Legal Services

Northern Ireland offers exceptional talent within a cost competitive, low risk location for legal services.

One of the fastest growing sectors in the economy, the legal cluster in Northern Ireland includes:

  • Captive legal services and shared services centres of global law firms
  • Local and international legal process outsourcers (LPO) and legal consultants
  • In-house counsel and legal teams for major local and international companies
  • Legal services delivered by over 650 local law firms, 2700 solicitors and 700 barristers and QCs
  • Legal Technology & Services – including major law firm IT departments, local and international software vendors

Northern Ireland offers

An abundance of high quality talent

Northern Ireland has a still largely untapped pool of culturally-compatible, highly-educated legal talent seeking quality legal roles in the region.

The region boasts two of the top 15 law schools in the UK. Our legal talent pool includes an annual surplus of some 500 law graduates as well as an experienced cadre of professionals who are keen to return and re-locate to the region. Around 80 per cent of paralegals are law graduates.

Such is the demand for quality legal opportunities in the region, investors have reported that they have attracted ten times as many qualified applicants as they require when advertising positions.

Cost competitiveness

Operating costs in Northern Ireland are on average around 20-30% lower than the rest of the UK and Europe.

Typical operating costs for a legal services centre in Northern Ireland are around 50% less than London and around 40% less than New York.

Northern Ireland's current rate of corporation tax is 20% and this will reduce to 12.5%, making it the joint lowest in Western Europe. Companies can also access the UK’s R&D tax credit and patent box schemes.

Government support

The region has a low risk, pro-business environment with a local government committed to growing the legal services sector through the provision of:

  • Attractive financial incentives to support job creation, training & development and research.
  • Practical on the ground support from Invest NI to facilitate location assessment and the development and implementation of investment plans
  • Active promotion of collaboration between industry, government and academia to assure the availability of appropriate skills


Already globally renowned as a magnet for mobile fintech investment, home to one of the fastest-growing technology clusters and a host of leading international law firms, Northern Ireland is emerging as a hub for legal technology and innovation.Read more information about Northern Ireland Legal technology and innovation

A proven location

Sharing a regulatory framework and company law regime with England and Wales, Northern Ireland is a proven location of choice for international legal services.


Who's here


Allen & Overy (A&O) employs over 400 staff in its legal and shared services centre in Belfast in delivering a range of business support functions and transactional and regulatory investigative services across multiple A&O offices.

Read more information about A&O


Axiom Law’s 200+ person Belfast centre of excellence employs attorneys, paralegals and a range of professional staff in client-dedicated teams to deliver technology-enabled services to its multi-national client base.

Read more information about Axiom


Baker McKenzie was established in 2014. With almost 250 staff already on board, Belfast is Baker McKenzie’s second global services centre dedicated to middle and back office support services for practise groups including business and legal services. The Belfast centre facilitates round the clock services across time-zones and reduces the firm’s dependency on its existing centre in Manila.

Read more information about Baker McKenzie


Citi’s Legal & Compliance divisions in Northern Ireland employs over 300 professionals providing document negotiation, legal control, trading support services, and compliance monitoring and reporting for global transaction services and markets trading businesses across EMEA.


Herbert Smith Freehills established its Belfast operation in 2011, initially focussing on large scale document-intensive aspects of litigation, arbitration and regulatory investigations. It has now grown into a worldwide Alternative Legal Services and e-Discovery capability of nearly 300 members. The scope of the business has also grown and it now also handles corporate due diligence and other commercial legal support including real estate asset management and due diligence for large property transactions.

Read more information about Herbert Smith Freehills

Find out more about preparing for Brexit in the Legal Services sector.

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