Julia Onslow-Cole
Firm:
PwC
Office:
1 Embankment Place
WC2N 6RH
City:
London
Country:
England
Tel:
+44 20 7804 7252

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Brexit

Julia sits on the global leadership team for PwC’s worldwide legal practice covering all lines of service and is the global head of immigration, with PwC practices in 174 countries. Julia has recently been appointed to the board of Council for Global Immigration in Washington and to the board of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Julia sits on the Mayor of London’s Brexit advisory group and newly established Home Office EU immigration employers’ representative group. She has also been liaising with government and business on immigration outcomes subsequent to the EU referendum and has given expert evidence at the European Parliament.

Julia has represented business at the prime minister's immigration stock-take meeting and acted as an adviser to the Home Office and other governments on business, investment and growth. Julia is co-signatory of the groundbreaking PwC/London First report on the impact of migrant workers in London released in March 2017 and a co-signatory of the report on regional visas by PwC, commissioned by the City of London Corporation.

Julia is chair of London First's Working Party on Immigration and sits on the advisory board of Migration Matters Trust, the Permits Foundation and the Migration Museum.

WHAT ROLE ARE YOU TAKING IN SHAPING IMMIGRATION POLICY?

As the leader of PwC’s global immigration practice, I am engaged with a variety of businesses across a wide industry area. I am co-signatory of the PwC/London First report on the impact of migrant workers in London and a co-signatory of the report on regional visas by PwC commissioned by the City of London Corporation. I have given expert evidence twice at the European Parliament.

In addition, I was recently appointed to the board of the Council for Global Immigration in Washington, DC and to the board of London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. These engagements combined with my formal position on the Mayor of London’s Brexit advisory group and newly established Home Office EU Immigration Employers’ Representative Group, enable me to represent business and take a leading role in the shaping of immigration policy.

FIRMS ARE INCREASINGLY LOOKING FOR HOLISTIC BREXIT ADVICE, ENCOMPASSING ALL AREAS OF THEIR FIRM’S NEEDS. HOW IS PWC POSITIONED TO PROVIDE THIS TYPE OF SUPPORT?

PwC has been active in advising clients and key stakeholders on the implications of Brexit since before the referendum result was announced. We continue to lead and inform on the Brexit debate through detailed analysis of developments and engagement with both government departments, businesses and industry leaders. I personally continue to represent the business community as a member of the Mayor of London’s Brexit advisory group and the newly established Home Office EU immigration employers’ representative group.

The PwC Brexit taskforce brings together senior expert advisors from across our business resulting in a centralised approach being used to address firms’ needs. Our extensive insight, global coverage and “one-firm” approach means that we work collaboratively to provide holistic advice to business across areas including immigration, mobility, tax, trade and customs, employment and regulation.

WHAT DEVELOPMENTS IN THE UK IMMIGRATION SPACE SHOULD CLIENTS BE AWARE OF OVER THE COMING MONTHS?

Immigration is an ever-evolving area with policymakers trying to strike a balance between the changing nature of business, and societal change and attitudes. This being the case, we ensure that we follow and contribute to the immigration debate closely. We assess the impact of proposed policy changes to clients’ global mobility programmes and the recruitment and retention of talent. As the immigration system is currently in a state of flux, clients need to be aware of the possibility of increased costs (for example, an increase to the Immigration Health Surcharge), and the implications of the proposed EU settlement scheme and transition period for their employees. The Migration Advisory Committee is due to report on EU workers and the impact of Brexit later in the year and the government will set out more details of a future immigration policy.

YOU HOLD A NUMBER OF IMPORTANT PUBLIC ADVISORY ROLES. HOW CAN THE GOVERNMENT BEST PREPARE ITSELF FOR BRITAIN’S IMMIGRATION NEEDS AFTER BREXIT?

Stakeholder engagement and collaboration is key to the success of new immigration policies. The government has established a number of stakeholder groups and is in listening mode. A successful immigration policy will necessitate a deep understanding of the pace of change in the future of working including automation. Policies should encourage investment and growth, while demonstrating flexibility and agility.

LOOKING FORWARD, HOW DO YOU EXPECT YOUR PRACTICE WILL CHANGE AFTER BREXIT?

Our practice continues to evolve in response to client needs, changing political environment and immigration policy changes. Brexit has resulted in our practice offering bespoke consultancy and advisory services as businesses undertake scenario planning that will cause minimal disruption to their operations. Clients also require advice on short term business visitor solutions and global immigration solutions. Our practice model is agile and flexible in responding to business requirements. 

Biography:

Who's Who Legal Corporate Immigration

Julia Onslow-Cole is a partner, legal markets leader and head of global immigration at PwC. Julia has recently been appointed to the board of Council for Global Immigration in Washington and the board of the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Julia also sits on the Mayor of London's brexit advisory group and newly established Home Office EU Immigration Employers' Representative Group.

Julia is on the global leadership team for PwC's worldwide legal practice covering all lines of service and is a key expert in PwC's Brexit taskforce. She has represented business at the Prime Minister's immigration stock take meeting and acted as an adviser to the Home Office on business, investment and growth. She has been liaising with government and business on immigration outcomes subsequent to the EU Referendum and has given expert evidence at the European Parliament. Julia is co signatory of the groundbreaking PwC/London First report on the impact of migrant workers in London and a co signatory of the report on regional visas by PwC commissioned by the City of London Corporation.

Julia is chair of London First's working party on immigration and sits on the advisory board of Migration Matters Trust, the Permits Foundation and the Migration Museum.

Julia is responsible for clients and markets within the legal network and leads the largest global immigration network of its kind, with over 1600 experts in PwC offices in over 174 countries. Supported by a first-class multinational team of immigration, global mobility, tax and employment experts, Julia understands the issues clients face in an increasingly complex geopolitical landscape; she was the leader of the unique crisis management services that PwC rendered during the Arab Spring and Algeria hostage crisis. She regularly speaks at conferences across the globe on the impact of the refugee crisis including, most recently, speaking with Kofi Annan in Monaco. Julia also chaired the first of a series of meetings organised by The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on refugee employment on which she spoke at the United Nations meetings in New York. She is a member of Concordia and the Chatham House Refugee Forum.

Julia has advised several governments, particularly on citizenship by investment programmes and on general immigration policy.

She is contributing co-editor to several leading textbooks on immigration law, a member of the UK Association for European Law, fellow of the Society for Advanced Legal Studies, and expert to the office of the Immigration Services Commissioner, associate member of the American Immigration Lawyers' Association, a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and former member of the Government's advisory board on naturalisation and integration.

She was voted the UK's "Expert Expert" by Legal Business and has been the recipient of several nominations and awards including Corporate Immigration Lawyer of the Year by Lawyer Monthly and Woman of the Year; Business Growth at the Citywealth Power Women Awards and the Law Society Excellence Awards, Solicitor of the Year Private Practice Award and Leading Corporate Immigration Advisor of the Year 2016.

Julia is the chair of the International Bar Association's human rights institute charitable trust and a member of the advisory committee of COMPASS, at the University of Oxford.

WWL says: Julia Onslow-Cole has an outstanding "reputation for excellence on the corporate side" of complex immigration matters.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Corporate Immigration which can be purchased from our Shop.

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