Northern Ireland: Tectonic times
While corporate is not as buoyant as it was, and even property is lagging behind the activities of the past few years, there is potential for firms in Northern Ireland to take advantage of the public service-driven work that often goes to City firms. Some of Belfast's firms are responding to the challenge, while others still trade on their reputation. Sophie Evans reports
Northern Ireland’s law firms would do well to blow their own trumpets a bit more. This conservative legal market could be in a position to take advantage of some big pieces of work being generated in the province, but there is a lack of depth, exposure and certain specialist knowledge to secure the meatier instructions for Belfast’s firms – notably in project finance. The fact that no firm has challenged the accountants’ hegemony on tax advice by bringing in tax lawyers is just one example of the market’s shyness towards change. But there are firms trying to shake up the market, taking their lead from the accountancy firms and industry to steer Northern Ireland’s legal market in a new direction.
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