The Manchester legal market is more buoyant than ever and continues to thrive under the buzz of the “Northern Powerhouse”, with a number of high-profile, leading, law firms choosing to use the city as their base. The arrival of Freshfields at the start of last year, as the first magic circle firm, was a big deal and has invigorated the city.
Once the world’s leading producer of cotton, the Manchester economy has since diversified and grown. The regeneration of areas including Spinningfields and Media City has significantly helped to attract additional revenue streams to the city and as such business in Manchester is now booming. The BBC’s move to the rejuvenated Salford Quays area has also established the city as a serious media hub, and in turn, it’s not surprising that Manchester – which is the UK’s third most visited city – is now the North’s legal capital.
To capitalise on this thriving economy a growing number of law firms are choosing Manchester as their northern base. Whether it be the result of a merger or an acquisition, the last few years have seen firms such as Nabarro and Freshfields, Latham and Watkins and Berwin Leighton Paisner all open offices in Manchester. The arrival of these leading firms in Manchester is changing the legal landscape and is providing exciting opportunities for law graduates in the city.
The significant number of talented law graduates from Manchester’s universities and law schools is also enticing leading city law firms to come to the North. Manchester is proud to have one of the country’s largest law societies and is home to the ‘Manchester Young Solicitors’ and ‘Manchester Trainee Solicitors Groups’, which offers networking and development opportunities for the city’s lawyers.
Manchester’s new schemes, Two St Peter’s Square, 40 Spring Gardens and 101 and 100 Embankment, are also highly likely to attract more leading law firms due to their strategic positioning and modern, high-design, state of the art buildings.
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