Eversheds and Simmons & Simmons have both dismissed plans to open offices in Northern Ireland following talks with development agency Invest Northern Ireland (NI).
Both firms already have outsourcing schemes – Eversheds with Accenture, Simmons with Integreon – but spoke with Invest NI after Allen & Overy (A&O) and Herbert Smith announced they would be launching NI operations and would be receiving £3m of taxpayers’ money to fund the projects.
Eversheds held talks with Invest NI around March this year.
“Having seen the coverage around Invest NI’s arrangements with a number of UK law firms, we were interested in looking at the detail,” revealed Eversheds managing partner Lee Ranson.
“The favourable grant arrangements and other arrangements make the proposition interesting. However, we formed the view that our arrangements on the BPO [business process outsourcing] side with Accenture give us a better long-term advantage in terms of efficiency and quality, particularly given Accenture’s track record.”
Simmons also dismissed the idea of opening an office in Belfast following talks with Invest NI, a source told The Lawyer. The firm has had a legal process outsourcing scheme with Integreon since 2009, with a specialist group of lawyers in Mumbai working for the firm full-time.
In 2010 Eversheds signed a seven-year agreement with Accenture, outsourcing HR, administration and finance roles.
Herbert Smith announced that it would open a Belfast office to service its dispute resolution practice in November 2010, while A&O revealed its decision to open a support service centre in Belfast the following February.