An international law firm is to open a new office in Belfast with the aim of creating more than 300 posts over the next three years.

Allen and Overy, one of the world's largest law firms, plans to have the new office operational by the Autumn. It has 36 offices in 26 countries and employs more than 5,000.

Later this year, it will open its 37th office in Belfast. This will house a new support and legal services centre.

Announcing the move today, the North's Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said it would create 317 jobs, including up to 60 legal posts.

There will be other positions available in IT, human resources and financial management. By 2014 the Belfast office is intended to be the company's fourth largest. The firm said it evaluated 20 locations worldwide before opting for the North.

The investment is being supported by Invest Northern Ireland which has offered assistance of £2.5m.