the company will also specialise in elite business tours from China with complete packages being arranged for groups of business people to come to the UK to watch premiership games, stadium tours, meeting players and sightseeing throughout the UK. 

Ling Xu who is Paragon Law’s Country Director based in Shanghai and who will lead the project from China said “this will be a very exciting proposition for the China market with the interest in football growing in China year upon year.  This interest is only set to grow as football clubs in China begin to sign up players such as Didier Drogba.  We have already had tremendous interest from independent schools and the business community in Shanghai”.  

Jamie Digwood who will be the CEO of the new company said “my existing company, Complete Sports Solutions (UK) Limited has been bringing school tours from Australia and the USA for a number of years and it is a natural progression for us to expand into the China market.  Not only will we be bringing schoolboy and elite business tours from China to the UK but we will also be setting up similar tours from the UK, USA and Australia into China.  Almost simultaneously we will be expanding into India”.

Tony Dorigo, who was instrumental in bringing Thalej Vasishta and Jamie Digwood together will have an Ambassadorial role in the new company.  He said “the collective talents and synergy between all of us makes this a great business to be involved in.  The number of people in China who watch Premiership games runs into the millions and there is a real appetite in China to develop football at grass roots level.  School tours therefore from China where Chinese boys will be coached by the best football academies, being taught about diet, exercise and playing against up and coming talent in the UK will help China’s aspirations towards developing the sport”.

Thalej Vasishta said “Complete Sport Solutions (Asia) Limited is a natural diversification for not only myself but my existing company Paragon Law as we not only have a wealth of experience of dealing with high volume “group” visas but we also have very strong relationships in the sports sector and independent schools in China.  Moreover, during recent trips to China we have met local Government officials from at least two cities in China who do not have local football clubs and are very keen to develop action plans for football in their cities.  Tony’s and Jamie’s deep knowledge of football from grass roots level right up to the very best in the Premiership game will no doubt help with these types of projects also”.

The first tours from China will commence in February/March 2013.

Just read  AmCham’s 2012 China Business Climate Survey Report  looking at American Businesses business expectations with China over the next year.  In summary the numbers are not as good as last year’s, but considering the overall global economic situation, they are still quite good.  Some highlights:

  • 92% of respondents forecast that their China 2012 revenues will either stay the same or surpass their 2011 revenues.  76% forecast they will increase.
  • 39% report that their operating margins in China exceed their worldwide margins and an additional 29% report that they are “comparable.”
  • 66% report that their primary goals and strategies for China are to “produce goods or services in China for the China market.”  This number is up 8% from 2010.
  • 63% of those respondents who brought an IP infringement action in a Chinese court were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with “the level of cooperation from the Chinese courts.” This number strikes me as shockingly high and I am guessing it is higher than would be the case if the same question were asked of American companies regarding American courts.

On the downside, the American company respondents remain very concerned about IP protection in China, rising costs (particularly the government requiring employers to pay social insurance taxes on foreign employees in China) and a licensing regime that discriminates against foreign companies doing business in China.

In conclusion, the picture for American companies doing business in China is pretty good and not all that different from last year.