The Government Legal Department has declared it is building its own 'northern powerhouse' by housing some of its biggest teams under one roof in Leeds.
The predominantly London-based non-ministerial department, which has around 1,600 solicitors and barristers, said that the new regional centre confirms Leeds' status as 'the most significant law hub outside London'. According to ONS statistics, the number of legal jobs in Leeds grew by 20% between 2010 and 2015 compared to 5% in London.
Stephen Braviner Roman, a board member, said: 'When we considered the future way in which the Government Legal Department would need to work, we saw there was a compelling argument for increasing our investment in the north, and Leeds specifically. The legal sector in Leeds is one of the fastest growing in Britain, and we have an increasing need to deliver legal services to our government clients in the north of the country. By bringing all our teams into one building in Leeds, we will be able to offer more opportunities for our people to develop their careers.'
'Leading the move' to Lateral House will be the department's employment and commercial law groups.
The department says its 90-strong employment group is one of the largest employment law practices in the country. Specialisms include large-scale, multi-party pay and pensions litigation, discrimination, unfair dismissal, breach of contract, and maternity and paternity rights.
The commercial law group was set up in June 2014, bringing together commercial lawyers who were scattered across several government departments. The team of 12 provides non-contentious commercial legal services to the: Home Office; Cabinet Office; Crown Commercial Service; Department for Education; Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; Department for Work and Pensions; Department for International Trade; Department for International Development; Government Digital Service; Ministry of Justice; and the Department of Health.
The GLD is currently advertising for 25 litigation, employment and commercial lawyers, who will be based in Leeds. Salaries range from £47,025 to £58,150.