Spotlight on Edinburgh

Chris Batten, Recruitment Consultant07 May 2018

We expanded our legal recruitment services to cover the Scottish market some months ago, and now with a dedicated team looking after the region, consultant Chris Batten shares his expert opinion on the city of Edinburgh and the legal potential it has to offer.

Setting the scene
Edinburgh has a diverse range of law firms from sole practitioners and boutique firms to international heavyweights such as Addleshaw Goddard, Dentons and CMS.  While the last couple of years have seen a trend for consolidation in the market, despite the political uncertainty at present, firms have continued to show resilience, and many have seen significant growth.  Last year there were several notable mergers culminating in new firms opening in Edinburgh, along with many firms south of the border opening their doors north – all proving how much confidence there is in the Scottish legal market in general.

Edinburgh’s strengths
There is a thriving property market (both residential and commercial) in Edinburgh; the residential property market saw higher levels of growth compared to any other UK city last year and on the commercial property side, transactions in the occupier market were well above the ten-year average.  
The city’s other buoyant areas include corporate, there’s an enviable technology sector which has seen incredible growth in recent years, while its financial services offering remain one of the steadiest, outside of London.

Where there’s demand
When you look at Edinburgh specifically, there is real demand in the market for lawyers, particularly in most of the transactional areas i.e. corporate and commercial property, those with around 2-6 PQE are the most sought after.  Likewise, Paralegals still have a great presence in the Edinburgh market with many now taking the accredited route and becoming qualified, which really highlights Scotland’s dedication towards supporting the general paralegal career.

A move across the border
There are often many relocators in the Edinburgh market from other parts of the country, its picturesque landscape is a big attraction as much as its thriving culture.  From its arts venues to historic architecture, the city’s many festivals are some of the most famous in the world, the Fringe Festival being the largest for arts, renowned internationally.   
The cost of living in Edinburgh is comparable to that of London and this is not realised by many people looking to move there and should be taken into consideration.  Property is in high demand in the city centre and the cost has rocketed in recent years, but living a commutable distance whether that be Fife, or East or West Lothian, is an alternative option.

Putting Scotland on the map
Earlier this year, a joint initiative was launched to put Scottish legal services on the international map.  Alongside a group of leading commercial law firms in Scotland, the Scottish Development International (SDI) and the Law Society of Scotland, the Scottish Legal International (SLI) was formed to promote the country’s legal sector across the world.  The initiative will help solicitors develop new business opportunities by marketing Scottish legal services, ultimately bringing even more opportunity for legal professionals in the Edinburgh region, as much as across the country.

Whatever your level of experience, if you’re a qualified solicitor or work in a legal support role, Chris can help you with your next opportunity in the Scottish legal market.  You can call him on 0161 827 4373 or send him an email to to talk more about your current situation and what’s available to you.       

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