A&O boss vows to limit job cuts as firm transfers support function to Belfast

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  • @ Jonny Monroe & IHateBPP
    I find these comments on accents utterly offensive and ridiculous- if they were opening an office in Edinburgh or Manchester would you be making the same type of comment?
    And what is this about "clipped English accents" and public school accents- many, many people working at A&O's London office currently do not have this accent, many having the virtually imcomprehensive Northern Irish accent that you refer to. I worry about how your mind works- don't you realise that what you say shows more than an element of racism.

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  • Posting as a resident of Northern Ireland, it’s quite disappointing to see many of the comments in relation to accents and quality of potential staff. Not to mention the general impression that the Belfast move will attract monkeys who A&O will pay peanuts!
    In relation to the quality of IT personnel, Northern Ireland has attracted investment from some of the largest names in finance and also IT who have been drawn by the quality of personnel in the region. In addition, many of these firms/businesses spend an absolute fortune merely attempting to attract personnel to their IT functions as the calibre of candidate is so high. A&O would be lucky to have any of our IT experts on their books, some of whom (and I speak of personal contacts) are leading thinkers in their particular specialism’s!
    Secondly, it is quite disappointing that this announcement has been presented in the local news as bringing 300 jobs to Belfast - creating the impression of newly created roles and giving 'hope' to our unemployed masses and attempting to justify the sum of money that Invest NI have used to tempt A&O to the region. The message which is conveyed in other media sources paints quite a different picture.
    It’s just a shame that what should be good news for a struggling region hasn’t been presented in its true light and ‘masks’ what will potentially be bad news for many others. Typical back covering on all counts it would seem!

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  • As a free market capitalist, i was all in favour of this - until i learned that highly-profitable A&O had the gall to accept a taxpayer funded subsidy to pay for it.
    Yes, this move is being part-funded to the tune of millions of pounds by Invest NI, who presumably thought magic circle partners weren't rich enough to pay for this move themselves.

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  • What about ya. All you posters have faces like Lurgan spades…like!
    Great move by A&O. NI is superb choice for this initiative. Great for the NI economy and great for the A&O bottom line– that is what is about at the end of the day (oh come of it, did you think it was anything different!).
    We welcome all the support staff who relocate to the glorious City of Belfast with open arms. You are most welcome and we hope you enjoy your stay and avail yourselves of all that this great City has to offer – culture, decent schools, a seat on the train and great craic. See you soon. BTW – 10 nicker goes quite a long way outside London (3 pints of Guinness for the IT boys or 3 Bicardi Breezers for the secretaries) – fill your boots/stilettos.

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  • Great news.
    Competition is always good.
    Belfast has lots of brand new state of the art office space AND great talent just waiting to be snapped up.
    This might even help persuade the Cityu Airport to extend the runway as there will be increased air traffic.
    Overall Terrific news!

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  • The best bit is that all of this is part funded by the UK tax payer via Invest NI, who have provided £2.5m worth of funding.

    http://www.investni.com/about-news.htm?newsid=15564.

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  • @Anonymous | 3-Feb-2011 9:34 pm, I'm just stating what many English people have said about NI accents being hard to understand and given that my own has been joking described as being "like that of a Belfast gangster" I don't see how there's any element of racism.

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  • Oh, look. Hebert Smith have been at it too:

    http://www.investni.com/about-news.htm?newsid=15238.

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  • I worked for a company that outsourced support functions to India...Picture this! I was on level 8 in the building, if I had systems issues I'd contact someone in India who'd notify someone sitting on the floor below me...efficiency savings? Cr*p!
    I'd be interested how A&O derived the £10M saving over 5 years and if this is just onsite transference costs - i.e. the difference in costs having staff offsite rather than onsite. Let alone savings in wages. Yes law firms are under pressure from clients to reduce fees however, the reality is they've enjoyed hundreds of years of exuberant fees and lavish wealth and now finally, an informed client base are pressuring law firms to align their fee structures more realistically and for the real world....payback's a b*tch!

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  • Baker & McKenzie seem to manage to have a fully-functioning IT function without it breaking down all the time - and their entire back office is in Manilla!
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    Understand the emotion around this subject but this is factually incorrect. We have successfully offshored to Manila from a number of our offices various business processes. To say our entire "back office" operates from there is a gross overstatement.

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