Canadian Lawyer

October 2020

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 45 of 59

44 FEATURE TOP 10 IMMIGRATION BOUTIQUES processing all temporary residence applica- tions made by nationals of certain countries (mainly China, India and the Philippines). These applications, he says, "see high rates of refusal on dubious grounds, even where applicants have made very meritorious eligi- bility claims, strong dual intent arguments and offering no legitimate basis for refusal." On the solicitor side, Hyndman says Lalonde has helped numerous companies and individuals successfully navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 travel ban to continue to transfer employees or reunite with family members in Canada. Associate Silvia Macedo has been among the first lawyers to success- fully navigate the B.C. Provincial Nominee Program's Regional Business category. As for Hyndman, who helped establish a pro bono legal clinic for immigration law in Vancouver that has been operating for a decade and a half, his work now often involves helping technology companies relocate their operations to Canada in the face of immigra- tion challenges in the U.S. "I think some of my biggest wins have also been wins for Canada," he says, adding that it is not just about the foreign workers these firms are bringing. "They are also hiring Canadians and leasing premises and bringing their intellectual property with them — they are doing all the things that have spin-off benefits for Canada." Sherritt Greene Immigration Law Centre Calgary Michael Greene, a partner with Sherritt Greene Immigration Law Centre in Calgary, has seen a lot of ups and down in the Alberta economy since the firm was started in 1998. And the perfect storm of low oil prices and COVID-19 pandemic has made these days "one of those tough times." The impact on the foreign worker immi- gration business the firm had built up when the Alberta economy was on fire a few years ago has fallen dramatically as investment in the Alberta oilpatch has dropped. But unlike many immigration law firms that put "all its eggs into the foreign worker basket," Greene says, his firm has managed to keep up a good immigration business thanks to a "good reputation" and a move from corpo- rate to individual immigration. This has been fuelled by "a critical mass of immigrants already in Alberta who need help in bringing family members here." The firm has also been spending a lot of time dealing with pandemic-specific cases, such as reuniting families divided by border restrictions, helping clients with exemp- tions for essential travel "and even cases of Canadians living abroad married to a foreign national who decided they'd like to live in Canada because of the way we've been handling the crisis." "Luckily for us, we've diversified, we prac- tice across the immigration spectrum and we know our stuff, so we have adapted to the times," says Greene. Still, while there haven't been layoffs at the firm, there has been downsizing, Greene says. The two partners, Greene and Michael Sherritt, as well as one associate remain as other team members have moved on. Greene says he is concerned about how the processing of applications has almost ground to a halt. "Going forward, immigra- tion lawyers are going to see the effects of the

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