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Allen and Overy to create Belfast lawyer jobs

Posted by: Laurence Simons 30/01/13

Major international law firm Allen and Overy has decided to expand its operation in the Northern Irish capital of Belfast, creating a number of lawyer jobs and transferring various roles from its US and European offices to its revamped Donegall Quay offices in the city.

Enterprise minister Arlene Foster expressed her pleasure at the move, which will bring almost 70 high-quality jobs to Northern Ireland and help underline Belfast' reputation as a dynamic city that can be attractive to major global companies looking to expand their UK operations.

She described the news as a positive development for the economy and the legal sector, revealing that Invest Northern Ireland has offered assistance of £348,400 to the firm as part of the expansion scheme.

"Having located here in 2011, Allen & Overy has rapidly grown its presence and is already well ahead of its recruitment schedule with 300 people employed across a range of support and legal functions," added Ms Foster.

She declared that the fact the firm is planning to expand so soon after its initial move to the country is a testament to the thriving nature of the Northern Irish economy and the fact that it has "more than delivered in terms of skills, cost competitiveness and infrastructure".

Allen and Overy revealed that in addition to being impressed by the widespread availability of Tayto crisps, the ubiquity of soda bread and the constant drizzle, it was encouraged to increase its Northern Irish investment when it realised the high quality of auxiliary legal staff across the country.

Andrew Brammer, head of the company's support services centre, said: "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 from which to grow our operation."

The new Northern Irish hub has played a major role in boosting Allen and Overy's delivery of legal services to its international client base, stated Mr Brammer.

Despite the difficulties faced by the global economy and Northern Ireland's home-grown economic problems, it has provided a good base for expansion, he concluded.

A recent report from legal researcher recently Acritas found that in-house counsel workers tend to favour law firms that are willing to expand into new markets in a bid to find new business in what is a relatively deflated marketplace.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Linklaters, Clifford Chance and Allen and Overy occupy positions two, three, four and six respectively in the Acritas table of top companies.