Belfast Telegraph

Demand sees Grant Thornton expand its forensic and investigations team

From left: Matthew McKee, Paul Jacobs, Sinead Watts and Andrew Harbison
From left: Matthew McKee, Paul Jacobs, Sinead Watts and Andrew Harbison
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

Business advisory firm Grant Thornton has said it has increased the size of its forensic and investigation team in Belfast as demand grows from the legal sector.

And the firm has also invested £250,000 in new digital forensic technology. The team, which now employs seven people, specialises in processing high volumes of data.

Paul Jacob, head of the forensic and investigations team, said: "Law firms and clients engage Grant Thornton because they want to streamline their processes.

"Whether it's reducing the time spent analysing vast amounts of data, scanning and reviewing contracts or carrying out due diligence, the legal profession has recognised the enormous benefits of using digital technology."

The team is led by associate director Sinead Watts and newly-appointed e-discovery specialist, Matthew McKee.

Director Andrew Harbison added: "The team in Belfast includes forensic accountants and other experts from a range of backgrounds with experience across UK and Irish jurisdictions, sensitively handling confidential affairs on behalf of our clients.

"Our recent investment in new forensic technology complements our wider offering which includes expert witness services, fraud investigations, asset-tracing and cyber security. The scope of digital services is constantly widening.

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"By continuing to invest in new technologies, we can ensure the most advanced techniques remain at our disposal as we help keep our clients ahead of the game as they embrace the digital future."

In October last year, Grant Thornton announced it was creating nearly 50 new jobs in a £4m investment.

Speaking at the time, the firm said an uplift in business was partly down to Brexit. It announced plans to recruit 48 new staff including change management experts, IT consultants, economic advisers and cyber-specialists.

The company, which employs around 100 people here, is now based at Donegall Square West in Belfast in self-contained offices within Danske Bank's headquarters.

Economic development agency Invest NI offered £240,000 in support towards the 48 new roles. Managing partner Richard Gillan said: "Over the last four years, we have more than trebled our turnover.

"More recently, we have witnessed a significant uplift in the provision of holistic strategic consulting advice, including in relation to Brexit. These new jobs represent a substantial investment in response to such demand.

"Our recent move to new offices on Donegall Square West is reflective of our ambition and, given the calibre of our people, I anticipate continued rapid growth in the years to come."

Belfast Telegraph