Leading international law firm establishes base in Belfast

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster today announced that leading international law firm Herbert Smith is to create 26 high quality jobs, in Belfast.

Invest NI has offered £208,000 of support towards the creation of the 26 jobs which will generate £650,000 annually in salaries.

Herbert Smith is a highly respected international law firm which works across a number of industry sectors with particular strengths in dispute resolution and corporate law.

Headquartered in London with offices in Asia, Europe and the Middle East, its main clients are prominent global and national businesses.

The Belfast operation will employ qualified lawyers and legal assistants, helping Herbert Smith to meet the increasing needs of clients in key markets outside Northern Ireland.

Announcing the investment, the Minister said: “Herbert Smith is a global firm with a number of multinational companies as clients, many of whom will now have some of their needs met by lawyers and legal assistants from a Belfast base. Working across specialist disciplines, Herbert Smith will offer quality employment opportunities delivering salaries well above the Northern Ireland private sector average.”

Sonya Leydecker, head of the firm's global disputes practice, commented: "I am very excited by this innovation. It will enable us to offer clients a very attractive combination of quality, efficiency and value for money. Clients are increasingly looking to their lawyers for more imaginative approaches to the management of disputes. In particular, complex projects such as disclosure are important but can increasingly be systematised and managed in new ways. The Belfast office will make a new range of resourcing options available to clients.”

Graeme Johnston, the Herbert Smith partner who led the project team, added: "Before deciding to take this step, we considered a number of location options. Northern Ireland stood out for the great calibre of the available people, combined with cost competitiveness and geographical convenience. We are very grateful for the truly excellent support which we've received from Invest NI. Herbert Smith has retained Brightwater as recruitment agents and we are now recruiting for all posts with details of the positions available on http://www.herbertsmith.com/careers "