Lyons announces first-time investment by USA law firm Ogletree Deakins

Date published: 07 September 2021

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons today announced that US employment and immigration law firm, Ogletree Deakins, is setting up a 78 person legal support centre in Northern Ireland.

Minister Gordon Lyons
Minister Gordon Lyons

Ogletree Deakins is one of the largest labour, employment and immigration law firms in the US. The firm has 53 offices located throughout the US, and in Europe, Canada and Mexico. It represents a diverse range of clients across many industries, including many of the Fortune 50 corporations in the US.

Welcoming the law firm to Northern Ireland the Minister said:

“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.

“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.”

The roles are to be created over the 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.

Matthew Keen, Managing Shareholder, Ogletree Deakins said:

“We had a real need for additional quality paralegal team support for our growing immigration practice. Northern Ireland’s strong pipeline of quality graduates 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.

Kevin Holland, CEO, Invest Northern Ireland said:

“Northern Ireland has lots to offer potential investors – skilled and dedicated workforce, great place to live, excellent infrastructure – to name just a few.  Throughout the COVID pandemic, 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 Legal Processes Outsourcing ecosystem and strengthen our reputation as a region with high skills in a growing cluster.”

Notes to editors: 

  1. Ogletree Deakins currently employs around 2000 people, most of whom are based in USA; they already have experience operating overseas with offices in Canada, Mexico and Europe. For more information visit Ogletree website
  2. Follow us on Twitter @Economy_NI  
  3. For media enquiries contact the Department for the Economy Press Office at pressoffice@economy-ni.gov.uk .
  4. The Executive Information Service operates an out of hours service for media enquiries only between 1800hrs and 0800hrs Monday to Friday and at weekends and public holidays. The duty press officer can be contacted on 028 9037 8110.

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