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Thought Leaders

Thought Leaders

Anne O'Donoghue

Anne O'Donoghue

Immigration Solutions LawyersWorld Tower Commercial SuitesSuite 1304, 87-89 Liverpool StreetSydneyAustraliaNSW 2000

Thought Leader

WWL Ranking: Thought Leader

WWL says

Anne O’Donoghue stands out among peers who commend her expert handling of complex immigration matters for clients across a range of sectors, from construction to media.

Questions & Answers

Anne O’Donoghue is an accredited immigration law specialist and registered migration agent with over 25 years of experience. She is the director and principal lawyer of Immigration Solutions Lawyers. Anne has been listed in WWL: Corporate Immigration for nine consecutive years. In 2019, she was appointed a member of the IBA’s presidential task force on the refugee crisis initiative. She was also a winner of the 2019 Lawyer’s Weekly Migration Partner of the Year Award and awarded a “highly commended” at the Law Society of NSW President’s Medal 2019.

How has the corporate immigration market changed since you first started practising?

I have definitely witnessed the strong movement of globalisation. I have seen corporate immigration law continue to transform, as it now plays an important role in the globalisation of the country. The demand for temporary and permanent entry into Australia has been evidenced by the constantly growing amount of corporate visa applications that we have handled over the years.

The Department of Home Affairs has also experienced significant progression in terms of technological and digital processing. Lodgement, assessment and decision-making on applications are online. This has undeniably created a more integrated and transparent approach to information, data sharing and data matching.

What do you enjoy most about practising in the corporate immigration space?

I enjoy corporate immigration as it entails an array of legislative, security, social, business, cultural and international issues.

Every single client I encounter has very different complications and concerns, which surely demands individualised counsel to help them and their families find the solution to their immigration issues. The ability to help my clients navigate the complex immigration process to ascertain their desired career and destination is something I remain very passionate about. Many immigrants are taken advantage of by virtue of lack of information or language skills, and my ambition was to fill the gap for these individuals.

How has your role as co-chair of the IBA immigration and nationality law committee enhanced your practice?

My role as co-chair of the IBA immigration and nationality law committee has been an excellent opportunity to broaden my international network and internationalise the practice of immigration law. It has provided me with a global platform to receive input and updates about immigration laws – not only those of my practising jurisdiction but also immigration laws and procedures of other jurisdictions.

This has been accomplished through my involvement as co-moderator of the IBA presidential taskforce showcase session in Seoul, on the topic of the creation of an international refugee visa and a model of protection for refugee and migrant children. This showcase was hugely successful. It brought together prominent immigration and human rights scholars and practitioners from across the globe to bring about a synergistic response to the global crisis of failings in child protection for migrant and refugee children.

I have been able to continue to advance the work of the immigration and nationality law committee beyond the field of corporate immigration, applying the skills and knowledge of immigration lawyers to the compelling issues of law and policy reform now encountered by refugee and child protection lawyers.

What role do corporate immigration lawyers play in identifying modern slavery issues?

The legal profession will have a significant part to play in preventing modern slavery, as they will be the primary point of contact for the Australian modern slavery requirements. The modern slavery reporting requirements are designed to strengthen Australia’s response to modern slavery, which has an impact on both Australians and overseas workers in Australia. It requires Australian entities, and foreign entities operating in Australia, to submit modern slavery statements in every 12-month period where their annual revenue is at least A$100 million.

Corporate immigration lawyers can be trained to understand modern slavery in today’s context and examine the impact of Australian modern slavery legislation on companies.

This identification of modern slavery issues can include conducting audits of supply chains; creating internal policies and corporate governance guidelines regarding modern slavery; and reviewing draft modern slavery statements to ensure compliance.

You have extensive experience advising high-net-worth clients. What do they look for in an effective corporate immigration lawyer?

To be an effective corporate immigration lawyer requires taking time to understand the clients’ needs, and afford them with clear and succinct advice to resolve their individual circumstances. It is also essential to be knowledgeable on global trends and best practices.

What have been your greatest achievements in 2019?

My greatest achievement in 2019 was being appointed co-chair of the IBA’s immigration and nationality law committee, and attending the IBA annual conference where I co-moderated the IBA’s presidential task force showcase session on the child refugee crisis. This interactive session was very positively received and attended by the international legal community.

In this year I was also recognised as winner of the Lawyer’s Weekly Partner of the Year award, in the migration category, and awarded a “highly commended” at the Law Society of NSW President’s Medal 2019.

What does the future of work in the corporate immigration space look like?

The benefits of technology have certainly resulted in greater efficiencies in the workplace.

We have experienced substantial immigration law reform as part of the government’s long-term plan to “strengthen the integrity and quality of Australia’s temporary and permanent sponsored skilled migration programmes”. The legislative changes seek to strengthen the integrity and quality of Australia’s skilled migration programmes while providing anti—discriminatory and anti-modern slavery safeguards for Australian employees.

You have enjoyed a very distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?

I am very passionate about advocating for the health and wellbeing aspect of legal practice, as well as continuing my agenda on protection of migrant and refugee children at risk.

Global Leader

Corporate Immigration 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Anne O'Donoghue is a highly distinguished name in Australia and across Asia. She has deep and varied experience advising high-net-worth individuals on Australian immigration law.

Biography

Anne O’Donoghue is an accredited immigration law specialist and registered migration agent, with over 26 years of experience. She is the director and principal lawyer of Immigration Solutions Lawyers (ISL). Anne is acknowledged as one of Australia’s leading immigration law specialists.

Anne was admitted to practise in the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1981, the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1987 and the High Court of New South Wales in 1982. Anne has been recognised on multiple occasions as an advocate for women in business, and for her work as an active leader in the field of immigration law.

In 1998, Anne received her specialist accreditation as an immigration lawyer from the NSW Law Society. Anne has been a member of the specialist accreditation advisory committee of the NSW Law Society since September 2015. Anne is a member of the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration (AIJA) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and has also served as treasurer of the international law section (ILS) of the Law Council of Australia (LCA) (2012-2016). Anne was delighted to become a member of the global migration section of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA).

In December 2012, Anne was appointed as a member of the LCA’s ILS executive. In December 2019, Anne was appointed as a co-chair of the LCA’s international human rights committee. Anne has been invited to chair a session on modern slavery at the Law Council Australia Migration Conference in Melbourne in March 2020. Also in 2020, Anne will be working with her colleagues on a Law Council submission in response to the Public Consultation Paper on the National Action Plan to Combat Modern Slavery 2020-2024.  

On 1 January 2019, Anne was appointed co-chair of the immigration and nationality law committee of the International Bar Association (IBA) for a two-year term. Anne has been an IBA member since 2002. In 2019, Anne was also appointed a member of the IBA Presidential Task Force on the Refugee Crisis Initiative, A Child Rights Response to Child Migration and Migrant Children at Risk. Anne was a co-moderator of the Showcase session presented at the 2019 IBA Conference in Seoul. Anne was also a co-moderator of the IBA’s Seoul session on stateless children in collaboration with the family law committee. The INCL is the lead committee for this session and was delighted to be working with the family law committee. In the same year, Anne achieved a high commendation for the NSW Law Society’s President’s Medal for her work on the IBA Presidential Taskforce in Seoul.

Given the positive feedback received in regard to the Presidential Showcase session in Seoul, the Presidential Taskforce secured a continuation of this project for the IBA Annual Conference in Miami 2020.

Anne has developed her strong international affiliations through the IBA for 18 years. Anne has chaired a panel on The Hague Convention at the IBA Annual Conference in Tokyo (2014); delivered a presentation on the SIV in Beijing at the Australian China Trade and Investment Expo (2014); spoke at the UIA 58th Congress in Florence (2014); chaired a session at the CPD LCA Immigration Law Conference (2015); co-chaired a session at the IBA Conference in Washington (2016); co-chaired a session of the IBA conference in Sydney (2017); served as panellist and speaker at the Global Immigration Conference in London (2017); contributed to the LegalWise Migration Law seminar on corporate responsibility and human rights (2018); co-chaired a session at the IBA conference in Rome (2018); and presented at the UNSW law programme on merits review applications and the MRD of the AAT (2019). Anne was invited to co-chair a session at the Biennial Immigration Conference in London 2019 and was delighted to be co-chair a session with Greg Siskind on the topic, “Corporate immigration law practice management: 60 tips in 90 minutes”. In May 2020, Anne will be attending the 15th Anniversary Bar Leaders Conference in Lithuania.

Anne is also an experienced writer and co-authored the Australia chapter of The Corporate Immigration Review, now in its ninth edition.  Anne also makes valuable contributions to the Global Business Immigration Handbook.  

Anne has been listed in WWL: Corporate Immigration for 10 consecutive years (2011-2020). In 2019 and 2020, Anne was invited to feature in WWL Thought Leaders: Corporate Immigration. Anne has been a finalist at the Lawyers Weekly’s Partner of the Year Awards, in the migration category, for two consecutive years (2017 and 2018); in 2019, Anne won the Lawyers Weekly Migration Partner of the Year Award.

National Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Anne O’Donoghue is famous for her expertise handling all manner of immigration issues and is applauded by sources for leading "a very strong corporate immigration practice".

Biography

Anne O’Donoghue is an accredited immigration law specialist and registered migration agent, with over 24 years of experience. She is the director and principal lawyer of Immigration Solutions Lawyers (ISL).

Anne’s expertise lies in assisting high net worth individuals looking to invest in the Australian economy, and in assisting Australian and multinational companies in their employment of foreign workers. Her experience and professionalism are crucial to clients throughout the sponsorship application processes and in complying with sponsorship obligations. She has assisted various businesses in the field of construction, mining, health, hospitality, media and in technical services. With her international standing, Anne retains clients from small start-up businesses to the well-established industry leaders.

Anne was admitted to practise in the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1981, the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1987 and the High Court of Australia in 1982. She is a member of the Law Society of New South Wales and has been instrumental in developing the field of immigration law in New South Wales. Anne was the founding vice president of the migration law committee of the Law Council of Australia (LCA). Anne served as Treasurer of the ILS from 2012–2016. She has been recently elected for a further two-year period to the executive of the international law section of the LCA. Anne is a member of the specialist accreditation advisory committee of the NSW Law Society, the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration (AIJA) and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

With her international standing, Anne has been involved in numerous conferences. In 2014 Anne chaired the Sydney organising committee for the Migration Law Conference hosted by the LCA; delivered a presentation on the SIV in Beijing at the Australia China Trade and Investment Expo; chaired a panel on The Hague Convention at the IBA Annual Conference in Tokyo; spoke at the UIA 58th Congress in Florence; and spoke at the Hong Kong Investment Immigration Summit. In 2015, Anne chaired a session at the CPD LCA Immigration Law Conference and attended the Department of Immigration and Border Protection Industry Summit in Melbourne. Anne co-chaired "A review of international immigration service providers" at the 2016 IBA Conference in Washington. Anne will continue her heavy involvement in 2017, partaking in the CPD LCA Immigration Law Conference in Sydney in February, the Legalwise Migration Law Seminar in Melbourne in June, the IBA Conference in Sydney in October, the UIA Toronto Conference in Canada in October, and the Global Immigration Conference in London in December.

Anne co-authored the Australia chapter of The Corporate Immigration Review, now in its seventh edition. She also makes valuable contributions to the Global Business Immigration Handbook as well as the IBA’s Annual Global Report for the Global Employment Institute and the Immigration Global Guide as the country representative for Australia in immigration.

Anne is very committed to championing the importance of Australian immigration lawyers gaining recognition in the global market and the internationalisation of their practices. She has developed her international affiliations through the IBA. Anne is senior vice chair of the IBA's immigration and nationality law committee; the secretary of the immigration commission of International Association of Lawyers (UIA); an associate of the American Bar Association – international section; and a non-resident member of the New York State Bar Association’s international section.

Anne has been recognised on multiple occasions as an advocate for women in business and for her work as an active leader in the field of immigration law. She was awarded the Corporate Immigration Lawyer of the Year Award at the Corporate International Global International Awards 2014 and the Women in Law Award 2014 from Lawyers Monthly, and was nominated for the Telstra Australian Business Women’s Awards 2014. Moreover, ISL won Immigration Law Firm of the Year Australia at the Finance Monthly Global Awards 2014, and Best in Immigration Law Australia 2014 from Acquisition International. ISL has been listed in WWL: Corporate Immigration for seven consecutive years (2011-2017). ISL was also named the immigration law firm of the year for 2015 and 2016 at the Corporate LiveWire Legal Awards. In 2016 Anne was also recognised by The Lawyer’s “International Legal 100” as the Corporate Immigration Lawyer of the Year and by Acquisition International as a Legal Expert at the Mobility in Business Awards. In 2017, Anne was recognised by Corporate LiveWire M&A Today Global magazine as the Corporate Immigration Lawyer of the Year, and ISL has been named by both Corporate International Global Magazine and ACQ5 Legal as the Corporate Immigration Law Firm of the Year.

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