By: 20 March 2024
Leeds crowned best place to live in the north and legal centre of the region

Leeds has been recognised as the top place to live in the north and north east, according to the Sunday Times’ Best Places to Live guide. Among its various strengths, the city’s legal sector plays a significant role in its appeal.


Judges praised Leeds for its strong job market, citing it as the best-paying city outside of London. With five universities, the city boasts a youthful energy. Additionally, Leeds is the only city outside London with its own opera, ballet, and theatre companies. Its diverse shopping options, including markets, Victorian arcades, and Trinity Leeds mega-mall, make it a top destination.

With an estimated 1,560 legal firms and over 14,400 professionals, Leeds boasts one of the most robust and diverse legal sectors in the region. The presence of renowned firms like the ‘Big Six’ contributes to its status as a centre for legal activities.

Economically, the legal sector is substantial, with an estimated gross value add (GVA) of £925 million, comprising 4% of the UK’s total GVA for legal services. Additionally, Leeds attracts a considerable number of law graduates annually, with 3,700 entering the workforce.

However, the legal sector in Leeds faces challenges, particularly regarding technology adoption. While some larger firms are more advanced in their digital transformation, the sector as a whole is in the early stages of embracing technology. Despite this, there is growing potential for LegalTech activity, as highlighted in the 2020 Leeds City Region LegalTech & Innovation report.

Leeds’ position as a legal hub is further reinforced by its attraction of top law firms, with 28 of the top 100 having a presence in the city. Moreover, nearly 59,000 individuals are employed in legal services across the north, emphasising the city’s regional influence.

The city’s legal sector not only contributes significantly to its economy but also offers ample opportunities for legal talent, further solidifying its appeal as the best place to live in the north.


Image: Canva.
Emma Cockings
Emma is the content editor for Yorkshire Legal News. Emma is an experienced writer with a background in client-centric personal injury law for a major firm. She has attended and reported on numerous high-profile legal events in Yorkshire.