Image Source: Tim Green
Nick Hill

Leeds dubbed ‘world-class centre for law’ after becoming UK’s fastest growing legal centre

Leeds has experienced the fastest growth of any major UK city legal centre this decade, according to a new report that was unveiled on Wednesday (June 14th).

The Leeds Law Society and Leeds City Council joined forces to profile the city’s legal sector to international business and talent. They commissioned research into the size and scope of legal activities in Leeds.

The report found that the Leeds City Region is home to the largest financial and professional services community in England outside of London, making it easier for firms to grow and win work.

The city is also ideally placed for middle and back office operations with a large and growing workforce, innovative and collaborative tech businesses and residing legal tech specialists.

In addition, the report revealed that legal talent is flocking to Leeds to develop careers, attracted by the quality of work, quality of client and quality of life. As a result, strong competition exists within nearly every specialism, providing near-perfect market conditions for buyers of legal services.

The research went on to predict that the lector in Leeds will generate an estimated economic output of £300m in 2017.

The research findings were unveiled at the Leeds Conference, on Wednesday, before an audience of the city’s law firms, policymakers, general counsel and lobbyists.

Bill Barton, president of the Leeds Law Society, said: “This research project demonstrates that Leeds has one of the strongest and most diverse legal sectors in the world. Law firms of all shapes and sizes are providing highly skilled and valuable legal services to clients across the UK and the rest of the world.

“The city has a bright and exciting future and is busy nurturing the next generation of legal and technology talent.”

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, commented: “Leeds is a world-class centre for law, with firms in the city providing legal services to clients on a national and international scale.

“We are a dynamic and contemporary city with many strong sectors, notably technology, manufacturing, financial and legal services, creative industries, education and retail, which together support a thriving and diverse environment for everyone to succeed in.

“By offering innovative legal apprenticeships, Leeds law firms are leading the way in opening up the profession to people of all backgrounds.”

Andrew Parmley, Lord Mayor of the City of London, said: “The benefits of the Leeds cluster are already felt regionally and across the UK - and now Leeds is becoming a major player on the world stage as well.

“As an ambassador for all UK-based financial and professional services, I am proud to proud to promote Leeds as a dynamic and innovative city which is integral to the growth of the UK’s legal sector.”

Speakers at the Leeds Conference today include Helen Fletcher, senior legal advisor at tech firm Uber, Hilary Benn MP, most recently chair of the Brexit select committee, Catherine McGuinness, policy chairman at the City of London Corporation, and Brian Kuhn, co-founder and leader of IBM Watson Legal.

The conference is part of a wider programme of activity to profile and promote the legal sector in Leeds.

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