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Yorkshire a thriving hub for legal professionals

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by Michael Bailey | 09 August 2018

Michael Bailey, Manager and legal recruitment specialist at Sellick Partnership, looks at why the Yorkshire legal sector continues to expand and what is attracting businesses and candidates to England’s largest region.

Medieval castles, ancient abbeys, rolling moors and Yorkshire pudding – Yorkshire is a region of breath-taking beauty, history and culinary delights. With a population of over 5 million, Yorkshire is the largest of England’s regions and has seven cities, with the majority of the population located around Leeds, Sheffield and Bradford. There is no shortage of activities to enjoy in the Yorkshire region – from exploring the famous York Minster or visiting Scarborough Castle, to mountain climbing in the Pennines and rambling in the stunning countryside.

Yorkshire has become crucial for our economy and currently contributes around 7 percent of the UK’s total economic output. With eleven universities in the region including three with over 30,000 students – the University of Leeds, Leeds Metropolitan University and Sheffield Hallam University – Yorkshire has an incredibly large talent pool and a high degree of university student retention. Nearly 50 percent of Yorkshire university students remain working in the region six months after graduation, as reported this year by the Higher Education Career Services Unit.

Professionals and businesses from almost every sector are increasingly being attracted to Yorkshire, with the number of firms and businesses in the area rapidly expanding. One sector thriving in particular is the legal sector in Leeds, Yorkshire’s largest city with a population of 2.3 million, and home to a number of SME law firms including the ‘Big Six’ heavyweights – Addleshaw Goddard, DLA Piper UK, Eversheds, Pinsent Masons, Squire Patton Boggs and Walker Morris. The steady economic success in Leeds has been a catalyst for the rapid increase in demand for lawyers in the region, as more lawyers are needed to service the growing number of businesses who are based there.

Sheffield, while a much smaller city with a population of 1.6 million, has an international reputation built on steel, engineering and cutlery. In addition it also has a thriving legal market fuelled by the cities manufacturing core, and is less saturated than Leeds making it an attractive option for other regional firms.

From a social perspective, Yorkshire cities such as Leeds are relatively small and compact to walk around, making it easy for networking and day-to-day life. Culturally the region offers plenty, with the most popular city for tourists being the city of York, known for its walled city and the York Minster, one of the UK’s most famous gothic cathedrals. For those that love the natural outdoors, Sheffield is the place to be. With an estimated 2 million trees – more trees per person than any city in Europe – Sheffield is considered England’s ‘greenest city’, and boasts 170 woodlands, 78 public parks and 10 public gardens. With easy access to the Pennines to the west of the city, Sheffield is an extremely popular choice for rock climbers and mountain bikers and really promotes the outdoor lifestyle that young professionals are increasingly attracted to.

All of this means that the future of Yorkshire looks extremely positive, and the demand for legal professionals will only increase as the growth and economic attractiveness of the region entices more SMEs and businesses into the area. It is quite apparent that Yorkshire will continue to appeal to young professionals keen to embrace the Northern way of life, and with ever-increasing opportunities in the legal sector plus the stunning natural beauty the region offers, why wouldn’t it?

If you are a legal professional thinking of moving to Yorkshire, or are looking for a new role, get in touch – we would love to help. Either visit our website at sellickpartnership.co.uk, call our Leeds office on 0113 243 9775 or email me at michael.bailey@sellickpartnership.co.uk.