Law firms and consultants gathered yesterday to hear about the benefits of relocating services to Sheffield, as part of the city’s campaign to encourage more firms to move north.

In a talk at the Law Society's headquarters, Creative Sheffield and firms located in the city emphasised the quality of life offered and the 'pipeline' of graduates in the city which firms could take advantage of.

Matthew Peacock, a partner at legal consultancy OMC Consultants, said that 14 of the top 30 firms already had a northshoring presence.

He said. ‘Law firms and lawyers are living in a different landscape to 10 years ago. The marketplace has changed and is continuing to change. All firms are under pressure to deliver more for less.’

Lee Bartlett, a senior manager at immigration firm Fragomen Worldwide, shared his experiences of opening a second UK office in Sheffield. He said the firm decided to open the office after it realised that a physical presence was ‘not the be all and end all’ of its business model.

Meanwhile Giles Searby, a partner at Sheffield-based hlw Keeble Hawson, said local firms recognised the advantages when other firms northshore to Sheffield.

He said that although there was a high retention of students, who opted to stay in Sheffield after university, he was concerned about whether people would remain in the city for five years. 

He said: ‘We want to make sure there is a full career path within the city region so people can build their lives and careers within the city.’