Ogletree Deakins is one of the largest labour, employment and immigration law firms in the US.

US employment and immigration law firm Ogletree Deakins is setting up a 78-person legal support centre in Northern Ireland.

The firm has 53 offices located throughout the US, and in Europe, Canada, and Mexico.

“Throughout Covid we have been able to demonstrate our resilience and adaptability, with positive stories from existing investors about how their Northern Ireland offices adapted more quickly than other locations”

It represents a diverse range of clients across many industries, including many of the Fortune 50 corporations in the US.

Northern lights

“We had a real need for additional quality paralegal team support for our growing immigration practice,” said Matthew Keen, managing shareholder at Ogletree Deakins.

“Northern Ireland’s strong pipeline of quality graduates accessible through Queen’s University Belfast and Ulster University, and strong staff retention rates were keys to our decision to locate here. It gives us the confidence that we will have access to outstanding staff members to allow us to continue to expand, scale and be successful long-term.

“A law degree is not a requirement to join the team, and we offer continuous investment in training to allow employee career growth. We are excited to open this new legal support centre, and we are very excited about our future here.”

Ogletree Deakins serves some of the US’ best known corporate names. Its global mobility practice has more than 100 full-time immigration attorneys, 200 paralegals, and more than 100 additional support professionals.

“The legal services sector in Northern Ireland continues to grow and I am pleased to announce that Ogletree Deakins – a well-established international firm – is setting up here,” said Northern Ireland Economy Minister Gordon Lyons.

“The law firm plans to open a legal processing centre in Belfast where the team will provide administrative and paralegal support to meet the growing demand for the firm’s global mobility services.

“This investment will provide employment opportunities for graduates and those with one to three years paralegal experience, as well as some leadership roles, generating annual salaries of £1.78m into our economy once fully operational.

“With a pool of 600 new law and legal studies graduates a year, I am sure the firm will find the talent it needs, in fact it has already filled 25 of the positions available,” Minister Lyons said.

The roles are to be created over next three years, with an average salary of £22,891. Invest Northern Ireland has worked closely with the firm, organising a virtual visit programme to help secure the project. The agency has offered £312,000 of support towards the 78 new jobs.

“Northern Ireland has lots to offer potential investors – skilled and dedicated workforce, great place to live, excellent infrastructure – to name just a few,” said Invest Northern Ireland CEO Kevin Holland.

“Throughout Covid we have been able to demonstrate our resilience and adaptability, with positive stories from existing investors about how their Northern Ireland offices adapted more quickly than other locations.

“We are delighted Ogletree Deakins has chosen to locate this new centre here, joining many other leading firms. The project will increase the knowledge and talent pool in the local LPO ecosystem and strengthen our reputation as a region with high skills in a growing cluster.”

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 7 September 2021

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