Norton Rose Fulbright to expand Newcastle legal process hub with creation of 100 new jobs

Norton Rose Fulbright has revealed plans to create 100 new jobs in its legal process hub in Newcastle after securing new premises for the base, a year after launching a pilot scheme in the city.

The 100 new jobs will be created over two to three years, building on the 28-strong team of lawyers and non-lawyers currently based in the northeast city.

The new roles will include both legal and non-legal positions, and the firm said the expansion would not result in the relocation of staff from any of its other bases. The existing team of 28 comprises lawyers, non-lawyers, paralegals, legal technologists and process designers.

Last year, Norton Rose chief executive Peter Martyr told Legal Week that he could see the headcount in Newcastle reaching 50 “very quickly”.

The firm has agreed a 10-year lease for premises in Newcastle’s Quayside, which it will move into on 1 November. The firm has been assisted by Invest Newcastle, a service run by NewcastleGateshead Initiative, a public-private partnership led by Gateshead Council and Newcastle City Council aimed at encouraging local investment.

Unlike other deals law firms have struck with regional development agencies, Norton Rose will receive no financial assistance from Invest Newcastle for the expansion. Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith Freehills and Baker McKenzie have all received funding from Invest Northern Ireland for creating jobs in Belfast, while Ashurst’s Glasgow launch was supported by a £2.4m grant from Scots economic development agency Scottish Enterprise, provided it reached a target of employing 300 staff at the base within five years.

Norton Rose Fulbright’s Europe, Middle East and Asia managing partner Martin Scott said: “We’re pleased by the support we’ve received locally with the setup of the legal process hub. Expanding the team outside London also allows us to trial emerging technology and working practices, including agile working, in a structured way.

“Our investment in technology, as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning, will be a growth enabler to drive process efficiencies both at the hub, and as part of how we deliver legal services generally.”

The Newcastle legal process hub is the second of its kind set up by the firm, following the establishment of a global dispute and resolution hub in Houston, Texas, in 2015.

Earlier in the year, Norton Rose announced that it was set to open an office in Luxembourg with the hire of three partners from local law firms.