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North-shoring or near-shoring is a concept that isn’t new to other sectors of professional services such as banking and is now becoming common practice for law firms. Whilst London will remain a key centre for City firms it is significant that the regions are being seen as a strong move and good future business practice.
In particular I’ve observed a growing trend for national law firms to north-shore legal services to the regions, in particular Leeds. The knock on effect of this is being seen in the number of growing opportunities for lawyers to deal with commercial work in national law firms, particularly in real estate.
There are a number of reasons firms are making the decision to move north in terms of work and office location. In the north of England firms can employ lawyers without the City price tag and with office running costs being more cost effective it does indeed seem a sensible move . There are also a high number of law graduates in major cities so firms can capitalise on those seeking paralegal work.
Firms are not only north-shoring work from the City to the regions but also support functions such as HR, IT and accounts. This cuts firms overheads on wages and office overheads significantly.
The Leeds city region in particular has seen significant development work bringing new landmark office spaces such as Wellington Place which mixes office space with residential and retail bringing a modern and fresh working environment.
Law firms are recognising that there is a strong talent pool of lawyers in the regions who will benefit from the work arriving north as a result of north –shoring. We have already seen a significant rise in vacancies across commercial disciplines, particularly in Leeds and expect this trend to continue.