After enviously watching Northern Ireland secure investments from the likes of Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith and outsourcer Axiom, Scotland is launching a charm offensive of its own in a bid to create legal sector jobs.

Scottish Development International (SDI), the international economic development wing of the Scottish government, has been scouting London and speaking with managing partners at top 50 firms to try to entice them into opening low-cost offices in Scotland. The approaches are part of a three-pronged plan that will also see SDI targeting legal process outsourcers and companies with large in-house teams.

Like Northern Ireland, Scotland can also offer grants to companies that create jobs in the country through its Regional Selective Assistance programme.

Not that Scotland is just piggy-backing off Ireland’s initiative – the country is no slouch when it comes to creating jobs. An Ernst & Young survey found that almost 6,000 new positions were created in Scotland in 2011 as a result of foreign direct investment. Just look at the success Scotland has had promoting itself as a base for call centres (aided by its citizens’ trustworthy brogues, apparently).

After seeing constituent countries united by team GB’s Olympic effort, it will be comforting to return to the sight of two home nations at each other’s throats in competition again.


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