Foster Announces Major Investment by International Legal Firm

Copyright: Press Eye Photography

Pictured left to right at Invest NI headquarters are: Stephen Kingon,  Chairman of Invest Northern Ireland; Minister Arlene Foster and Wim Dejonghe, Allen & Overy’s Global Managing Partner.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today announced that Allen & Overy LLP is to set up an office in Belfast creating over 300 high quality jobs.

The investment is being supported by Invest Northern Ireland, which has offered assistance of £2.5million.

Allen & Overy is one of the world’s largest international law firms, with 36 offices in 26 countries and over 5,000 staff. The Belfast office will be home to a new Support and Legal Services Centre, which will deliver a range of support functions such as IT, HR and financial management, as well as transaction support to its legal teams servicing Allen & Overy clients based outside Northern Ireland.

Announcing the investment the Minister said: “This investment, which will create over 300 quality jobs including up to 60 legal posts, is a tremendous endorsement of the Northern Ireland proposition. It reflects the confidence that international firms have in what we can offer, in particular our highly skilled and loyal workforce, low cost working environment and technically advanced infrastructure.

“Allen & Overy evaluated 20 locations worldwide before deciding on Northern Ireland and was strongly influenced by the support offered by Invest NI and by our universities and representatives of the legal fraternity who championed our talented people. I hope that this investment will act as a catalyst for future investment in the legal services sector here which is recognised as an important sector in promoting economic growth.”

Wim Dejonghe, Allen & Overy’s Global Managing Partner, said: "We believe Northern Ireland offers an excellent location from which to support our global operations. We are confident we can attract the calibre of staff needed to deliver the high quality services that are synonymous with the Allen & Overy name.

"There is no doubt in my mind that our Support and Legal Services Centre will become strategically important to our business as we continue to strengthen our international presence. As such we hope that what we have to offer will be seen as an attractive opportunity to the local workforce."

Allen & Overy offers legal advice to clients on a global scale. During its last financial year, two-thirds of Allen & Overy’s work involved two or more offices and 21% involved five or more offices – reinforcing the value of its global model. Turnover from its offices outside the United Kingdom has grown to almost 60% of the overall figure.