MID-TIER Melbourne based law firm Kliger Partners has appointed a lawyer and registered migration agent to head its new migration practice.
After working for a non law firm migration practice in Melbourne’s CBD, Angel Chambers jumped ship to Kliger Partners Lawyers, attracted by the chance to make full use of her legal skills, she said.
“It was just a migration practice. It was just [giving] migration advice ... I am a lawyer and I did want to work at a law firm,” said Chambers.
Chambers now sets up her own practice at Kliger, which she said satisfied a long-time personal goal.
She was also keen to get away from the bad press of being a migration agent.
“There’s a lot of bad press at the moment about migration agents and education agents doing the wrong thing by their clients. Obviously being in a well-respected law firm you have the ability to do the right thing by your clients to ensure you can maximise their chance of getting a visa.”
It has been three years since Chambers worked as a migration research associate at the Federal Court of Australia, where she first became motivated to do more to prevent migration application mishaps from occurring.
Chambers, who also volunteers at the Refugee and Immigration Centre, said a separate migration practice area in a commercial law firm is relatively rare.
“A lot of firms don’t have a separate migration practice area so that is something good to have I think. If you have a migration practice [within a law firm] it allows the firm to help people from overseas with other areas of law they need assistance with as well.”
She said: “I really want people to know they can access proper migration advice and the right migration advice in order to maximise their chance of securing a visa and a lot of people, because of the industry I am in, are hesitant. They either think they can do it themselves or they’re hesitant to go see someone and they don’t realise that there are migration lawyers who can assist them.”
In the year to mid 2008, overseas migration contributed more to Australia's population growth than natural increase for the third year in a row, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics.
With the continuing rise in overseas migration in Australia, Chambers anticipates there will be a big demand for migration services.