Six years ago I published a blog in my first role in legal recruitment, examining why I believed Leeds was a great place to start your legal career. At the point of writing I’d lived and worked in the North West throughout the entirety of my career, and had probably visited Leeds a handful of times, however it was a city that struck me as having something unique about it.
In my blog I identified why I thought Leeds was the place to launch your career, recognising the city’s pioneering approach to developing junior legal talent and discussing the extensive number (and quality) of law firms that had decided to make Leeds their home. Over time, and several research visits, I came to think so highly of the region that four years ago I practised what I preached and relocated to Leeds. I’ve even married a Yorkshireman, although I’m not sure if that entitles me to my Yorkshire passport yet…
The Leeds Conference 2017
So, what does Leeds have to offer legal professionals? That was one of the major themes of The Leeds Conference, which I was lucky enough to be invited to attend on Wednesday 14th June, the conference being a major event to promote the city of Leeds as a world-class legal centre. This outstanding event was jointly organised by Leeds Law Society and Leeds City Council and included high profile speakers from Yorkshire such as Sir Gary Verity and Helen Fletcher, Senior Compliance and Litigation Counsel at Uber.
The Leeds Conference was enlightening, and provided delegates with a wealth of information about our region that I’m sure most people, myself included, weren’t aware of previously. In fact, according to the Financial Times, we’re the fastest growing legal centre in Britain, ahead of other major cities such as Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol. We have the second highest number of business start-ups outside of London, and 32% of Leeds jobs are in KIBS (Knowledge Intensive Business Services). Aside from our recent fifth-place ranking on Lonely Planet’s Best in Europe 2017 list, we also have the largest John Lewis outside of London… but I digress…
What makes Leeds THE place to be for legal professionals?
So, what’s in it for lawyers? Quite simply this: our law firms are able to offer the same range of services as their peers in the City of London. We have the fastest growth in the number of solicitors firms of any major legal centre in the UK.
We have a wide variety of law firms, from major internationals to niche specialist practices, not only offering high quality legal services on a regional and national scale, but to clients across Africa, North & South America, Asia, Australia and Europe. The brightest legal minds look to Leeds to develop their careers here, attracted by quality of work, quality of client and importantly, quality of life.
Here at Florit Brooke we frequently speak with lawyers seeking a relocation to the region, whether they’re coming home to Yorkshire after several years in the City, or are just attracted by the balance of quality of legal work and the unique lifestyle that Yorkshire has to offer.
Leeds is home to major international brands, too…
Hosting the largest financial and services sector outside London, Leeds is one of the UK’s fastest growing cities, with its economy expanding by 40% over the past decade. We have been independently recognised as a top foreign investment hotspot, being ranked second in the Ernst Young Attractiveness Survey 2016’s core cities list and fourth of cities outside London by The Business Location Index. Burberry has chosen to relocate 300 jobs (finance, HR and procurement, as well as some customer service and IT roles) from London to Leeds. GHD’s head office is located here and Sky Betting and Gaming has also made Leeds its home and employs over 1,000 people in the city.
In the words of Bill Barton, president of the Leeds Law Society: “Leeds has one of the strongest and most diverse legal sectors in the world. The city has a bright and exciting future and is busy nurturing the next generation of legal and technology talent.”
So… why not come and be a part of it?