Eversheds, Simmons forgo NI outsourcing initiatives

Eversheds and Simmons & Simmons have both dismissed plans to open offices in Northern Ireland following talks with ­development agency Invest Northern Ireland (NI).

Lee Ranson
Lee Ranson

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.