US legal firm to bring 100 posts to Northern Ireland
An international law firm which hires out its lawyers to do routine work for global companies is creating 102 new jobs in Belfast.
Axiom said it had considered opening a new centre in a range of English cities before choosing Belfast for reasons including the calibre of its graduates.
The US-owned business said financial support had helped, with it benefiting from £1.1m from Invest NI for an eight-year investment plan and £489,000 from the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL).
General manager Chris DeConti said the jobs would be permanent posts and in place by 2014.
He said its lawyers would conduct work for client firms from the Belfast office though some negotiations could be conducted in person at the clients’ offices.
Salaries will range from £18,000 to “four or five times that” depending on experience.
Mr DeConti said salaries were less than in London but said: “It is competitive with what top firms would be paying in Northern Ireland.”
The firm also said it serves nearly half the US’s Fortune 500 of top companies and a “substantial portion” of the FTSE 100.
According to a trade magazine, clients have included Mercer, WorldPay, Living Social and Skype.
Mr DeConti said 15 people had already been hired for the Belfast office, including 12 lawyers ranging from newly-qualifieds to those with up to 15 years’ experience.
He said the firm has been based for the past month in the Scottish Provident Building in Belfast’s city centre but expected to make a move to bigger premises.
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said a strategy of targeting legal businesses such as Axiom had brought 550 jobs to the city.
DEL Minister Stephen Farry said Axiom’s investment was helping the province “plug itself into the global economy”.>\[Shane Donaghey\]
Axiom employs 800 professionals around the world who provide legal services to big companies, who then Because of the economic downturn tspend less on keeping ‘in-house’ legal departments so instead ‘outsource’ legal work to Axiom. It is following in the footsteps offirms such as traditional UK law firms Allen and Overy and Herbert Smith, both of which have opened ‘back office’ operations in Belfast. for routine work for clients.