Photography: Harrison Photography
Pictured are, left to right are Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster, Axiom representatives Mark Trepanier, Chris DeConti and Al Giles, Employment, Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry and Invest NI Chief Executive Alastair Hamilton (3rd left).
Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry have announced that Axiom is to set up a centre of excellence in Belfast, creating 102 high quality jobs by the end of 2014.
Axiom, the legal sector’s leading new model firm, leverages a carefully engineered service model and deep expertise in the business of law to help General Counsel solve problems and manage their departments more effectively. In fact, the firm is the largest and fastest growing provider of managed services to the General Counsel and in-house legal departments of Fortune500/FTSE 100 companies.
Modelled on the firm’s other successful delivery centres, Belfast will house several client-dedicated teams serving global companies. In a first for Belfast, the centre’s staff will be entirely focused on acting as primary, client-facing, fee-earning teams for the firm’s clients.
Arlene Foster said: “This significant investment by an innovative, global company is testament to the reputation of Northern Ireland’s workforce. The new centre will employ over 100 lawyers and paralegals and pay salaries significantly above the Northern Ireland private sector median, contributing almost £4million a year to the local economy.
“This is the kind of high quality inward investment that Invest Northern Ireland seeks to attract in order to help develop a knowledge-based economy with long-term sustainability. It will further strengthen the cluster of international legal and financial services companies that are now operating in Northern Ireland.”
Axiom will be supported by Invest Northern Ireland which has offered up to £1.1million of support, covering an eight year investment programme by the firm. The Department of Employment and Learning has offered up to £500,000 for skills development under its Assured Skills programme.
Minister Farry said: “Axiom’s decision to set up a centre in Belfast is not only a boost to employment but also to our skills base. The company is the leader in the rapidly growing commercial contracts outsourcing market and has developed proprietary tools, methodologies and skills, with which it will be equipping the Belfast team.
“The Assured Skills programme offers investors tailored support for building the skills base they need and plays an important part in attracting high quality investors to Northern Ireland.”
Employing over 800 professionals, Axiom serves nearly half the Fortune 100 and a substantial portion of the FTSE 100 through 10 global offices and four delivery centres, including Belfast. Though headquartered in New York, Axiom has an established position in the UK, with a London-based office employing over 150 lawyers.
Axiom considered other locations before choosing Northern Ireland on the basis of the availability of graduates, the quality of the local legal talent pool, high speed, cost-effective connectivity and the financial support packages offered by Invest NI and DEL.
Axiom Co-founder and CEO Mark Harris said: “In terms of industry norms, we are building a very different type of operation in Belfast. Our centre here is exclusively focused on client-facing teams undertaking complex work. As a result, we searched for a location which offered a high quality talent pool of experienced lawyers and ambitious law graduates.
“Having reviewed hundreds of candidates in Belfast, we have been impressed with the quality of their experience, and their energy and appetite for taking part in innovation in the legal sector. We are pleased to be able to apply the same high standards here that we do in London, New York, Hong Kong, San Francisco, Chicago or Houston, where we hire 1 in 50 candidates and encourage anyone interested in learning more about Axiom to visit http://www.axiomlaw.co.uk.”