Long a prominent member of the north-eastern legal circuit, Leeds has more recently been positioning itself as the country’s leading legal centre outside London. The city now aims to consolidate this stance by holding a major event: the Leeds Conference.
Scheduled to be held on 14 June 2017, the Leeds Law Society and Leeds City Council, the organisers of the conference, hope the event will encourage new investment and talent into the law firms that have based themselves in the city for decades.
Speakers already confirmed include DLA Piper alumna Helen Fletcher, now senior legal adviser at Uber; Hilary Benn, who recently chaired the Brexit select committee; LexisNexis Enterprise Solutions UK technology director, David Espley; policy chairman at the City of London Corporation, Catherine McGuinness; and, from the US, IBM Watson Legal co-founder Brian Kuhn. Expected to join this stellar line-up is a yet-to-be identified minister of state.
The Legal 500
The Leeds Law Society can also rely on the considerable clout of the Legal 500. The directory is both supporting the event and planning to publish the results of research, which will be unveiled at the conference, on the city’s standing as a world-class legal centre. The new president of the Leeds Law Society, Bill Barton, is confident that this research will confirm the city’s position “beyond doubt”. He points out that, as with London, the city is the professional home of some of the UK’s best lawyers, whose clients extend across the globe; moreover, clients instructing Leeds-based lawyers can expect a world-class service at highly-competitive prices.
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Part of a wider push to promote the legal sector in the city, the event has also been welcomed by the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce. A spokesperson pointed out that the city is already an excellent place to do business and the legal sector has a crucial role to play in developing this position further.