Building on Our Legal Success


Northern Ireland has a growing reputation as a location of choice for international legal services investment.

As part of efforts to continue to build on this reputation, Invest Northern Ireland supported four Northern Ireland legal firms to exhibit at the International Bar Association annual conference in Vienna last month, the largest gathering of the international legal community in the world.

Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Trade said: “Continuing to grow Northern Ireland’s legal services sector through increased internationalisation is vital to the growth of our economy and so we were delighted to support local legal firms to participate in the IBA Conference this year.

“Feedback from this year’s participating companies has been excellent and all are actively following up on leads and relationships forged. We are keen to build on this momentum and create further growth opportunities for export-focussed lawyers and are currently developing plans to attend the IBA Conference in Washington DC in September 2016.

“Our established linkages, on the ground networks and cultural compatibility with the US suggest that next year’s conference will offer some exciting opportunities to promote Northern Ireland’s legal services sector.”

Legal firms who took part included, Cleaver Fulton Rankin, Forde Campbell and John McKee, along with legal software provider Briefed. The Bar of Northern Ireland and The Law Society of Northern Ireland also attended.

“In the last five years, interest in the Northern Ireland legal services sector has been boosted as the region has become an investment location of choice for global legal giants such as Baker McKenzie, Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith & Freehills and Axiom Law who have all established operations in Northern Ireland. This international profile provides a platform from which to promote the excellence of our local lawyers in key export markets”, continued Olive.

Orlagh Kelly, former barrister and CEO of Briefed, said: “The IBA conference provided us with a great opportunity to meet and network with a significant number of individuals from across the international legal sector. We met and networked with key influencers and we are now following up on a number of promising leads in the UK and US, having made some 50 new contacts interested in learning more about Briefed.”

Chris Ross, Managing Partner, John McKee said “Invest NI support provided us with the assistance to make that first step to attend the IBA Conference.

“We had very positive meetings at the event and are now actively following up on a substantial amount of contacts made at the IBA. It was also great to see how much interest there was in the Northern Ireland proposition and in what firms from this jurisdiction have to offer.” he added.