There are many reasons why professionals might opt for a move, such as a better work opportunity or a change in personal circumstances. However, any kind of relocation can be difficult, especially if you’re not familiar with the area.
Here is a closer look at the main geographical areas across the UK and the prospects for legal professionals moving to each.
Hampshire, Berkshire and Oxford lie within comfortable commuter distance of London yet offer their own resilient market for legal professionals. With a diverse selection of businesses and organisation based in this area, there is a wide variety of legal roles to suit all levels of experience.
Pharmaceutical, manufacturing and defence plus IT and technology are the stand out industries for the region, offering lots of in-house roles for legal professionals looking to relocate.
As well as regional offices for national firms, there is a strong market for private practices within the Thames Valley and Southern Counties region. Transactional areas of law such as real estate and corporate are especially in demand.
One of the reasons that this is such as popular area to relocate to is the balance it offers between home and working life. There is the choice of either working within Thames Valley area or commuting into London every day, while still retaining the quality of home life.
As you might expect, London is one of the strongest areas for legal professionals within the UK and demand almost constantly outstrips supply. Whatever your speciality, if you are willing to live in or close to the City, you’ll find an endless list of opportunities with an impressive salary.
It’s almost impossible to narrow down the fields of expertise being sought as they fall widely across every area of specialty. However, possibly the single most valuable attribute at the moment is legal professionals with experience in intellectual property and/or data protection.
Bristol is the biggest hub for opportunities within the south west, being the third largest centre for financial services within the UK outside the capital. Large insurance and banking firms such as Zurich, Lloyds and Computershare offer opportunities for in-house legal experts.
There is almost universal growth across all the legal areas of expertise within Bristol, making it a very popular area for relocation. However, possibly the strongest two areas for growth and opportunity are corporate and real estate law.
The south west in general is the base for a surprising number of large firms including Dyson, EDF and Cobham. Legal experts wanting to work for an energy firm will find lots of choice within this region.
Traditionally focused on manufacturing and industry, there are still many opportunities for legal professionals within these sectors. Automotive is another strong sector for the Midlands, with many car manufacturers in the region.
Increasingly logistics are establishing a base in the Midlands and these together with infrastructure projects offer interesting and collaborative positions within the field of law.
In the north of the UK, the powerhouses for legal professionals are Sheffield, Liverpool, Newcastle, Manchester and Leeds. Salaries are starting to rise in these areas with competitive bonuses on offer too.
Commercial lawyers working in-house will find no shortage of opportunities. Other legal roles which can be found widely in the north include corporate, property, construction, property litigation and banking.
Relocating within the legal profession
The UK offers endless opportunities for legal professionals with all areas experiencing strong demand. As seen from the above information, there are some regions which specialise more heavily but much depends on your lifestyle and whether you would rather live outside the larger Cities such as London. Whatever you choose, any legal professional considering relocation will find a buoyant market in their new neighbourhood.