With one of the strongest and most diverse legal sectors in the world, Leeds City Region has become a hub for regional, national and international legal activities.
This is underpinned by an estimated 1,560 firms that are engaged in legal activities and a workforce of over 14,400 (Whitecap Consulting, 2020) equating to 4% of the UK's total legal sector workforce. Home to the 'Big Six' (Addleshaw Goddard, DLA Piper, Eversheds, Pinsent Masons, Squire Patton Boggs and Walker Morris), as well as a full range of different sized law firms, legal service providers and in house legal teams, Leeds City Region has established itself through history as a centre of excellence for law.
A further indication of the strength of the legal sector across the region is its contribution to the economy, with an estimated GVA (Gross Value Add) of £925m, amounting to 4% of the UK's total GVA for the legal sector (Whitecap Consulting, 2020).
The legal sector is at a critical juncture whereby technology is set to change not only the practice and the scope of the law but also the shape of the sector itself.
Traditionally, the legal sector has been behind the curve when it comes to the adoption of technology, being slow to embrace technological change. Predominantly, the sector is in the very early stages of digital transformation with the majority of advancements involving the modernisation of existing systems or migrating to the cloud. Although this varies across the sector, with the larger law firms tending to be more advanced in terms of their digital transformation, the overall opportunity for tech and LegalTech activity is significant and growing.
Based on three key competences including legal expertise, digital capability and people/ talent, the 2020 Leeds City Region LegalTech & Innovation report published by Whitecap Consulting, concluded that "Leeds City Region is ideally positioned to capitalise on the opportunity to be leaders in digital transformation across the legal sector, which could benefit all firms within its ecosystem."
With the support of partners and sponsors, LegalTech in Leeds is on a mission to support Leeds City Region in leading the way for LegalTech and innovation by facilitating collaboration through the programme of events and activity in the hope that productive relationships are made, digital transformation is accelerated and a pipeline of skills and talent is established.
· 28 of the top 100 law firms have an office inLeeds.
· 58,900 employed in legal services across the north.
· 3,700 law graduates and 7.5% of all students inLeeds are studying law related courses.
· 15% of UK law graduates are based in Leeds.