Brexit delivering ‘significant’ boost to law firms in North

‘Millions of contracts’ have to be renegotiated, says legal services group Factor

Brexit is delivering a "significant" boost to workloads for legal firms in Northern Ireland, according to one of the sector's major investors who is planning to create hundreds of new jobs.

Although Brexit day on January 31st will not mean immediate changes on the ground, the British government is urging businesses to take action to be ready for a new trading environment by the end of the transition period on December 31st, 2020.

According to Chris DeConti, head of strategy with the New York headquartered legal services group Factor, because of Brexit “millions of contracts” now have to be renegotiated.

“Whatever Brexit means politically – for us it has been a significant driver of growth over the last couple of years,” he said.



Factor, previously known as Axiom Managed Solutions, specialises in contract negotiation services and has a centre of excellence in Belfast that employs about 200 people.

Mr DeConti said the firm is now looking to add “another 200 people in Belfast over the next few years” because of the success of its centre, which it first set up in 2012.

“Not all the growth has been driven by Brexit,” he said because Factor has also benefited from a “trend” among large corporates to find “more efficient ways of working”, for example, by outsourcing complex legal or regulatory projects.

He said the firm intends to continue to recruit “local talent” – from law graduates to senior professionals – as it expands in the North, but it is also hoping to attract more senior lawyers from Dublin.

According to Mr DeConti, Factor currently has employees who live in the South and work remotely but also commute to Belfast for part of the week.

“We’re also hoping to recruit returners – people who are originally from Northern Ireland now working for law firms in London and who have reached a point in their lives, perhaps because of family reasons, where they would like to return home,” he added.

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell

Francess McDonnell is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in business