Mark Levine
Mark Levine
Managing Director: In-house

Articles From the Team

The regions? You couldn’t pay me to move there!

The actual heading in the Saturday Business Section of The Times actually read: Birmingham? You couldn’t pay me to move there!

Did you see the article? It went like this: “HSBC is offering perks worth tens of thousands of pounds to senior staff to overcome widespread opposition to the bank’s planned move to Birmingham. The relocation package includes substantial moving expenses, rent in a flat up to a year and allowances for moving early. Despite the prospect of significantly cheaper houses, good services and strong transport links, HSBC is finding it difficult to persuade people to move sources said.”

And now the reason for the blog, the article went on: “RESISTENCE IS STRONGEST AMONG commercial bankers AND THOSE IN LEGAL AND COMPLIANCE ROLES”.

This came as no surprise to me. In my experience, lawyers only move location if this is something that they are already focused in doing, as opposed to purely for a role.

If say a lawyer is based in London they will only move to the regions if this is something that they want to do – perhaps to be with family. I was recently asked to assist a leading NW business. They were looking for a certain sector experience which was most likely to come from the London market. My point to them was that given what/ who they were looking for the person would probably have an equivalent role in London and therefore unless they actually wanted to move to the North, the chances of them leaving their current role, moving family, leaving friends was always going to be a big ask to find. The proverbial needle in a haystack.

As well as these hurdles my thoughts are that there are more numerous opportunities in the South so if someone was looking for a move, if they could get the role my client was looking to fill, they would probably be right for other opportunities based closer to home (and paying a lot more!) In the end the client found a lawyer already based in the North West region.

All the lawyers that I have assisted who have moved out of London and taken the North/ South divide pay cut that generally comes with such a move have all done so because they were looking to relocate North in any event. Also interestingly I would suggest that most of my clients would often only choose a relocator with ties to the given region – as this reduces the risk of a new recruit ‘missing home’ and returning to where they might have come from.

So Birmingham, don’t take it as a personal attack – the majority of lawyers will reject any other region than the one they actually want to be based in!

For more information contact Mark Levine at BCL Legal.



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