Summary: Baker & McKenzie have expanded their global law firm with an office in Belfast, Northern Ireland
The world’s largest law firm just got a little larger, now that Baker & McKenzie has spread their nets further, becoming the fourth major law firm to open an office in Belfast, North Ireland, and the first U.S.-based law firm to do so. As a global law firm, the move naturally enough means they will be able to expand their grasp on the global market as a whole, and also spread more broadly the legal work they do that is not limited to regional interests.
As a matter of course, the company’s chairman, Eduardo Leite, explained that the move will “further enhance our ambition to lead our profession globally and offer our clients exceptional service wherever they are in the world.”
Jason Marty, executive director the new operation likewise said that “Northern Ireland offers an excellent location for our needs.”
The move will bring work for 70 lawyers and 185 support staff — including IT, human resources, and payroll. They will begin recruiting for these positions in September.
The head of the firm’s global M&A practice, Tim Gee, explained the logic of the move in terms of creating “global centres,” saying “We are planning on building global centres of excellence in Belfast in the areas of due diligence and deal closing, which will be an integral part of our transactional team. Backed by project management specialists, the centres of excellence will provide integrated support to our deal teams around the world. The value for clients will be better risk assessment and more efficient execution.”
With names for their operations like “global centres of excellence,” you know they mean business, but what is reason for moving their operations here, specifically? Time zone figures in. Leite explained that “Clients consistently expect us to offer efficient and innovative services and manage costs. In response to client demands we have been centralizing a range of front-line and back-office services in Manila over the past 14 years. This has given us great experience in off-shoring back-office support services and mid-office support for practice groups such as our global intellectual property support team for centralized, high-quality intellectual property management services for multinational clients.”
In other words, their Manila office has been hit too hard and they need to spread their IP work to a new office.
With the average salary of the new positions hitting in at £31,000, and with 1/3 of the new hires being attorneys the creation of the new office spells out a great opportunity for those interested in being part of one of the largest firms in the world.