Tom Fleet – senior associate in the Yorkshire/ North East in-house team

What have been the main trends/ developments in the Yorkshire/ North East in-house market over the past 12 months?
There was a number of high profile general counsel or company secretary positions coming live in Yorkshire and the North East throughout 2014 including Drax Power, Yorkshire Water, Card Factory, Tomme Tippee Baby Products, WAN Disco, Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate Ltd.

What have been the real growth areas and where has the demand been coming from?
The Yorkshire market has always had a strong financial services presence and recruitment in this sector continued in 2014 – especially around regulatory roles – and it is expected to continue into 2015. Technology lawyers have also been sought after with clients such as Sage and Plusnet recruiting. Large retail companies were also interested in this skill base. Companies in the construction sector have also been much more positive than in previous years.

What are your predictions for the Yorkshire/ North East in-house market for 2015?
More roles will be coming onto the market in the next 12 months as teams expand and new roles/ teams appear. The demand for skilled commercial/ corporate lawyers will remain high, whilst interim commercial lawyers will be sought after even more than in 2014.

How would you sum up 2014 in one sentence?
Confidence still seems broadly solid from the in-house heads of legal with regard to recruitment and staffing. We see the situation stable to buoyant.