New £2.8M centre in the city, just metres from the Tour de France route, will nurture region’s best legal talent.
A senior manager of The University of Law’s new £2.8M centre in the heart of Leeds has outlined how it will support the city’s thriving professional services sector and contribute to the economic success of the wider region.
At a business event to mark the Grand Départ of the Tour de France from Leeds this weekend, Chris Dryland, Operations Manager of the new Park Row centre, told members of the city’s legal community that it would help to attract and retain the best legal talent in the region.
The University of Law (ULaw) is relocating its Yorkshire training centre from York, where it has been based since 1989, to Leeds this September to be at the heart of the UK’s newest legal hub, described by the UK Legal 500 as “second only to London”.
Chris Dryland was speaking at the ‘Unlocking International Opportunity’ legal roundtable and networking event which took place in Leeds yesterday (Wednesday, July 2), hosted by the Law Society and inward investment agency Leeds and Partners.
The event was part of the Grand Départ International Business Festival running from July 2 - 4, which enables Leeds City Region to showcase its strengths, assets and vision to a global audience on the back of the Tour de France, which sets off from Leeds this Saturday (July 5).
Chris spoke about the reasons behind opening a centre in Leeds and the fact that, according to recent figures from the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, the city is now the UK’s main financial and business services centre outside of London. The sector generates over £13 billion every year and is projected to grow by 51 per cent by 2022i.
More than 200 law firms employing 22,500 people now operate in the city region and the establishment of an Administrative Court in Leeds in April 2009 reinforced the city’s position as one of the UK’s key legal centres as previously the court sat only in London.
Chris Dryland, Operations Manager, The University of Law Leeds
Chris said: “The growth of Leeds as a major business hub is one of the UK’s great economic success stories of recent years, in particular its reputation as a centre of excellence in professional services. As the UK’s longest-established specialist provider of legal education and training, The University of Law is ready to contribute to the continued growth of the region’s economy.
“We have a long track record of tailoring our learning programmes to meet the varying needs of legal employers. Our new Leeds centre will enable law firms to access high calibre law students and the highest quality legal training for their staff and will enhance the career prospects of aspiring young lawyers due to its location in the heart of the city’s legal and business community.”
ULaw’s new centre at 15 – 16 Park Row will be home to 50 staff and nearly 400 students and will include lecture theatres, workshops, a library, a student café and study areas as well as top floor balconies offering panoramic views of the Leeds city skyline. The University has made a £2.8m investment in the high-specification design and fit-out of the distinctive glass-fronted building, which will replicate the setting of a modern law firm.
With more than 100 years of heritage, ULaw is well placed to meet the changing needs of the legal profession in Leeds. It has eight centres across England and in the past 12 years has successfully opened new centres in Birmingham, London Moorgate, Manchester and Bristol.
ULaw focuses on equipping lawyers with the professional skills essential for legal practice and has an impressive employability record. Of its full-time Legal Practice Course students who graduated in summer 2013 and whose destinations are known, 98 per cent had secured employment within nine months of graduation.ii
Yesterday’s Unlocking International Opportunity legal roundtable gave law firms an opportunity to discuss the challenges of doing business internationally and was attended by Managing and Senior Partners from the Leeds legal community and leading representatives from the French Bar Association.
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i http://business.leedscityregion.gov.uk/invest/sectors/financial/ ii based on known records of students successfully completing their studies in July 2013