International firm Norton Rose Fulbright has set up a ‘legal hub’ in Newcastle upon Tyne – the latest firm to ‘northshore’ some of its operations.
The operation, based in the Newcastle Quayside area, will be the firm’s first UK office outside London.
It comes after a year-long pilot in the city. The hub’s 28-strong workforce is now set to grow to around 100 over the next few years, following a move into a permanent office on 1 November.
According to the firm, the hub will ’deliver legal process efficiencies’, test new technology and collect and analyse data. Martin Scott, managing partner of Norton Rose Fulbright, Europe, Middle East & Asia, said Newcastle is ideally placed for the firm and provides access to a ‘strong pool of local talent’ able to support its efforts globally and the city’s strong and growing reputation for innovation and technology.
The firm has agreed a 10-year lease with developer Northumberland Estates.
Michael O’Driscoll, senior asset manager at Northumberland Estates, said ‘north-shoring’ had become increasingly common in recent years as a means of reducing operational costs.
In 2015, magic circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer opened a legal and services centre in Greater Manchester – perhaps the highest profile law firm to date to 'northshore' some of its services.
Other examples include Latham & Watkins, which opened a Manchester branch and a Belfast-based support service set up by Baker McKenzie. Herbert Smith Freehills also opened a Belfast office in 2010.
Early last year, Sheffield Council announced a campaign to encourage London law firms to relocate some of their services to the South Yorkshire city.