GLD launches its own northern powerhouse

The Government Legal Department is to open a regional centre in Leeds, confirming the importance of the city as the most significant law hub outside London

The decision to invest in the city and region is part of GLD’s ongoing corporate vision to make the most of the potential of its existing regional presence, and also take advantage of the growing market of skilled lawyers based in the north of England.

Board member Stephen Braviner Roman said:

"The government has been keen to expand out of London and make the most of the strong skills base in the regions by investing in those areas. 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. We already have a strong offer for anyone thinking about a career in public law, and this increased regional presence will only enhance it."

The move will enable GLD to take advantage of a greater pool of professional talent. The legal sector in Leeds has grown faster than any other UK city over the past decade. ONS statistics show the number of legal jobs in Leeds grew 20% between 2010 and 2015, while in London they grew 5%.

GLD puts considerable emphasis on attracting the best legal talent. Its mission statement asserts that it aims to provide ‘unrivalled opportunities for interesting, varied, high-quality, challenging work in an environment where individuals are valued and supported to fulfil their potential’.

Commercial lawyer David Tinkler explains his own reasons for moving to GLD Leeds:

"My background was in banking. I started my career in structured finance at Clifford Chance before a move to Walker Morris but moved to GLD for more interesting and rewarding work and a better work/life balance. I have particularly enjoyed the interaction of public law and private law and being involved in projects that will have a real benefit to people."

The teams that are leading the move include some of the biggest within GLD. The Employment Group is one of the largest employment law practices in the country with a number of key specialisms including both non-contentious and contentious individual employment issues and judicial reviews. It has also developed particular expertise in large-scale, multi-party pay and pensions litigation and has significant expertise in discrimination, unfair dismissal, breach of contract and maternity and paternity rights.

GLD’s Commercial Law Group helps clients with some of the largest and most complex transactions across government and tries to get the best possible deals when buying goods and services for the public sector. Among its specialisms are ecommerce, mutualisation, IT law, intellectual property, professional negligence and emergency injunctions.

We have a number of opportunities for commercial, employment and litigation lawyers in our Leeds office. For more information and to apply visit Civil Service Jobs.

An extended version of this story appears in issue 148 of Leeds and Yorkshire Lawyer magazine.