Baker & McKenzie to offer training contracts in Belfast base

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Baker & McKenzie will offer training contracts in its Belfast support centre from September next year.

The firm will offer a maximum of two seats to existing legal practitioners within the office.

The successful applicants will be seconded to London for part of their contracts and will qualify in English and Welsh law.

Currently, the firm has 60 legal practitioners in the Belfast office. It opened in August 2014 and is the firm’s second support centre after it opened its base in Manila in the Philippines in 2000.

Bakers’ move into Belfast in 2014 followed similar initiatives by Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and Allen & Overy (A&O) in 2011. Two years ago, A&O announced that it was planning to recruit up to 100 new staff for its Belfast base by 2020.

EY also launched a legal presence in Belfast earlier this year with the hire of director Aaron Stewart from alternative legal provider Axiom.

Ireland has become an increasingly attractive location for UK law firms in the aftermath of the vote to leave the European Union in June.

Earlier this year, Pinsent Masons appointed a property agent to scout potential office locations in Dublin, as it looks to establish a base in the Irish capital – a move that would give the firm its first base in the Republic of Ireland. Meanwhile, firms including Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Slaughter and May, A&O, Hogan Lovells, Clifford Chance, HSF, Simmons & Simmons and DLA Piper have registered lawyers on the roll of solicitors in Ireland.