Shoosmiths sets up Belfast office to service UK growth
A UK commercial law firm is expanding in Northern Ireland with the creation of 13 back office jobs after taking over a Belfast practice.
Shoosmiths merged with debt collection specialist McManus Kearney two years ago, giving it its first presence in the province.
Now the firm has said it's setting up an 'inceptions' team after choosing the Belfast office as a location to "service business growth" across its 11 UK offices.
The expansion has been supported by £52,000 from economic development agency Invest NI.
Belfast has been a location for large UK and international law firms to set up back office operations for around seven years.
Herbert Smith Freehills led the way, opening its first operation here in 2011, to be followed by Allen & Overy and global, US-based firm Baker McKenzie.
Jason Byrne, head of Shoosmiths' Belfast office, said: "As part of our ongoing commitment to deliver a superior service to clients, we are delighted to announce our Inceptions team will be based in Belfast.
"Our merger with McManus Kearney in 2016 brought Shoosmiths to the region for the first time and since then we have been very impressed with the expertise and client focus delivered by our Belfast team. Invest NI's advice and support has been instrumental in helping us to choose Northern Ireland as the location for this new centre.
"The exceptional quality and ready supply of talent here makes the region a very attractive location for our firm.
"We are looking forward to developing our Inceptions team."
Brian Dolaghan, Invest NI's director of technology and services, said: "Northern Ireland has a vibrant international legal services sector. Mergers and acquisitions have brought UK firms like Shoosmiths together with successful Northern Ireland practices. The resulting benefits not only mean firms can deliver an improved service to clients, but that local legal teams increase their engagement on a broader range of clients and projects.
"Shoosmiths' decision to expand the range of client services it delivers nationally from Northern Ireland is a further example of how the legal sector here is evolving. The firm considered a number of its offices for this project and combined with our support, chose Northern Ireland due to the wealth of regulatory and compliance talent on offer here."