A&O and Herbies share £3m of public funding for Belfast launches

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  • Hmm, what a perverse world we live in. Labour gets trashed for diverting public spending to poorer parts of the country to create jobs, but when drippingly-rich businesses cream a few badly-needed millions from the public purse to do it, it's good old-fashioned capitalism at work.
    I'm not usually one of those "think of how many nurses..." people, and this wouldn't pay for many, but when I read of Citizens' Advice Bureaux, youth clubs and rural transport networks closing down, this kind of thing really makes me wonder about what kind of country we live in.
    As Rousseau and Voltaire (love it!) point out, this is subsidising business cost-cutting, not stimulating growth in any meaningful sense.

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  • "(Derry for example is the only city (technically) in the UK with no motorway connections)"
    Er, St David's? Elgin? Bangor? Ely? Brighton? Armagh? Newry? Norwich? Inverness? Etc. etc.

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  • @Anonymous | 4-Feb-2011 4:07 pm
    And just how much of the firm's revenues are managed through "tax-efficient" arrangements? My guess is not an insignificant amount

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  • I wouldn't be so opposed to these Belfast sausage factories if they were actually offering a realistic career path of any kind. Instead, as many people have pointed out, the salaries are rock bottom and the opportunities to progess are non-existent. These offices are very analogous to a certain blue NI conveyancing factory.

    As for spending the salary locally, once taxes, student debt and travel costs are paid there won't be much of that ten grand a year to go around.

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  • Herbert Smith's recruitment ads proclaimed "invest in yourself", seems like they don't want to follow their own advice.

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  • The management at A&O have sold their soul for a fistful of dollars - what are they going to sell for a few dollars more? I think it's time the fat cats had a heart attack - if this goes on there will be an uprising.

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  • So now they have launched the new "brand" and spent thousands promoting it and training London staff in all the ins and outs they're outsourcing to Belfast - nice one. Note to all BS staff - "go the extra mile" -you'll be rewarded with redundancy.

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  • How very sad that a firm such as A&O that once had such high principles when it came to looking after its staff,now sees fit to betray people who have given years of hard work, loyalty and expertise for the sake of adding couple or so thousand to the pockets of those who may not even notice that it's there.

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  • Money well spent! Much better than funding LSC help for benefits scroungers and so called "disableds".

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  • Oh dear, this is a bit of a mess. Are our PR people on strike? Are we northshoring them as well? Somebody please do something!

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  • When A&O and Herbies let a tax-payer-pound subsidy influence their location/recruitment decisions they cease to be a businessman's choice of legal advisor. These days there is better value to be found in the niche practices set up by ex-City partners in Mayfair, Belgravia etc with their web of connections. And for the ubergeldesladen there is the 'floating' practice moored off Monte Carlo! (Is it true that the SRA licensed it?!)

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  • They are just greedy corporate ass*s who are getting rid of some very loyal workers in return for what they call "saving the business a few million" (in the short term) some of these staff have worked at A&O for over 15 years and more - I know because I am one of these "expendables" who will be looking for work come autumn. They make me sick.

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  • "Sounds to me like Invest NI is gambling a bit on A&O not managing to persuade its staff to move"
    Gambling? Who on earth wants to move to NI?

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  • This would be funny if it weren't so serious. Quite why highly profitable businesses need a subsidy for this is hard to fathom. Why not apply a means test as with other state benefits? it is highly likely there are millions of additional profit that both firms could achieve through some minor changes in working practices and no one would have to work a 'unit' longer. Perhas the partners involved are secretly bankers at heart and feel a sense of entitlement.

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  • @Ashley Balls | 11-Feb-2011 0:35 am
    At least the banks who opened up offices in Belfast offer salaries that are above the national minimum wage.

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  • You really don't like Herbert Smith, do you hate IHateBPP? I've seen quite a few posts by you about their Belfast Office on a couple of websites.

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  • @Anonymous | 11-Feb-2011 3:23 pm
    It's nothing personal, I just find that the salaries they're offering and their spin doctoring of their new offices are offensive to any right thinking person.

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