In a victory for Northern Irish law firms, L’Estrange & Brett has won a major piece of project work from the UK Government, which until now has bypassed Belfast and sent this type of work to the City.
L’Estrange & Brett has won a tender by the newly-established Strategic Investment Board (SIB), which has been given £2bn by Downing Street to pump into Northern Ireland’s infrastructure, to advise on a public-private partnership (PPP) building new office accommodation for Invest Northern Ireland.
Lead partner Adrian Eakin said: “This is the first time the public sector has turned to a local firm. There may be a trend back to favouring local firms.”
The fact that previous projects, including the development of Victoria Square in Belfast, have gone to City firms has rankled.
The problem was highlighted when, as revealed by The Lawyer, the Northern Irish Assembly appointed a new panel that did not include a single local firm. This was subsequently investigated by the Law Society of Northern Ireland.