European law firm Fieldfisher has expanded into Northern Ireland with the creation of 125 new jobs.
The roles will be based at its new offices in Belfast’s Titanic Quarter and attract average salaries of around £25,000. Around 10 jobs are already in place at the premises on Old Channel Road.
The announcement follows Fieldfisher’s merger with Holywood firm Donaldson Legal Consulting last November.
Managing partner Alison Donaldson, who will head the Belfast operation, said future expansion could involve additional office in the Titanic Quarter and Holywood.
Fieldfisher is the latest in a line of major legal firms to expand into Northern Ireland. Invest NI said around 700 jobs have been created by such companies in the past five years, attracted by the large pool of legal graduates produced by the two universities.
Last month, US law firm Baker McKenzie announced plans to expand its Belfast office, creating 150 new posts.
Invest NI is providing £630,000 as part of Fieldfisher’s move.
Chief executive of the economic support agency, Alastair Hamilton, said: “Northern Ireland’s legal sector has gone from strength to strength and has attracted several of the UK’s Top 50 firms. This is one of the priority sectors for inward investment and we are delighted Fieldfisher has joined this growing sector.
“Over the next three years Fieldfisher will be building its team in Northern Ireland with 125 roles across a range of functions. With an average salary in the mid £20,000s this investment will generate over £3.6million in annual salaries.”
Michael Chissick, managing partner at Fieldfisher added: “We began exploring Northern Ireland as a base for this new office in early 2017, attracted by the stable supply of experienced and skilled people.
“Our new centre here will include senior positions in legal and risk management, as well as middle level technical and business support roles. We also have a number of roles suitable for graduates.
“The strong partnership between academia and industry was another attraction to investing here and ensures we will be able to work with colleges and universities to develop a future pipeline of qualified graduates.
"We have been through an incredible period of success and have been the fastest growing large UK law firm for the last two years. Northern Ireland is the next strategic stage in our continued growth and we are very excited to be able to provide a centre of excellence to support our offices around the world.”