Fieldfisher doubles graduate training programme intake at Belfast legal support centre

All five of last year's programme participants secured permanent roles at the firm
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - JUNE 28, 2017: Sunset over Titanic Belfast - museum, touristic attraction and monument to Belfast's maritime heritage on the site of the former Harland and Wolff shipyard.

Belfast's Titanic Centre Nataliya Hora; Shutterstock

UK top 30 firm Fieldfisher is doubling the intake of a new graduate training programme at its legal support centre in Belfast, after the conclusion of a pilot scheme last year. 

This year’s programme, organised in partnership with the University of Law, will see ten law graduates join the year-long paid training scheme after all five of last year’s inductees secured roles at the firm upon completion of the pilot scheme. 

Under the year-long paid scheme, the graduates will work across a range of Fieldfisher’s practices while also undertaking an academic course offered by the University of Law, which focuses on building the skills needed to complete everyday legal work. 

Fieldfisher said the expansion of the programme complemented the expansion of its Belfast office, which has grown to house more than 100 lawyers and legal professionals since it launched in 2018. 

The office grew its footprint in Belfast again in 2019 when it announced plans to lease an additional 3,000 square feet in the city's Titanic Quarter, with plans to add a further 38 roles to its specialist team to support its international offices. 

Lisa Algie, head of Belfast operations, said: “Fieldfisher is a law firm built around people and I am very proud that as our Belfast office continues to grow we are focusing heavily in investing in training and providing long term careers for all of our staff.”

Earlier this month, tech-focused lawyer Robert Shooter began his term as Fieldfisher’s managing partner as longtime leader Michael Chissick stepped down from the top spot after a decade in the role. 

Elsewhere, Fieldfisher in February launched an outpost in Berlin to serve as a base for its new specialist group litigation unit, Fieldfisher X, in a bid to leverage legaltech solutions to assist clients in navigating the booming German mass litigation market.

Last September, Ashurst launched a programme to optimise career development opportunities for professionals within its new law division, Ashurst Advance. 

Belfast, meanwhile, has successfully promoted itself as a centre for low cost legal services centres, attracting a number of UK and international law firms, including Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith Freehills and Baker McKenzie, as well as a team from Citi.

In December 2020, telecoms giant BT tapped into regional development funding to launch a legal hub in Belfast employing up to 30 commercial lawyers.

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