Allen & Overy to receive £2.5m of public funding for Belfast support services centre

February 6, 2011 Allen & Overy is set to receive £2.5m of public funding in return for creating 300 new jobs in Belfast. The funds come from Invest Northern Ireland as a subsidy for the launch of Allen & Overy’s new business and legal support centre later in the year.

Invest Northern Ireland has also offered Herbert Smith a sum of £208,000 in support of its Belfast operation, which will create 26 jobs.

A&O managing partner Wim Dejonghe commented on the shift of support services away from London: "This announcement follows a review of our support services in London. These proposals are about reshaping the firm for the future and asking ourselves: 'Are we operating in the most efficient and cost effective way possible?'

"Unfortunately this involves taking some tough decisions and looking at both what our competitors are doing and what our clients expect us to do. That's why it is not a decision we've taken lightly and we understand that our proposals will come as a surprise and be upsetting for those staff whose roles are potentially affected. We will do everything we can to support those staff and are committed to treating them professionally and sensitively.

"The reality is that the way global legal services are being delivered is changing. We have to meet that challenge and proactively offer increased efficiencies and alternative resourcing to our clients, but with the reassurance and quality they expect from A&O."

Read more at www.legalweek.com.

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