100 new jobs created by expansion at US legal firm
A legal services firm which counts some of the world's biggest companies among its clients is doubling its Belfast workforce with the creation of almost 100 new high-paid jobs.
Axiom is adding 97 new posts to its Belfast city centre operations, just three years after the US-owned firm set up shop here.
Salaries will average around £40,000 and include paralegal and technology posts.
The new jobs - which will be added over the next four years - will be worth around £4m a year in salaries to the Northern Ireland economy.
And the expansion has been fuelled by a major £49m ($73m) contract to provide its services to one of the world's biggest banks.
Axiom's Kate Docherty said the firm's Belfast business had been a "terrific experience" for the company so far.
"We are delighted by the success of our operation in Belfast and its contribution to our growth globally," she said.
"The quality of the people has been huge, and that has made a huge impression internally at Axiom, but also with our clients."
The new posts will take in workers from a range of backgrounds, including law.
"It's legal services, a lot of law graduates but we also provide technology services to our in-house teams," she said.
"We'll provide service controls, operations activities as well - it's a range of jobs.
"That expansion has been fuelled by the growth of our managed services business, including our recently announced $73m partnership with one of the world's largest banks to create an industry-leading approach to managing risk in derivatives and core contracting agreements." Axiom has a global workforce of 1,200 staff and serves more than half the FTSE 100 companies at more than a dozen offices across the world.
That includes a host of big-name clients, including investment banks and other global firms such as Amazon and Yahoo.
Ms Docherty said further expansion could also be on the cards in the near future.
"I wouldn't doubt it. As long as we can find the people - and we've done that so far," she said.
Invest NI is putting forward £727,500 towards the latest expansion.
Axiom first set up its Belfast offices in the Scottish Provident building back in 2012.
Launching the new jobs, Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said it marked a "substantial re-investment in Northern Ireland".
"With roles available across a variety of functions, this investment will provide a wide range of opportunities for people at various stages of their career, from graduates to legal and other professionals," she said.
The latest expansion is another feather in the cap for legal services here, following in the footsteps of traditional law firms Allen and Overy and Herbert Smith, both of which have opened 'back office' operations in Belfast.
The number of stafff employed by Axiom around the world