Northern Ireland

Legal services firm to create 100 new jobs in Belfast

Open briefcase

One hundred new high-salary jobs are being created in Northern Ireland as result of a "significant" investment by an international firm.

Axiom,which offers legal services to businesses around the world, is setting up a centre of excellence in Belfast.

It will employ lawyers and paralegals. The posts will be created by the end of 2014.

The announcement was made by Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster at Stormont on Tuesday.

She said the investment was "testament to the reputation of Northern Ireland's workforce" and would contribute almost £4m 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," she said.

Employing over 800 professionals, Axiom has 10 global offices and four delivery centres, including Belfast.

Its headquarters are in New York, but Axiom has a London-based office employing more than 150 lawyers.

Axiom chief executive 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."

Axiom's new Belfast project will be supported by Invest Northern Ireland which has offered up to £1.1m, 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.

Employment Minister Stephen Farry said: "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."