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Bristol is the best city in the UK. But don’t take my word for it, especially as I have only been north of Birmingham once. The Sunday Times gave Bristol that title this year on account of its great shopping, buzzing social scene and glorious scenery: http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/style/homes_and_gardens/best_places/article1390298.ece.
Other reasons listed for Bristol coming out on top were: varied and beautiful housing stock; good schools; great connections; low unemployment; interesting culture and access to fantastic countryside. And, Bristol is only a 90 minute hop on the train to London.
But let’s not stop there. More importantly, obviously, is that Bristol can also boast a thriving legal market. Whilst Manchester may now have taken the title as the biggest legal market outside London from Leeds, Bristol is not that far behind. The big daddies of Bristol are undoubtedly Burges Salmon, Osborne Clarke and TLT, each being very different in their culture and outlook, but each with a mightily impressive roster of clients. For example, Burges Salmon includes Eurostar, the Co-Operative Group, FirstGroup and The Crown Estate as key clients. Osborne Clarke, now a truly international player with 16 offices over 7 countries, advises the likes of Facebook, RWE N Power and Carphone Warehouse. TLT meanwhile, has grown exponentially in the 14 years it has been in existence and enjoys working with Barclays, WH Smith and EDF Energy. Bristol also houses the likes of Bond Dickinson, Clarke Willmott, Bevan Brittan, DAC Beachcroft and Veale Wasbrough Vizards. South West giants Foot Anstey, Ashfords and Michelmores all now have offices in Bristol too.
If that weren’t enough, although it probably is, the chase for efficiency by City law firms opening regional offshoots has benefited Bristol well. Simmons and Simmons, CMS Cameron McKenna and RPC have established offices in Bristol. Originally, Simmons and Simmons intended to use Bristol for lower value and support work but are now building add-ons to their City practices enabling them to charge clients lower rates for partner led services. And it’s not just for efficiency. City firms are seeking quality lawyers and the fantastic talent pool in Bristol is a huge attraction.
So, I think we’d all conclude that Bristol is the best city in the UK and boasts the best lawyers, wouldn’t we?
Georgina Inson focuses on the recruitment of lawyers into non contentious commercial practice areas in Bristol. Please contact her on 07469 146754 or visit our website BCL Legal.