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North West UK In House Legal Market Booms


In a recent article the North West of England was described as a ‘country within a country’ such is its economic clout, its educational and research base, the strength and innovation of its industries and the beauty of its countryside. Its economy dwarfs anything outside the South East and is larger than many economies on the European mainland.

Within the UK, the North West’s economy is the third largest, with 6.8 million people and 230,000 business powering a £106 billion economy. The region is the second largest legal centre with 1,800 law firms employing approximately 11,000 lawyers.

The North West is home to 80 banks and the financial and business services sector employs 172,000 people are employed in a sector that is valued at more than £9 billion. Some of the UK’s leading retailers, pharmaceutical, telecoms, aerospace, and health care companies have operations here resulting in many exciting legal opportunities in-house for the region’s lawyers.

As the economy develops, career options for lawyer’s in-house increase. The majority of vacancies are for existing legal teams looking to expand further. It is not unusual for a business to recruit its first in-house lawyer and quickly realise the benefits of keeping the legal work in-house. AstraZeneca recently recruited three corporate lawyers in preparation for a sharp increase in M&A activity as they look to boost their drug pipeline by buying up smaller life sciences operations.

The majority of lawyers who are sought come from a commercial/IP/IT background however that is not to say that lawyers with little experience in these areas automatically fail to make the move in house. It is often the case that in-house lawyers are recruited as much for their personality and future ability as well as their current legal skills. Only last month we assisted a lawyer specialising in transactional banking at a London City firm relocate to an in-house and predominantly commercial contracts role in the North West. Working with the correct recruitment consultant with knowledge of the market that you are looking to enter could be the key to your success.

BCL Legal is a full service legal recruitment agency with offices in Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham, UK.


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