Over 100 new legal jobs will be created following the decision of international law company Axiom to set up substantial new offices in Belfast. The city is rapidly gaining a reputation as a legal hub following the decision by leading law firms Allen & Overy (A&O) and Herbert Smith LLP to establish a presence in Belfast in 2011.
The decisive fact in the decision of legal companies to establish a Belfast base has received support funding by Invest Northern Ireland, a regional development agency. The agency has offered Axiom up to £1.1million spread over an eight year period. The firm has also received a substantial award from the Department of Employment and Learning which could total up to £500,000 for skills development.
Last year A&O, one of the big five ‘Magic Circle’ law firms (and the seventh largest in the world), received £2.5million for establishing a major legal support services centre in Belfast. In return, the firm intends to provide up to 300 legal jobs by 2014.
The new Axiom centre will employ 15 lawyers immediately with plans to provide over 100 legal jobs by 2014. The Invest Northern Ireland funding was vital to Axiom’s decision to choose Belfast which beat off stiff competition from other UK cities as well as Cape Town and Delhi.
The company also paid tribute to the high quality of legal recruits as being a major contributory factor. Arlene Foster, the Northern Ireland Enterprise Minister said Axiom’s choice was a ‘testament to the reputation of Northern Ireland’s workforce’.