Belfast Telegraph

Top law firm makes a case for growth with 67 new posts

By David Elliott

The lure of Northern Ireland's legal talent has prompted a top London law firm to create a further 67 jobs at its Belfast office.

Allen & Overy has already taken on more than 300 people here since opening in February 2011 and said it has been so impressed by the performance of the base that it has decided to add to the headcount.

"Since our investment in 2011 we have been continually impressed with the contribution our Belfast office has made in supporting the delivery of high quality legal services to Allen -amp; Overy's international client base," Andrew Brammer, head of Allen -amp; Overy's support services centre, said.

The office provides support to the firm's London and global business.

The new jobs won't just be for qualified lawyers, however. The roles will involve "a mixture of core support service processes such as elements of finance, IT and business services".

Of the 67 extra positions, 24 are the result of expected growth over the next three years while 43 will be transferred from Allen & Overy's US and European bases. The latter group of employees will be offered relocation to Northern Ireland so the total number of new positions available here could increase in the near future.

Indeed, the firm has already overshot its target of taking on more than 300 people within five years of opening.

"We are ahead of where we thought we would be in terms of recruitment under the original investment as we have found a wealth of highly skilled and talented people.

"In a difficult global economy, Northern Ireland has provided us with an effective and competitive location from which to grow our business," Andrew Brammer said.

While Northern Ireland's legal talent has been a big draw, assistance from Invest Northern Ireland of £348,400 has also helped.

"The fact that this international firm plans to expand so soon after its initial investment clearly indicates that Northern Ireland has more than delivered in terms of skills, cost competitiveness and infrastructure," Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said.