Reed Smith to launch Leeds support hub

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By Thomas Connelly on

No plans at present to offer training contracts

International law firm Reed Smith has announced that it will open a low cost support hub in Leeds this summer.

The new Northern hub, which will be known as Reed Smith Global Solutions, is due to open its doors in early July and will offer support to the firm’s London office. According to Reed Smith, the centre will provide a “creative environment” for its lawyers and support staff “to find new approaches to problem solving”.

But training contract hunters of the North take note. The firm, which hopes to hire associates and paralegals through targeted local recruitment, has told Legal Cheek that there “are no plans for trainee roles in Leeds at present”.

Our Firms Most List shows that Reed Smith currently offers around 25 London-based training contracts each year. Trainees start on £40,000, rising to £70,000 upon qualification.

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Reed Smith confirmed its Leeds centre will handle both legal and business support matters, and will see the creation of a new records & e-discovery practice. The firm launched a similar low-cost venture in 2003 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Over time, Reed Smith intends to integrate both offerings to form a new Global Solutions network.

“With its strong talent pool, high quality real estate, growing technology offering and two-hour connection with London; Leeds is the perfect location from which to launch our billion dollar start-up,” said Tamara Box, Reed Smith’s Europe & Middle East managing partner. Box, who also heads up the firm’s structured finance department, continued:

“Reed Smith Global Solutions represents our commitment to the evolution of our working practices and to delivering high quality services, which are essential for the firm to remain competitive in today’s crowded marketplace.”

Reed Smith isn’t the first international legal player to be lured up North.

Last year, we reported that Norton Rose Fulbright was in the process of expanding its Newcastle support hub following a successful 12-month pilot project. Other firms to launch similar ventures outside London include Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith Freehills and Baker McKenzie, in Belfast, and Latham & Watkins, Freshfields and Berwin Leighton Paisner, in Manchester.

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