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Legal Recruitment Market in the North of England

A recent article in The Lawyer magazine saw Louisa Hill and Tom Fleet, private practice and in-house recruiters at BCL Legal discuss the legal recruitment market in the North of the Country.

Although, as in other parts of the UK, the recession has had a dampening effect on workflow 2011 showed signs that things are starting to improve, according to Louisa Hill, manager at BCL Legal.

“2011 was much more encouraging and law firms have shown confidence by increasing their recruitment activity. Across the board, from the top-tier and mid-tier to smaller and niche or boutique practices, an upturn in work has meant partners have sought to add to their streamlined teams with quality appointments,” she notes.
Things are also looking up in the in-house sector, says Tom Fleet, an in-house consultant at BCL Legal.

“While I wouldn’t call it a buoyant market yet, we experienced a doubling of permanent recruitment activity in 2011 compared with 2010, and the current year seems to be continuing in the same vein,” Fleet says. “The in-house community in Yorkshire seems to have weathered the storm well.”

Fleet points in particular to the financial services community in Leeds and says there is “significant financial services experience to be found in local law firms and in-house teams”.

While Manchester and Leeds are known as strong legal hubs the North East is also proving increasingly popular.

“Many people look at the lifestyle choice involved in relocating to the North East and want to have the Pennines, Lake District, Cheviots, North Yorkshire Moors and Dales on their doorstep while still working in a buzzing legal centre,” he says.
Although salaries tend to be lower the cost of housing is also a fair bit lower than in London.

A key thing when looking to relocate north is to highlight local links you have with the area to your prospective employer, notes Fleet.

“If you’re moving to a region I find employers often like to hear about your personal links to the area, as reassurance that this isn’t just a pipe dream of moving out of the City to take a ’nice gentle role in the regions’,” he says.

For more information or to discuss career in-house career opportunities call Mark Levine 0845 241 0933.

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