Why we’ve just opened an office in the North West

Posted on Monday, January 10, 2022 by Andrea Prendergast

As someone who was born and brought up in Liverpool, I’m delighted to announce that Ryder Reid Legal has opened a North West office. It’s our first outside of London and it’s an exciting new step that will better enable us to meet the needs of international law firm clients, many of which already have offices in Manchester or Liverpool.

Second legal hub

Although London will always be the centre of the UK’s legal sector, over the past six years or so, Manchester has become the UK’s second legal hub. Manchester has been dubbed the UK’s most entrepreneurial city. It’s blessed with fantastic commercial premises and it’s a wonderful place to work in, live and visit.

Manchester Airport flies more than 27m people a year to more than 200 cities, while trains travel between Manchester and London every 20 minutes, so Manchester is a very well-connected, world-class city. Some 7.2m people live within an hour’s drive of the city centre, which is also home to outstanding universities and more than 100,000 students.

There’s a wealth of knowledge, experience and talent in Manchester, which is another reason why US and international law firms with London offices have outsourced some of their business services to the North West. This provides significant cost savings, too, of course.

Leading London-headquartered law firms such as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Addleshaw Goddard have offices in Manchester, as do US big-hitters such as Latham & Watkins. DLA Piper, Eversheds Sutherland and Pinsent Masons are other tier-one law firms with Manchester offices, and they join numerous tier-two and tier-three names.

Renaissance city

Some US and international law firms have set up offices in the North West’s other major city, Liverpool, which is just 35 miles west of Manchester. Historically, Liverpool has been world-famous mainly for football and The Beatles, but more recently it’s become known as a desirable UK location for international businesses (it attracts more than £1bn of new investment a year).

Liverpool’s renaissance started more than a decade ago and the city region economy is worth £32bn. A workforce of 2.6m lives within a 45-minute drive of Liverpool’s Pier Head and each year the city’s exceptional universities provide learning for 250,000 students. Many students from elsewhere choose to stay and make vibrant, culture-rich Liverpool their home.

Litigation specialist Keller Lenkner operates in Chicago, Washington DC and London. Its new Liverpool base is its first in the north of England. Global law firm Taylor Wessing has 28 international offices; it came to Liverpool in 2018 and now has a team of more than 100 working at its Albert Dock offices.

As someone who is originally from the area, it’s very exciting to see such prestigious international law firms with a significant presence on the banks of the River Mersey. It’s testament to the talent and infrastructure that exists in Liverpool.

North West presence

I’m very happy to welcome Jon Shepherd to the Ryder Reid team. Jon is from Merseyside, so he knows the North West very well, and he has great leadership, business development and networking skills, as well as many years of experience gained while working in the education sector.

Before joining us, Jon was helping North West SMEs to pitch for and win public-sector contracts. And via the Kickstart Scheme, he was helping young, disadvantaged people to develop their skills, find jobs and start their careers – something that we’ve also been doing via our work with Future Frontiers.  

I’ll be working closely with Jon and helping him to build our North West candidate database and find the best talent for international law firms with North West offices, while continuing to work for US and international law firms in London. Our North West office will have the full support of our London office, with its highly experienced team and established infrastructure.

Exciting development

Opening a North West office is an exciting development for Ryder Reid Legal and it makes perfect sense, because we want to be even better placed to help US and international law firm clients to find the people they need in London and the North West, a part of the UK that we know well. It’s also great to be helping talented people from the North West to find fantastic jobs and progress their careers closer to home.

Having a presence in the North West gives us the opportunity to continue our ethos of placing people at the centre of the recruitment experience, not only in London, but also in the North West and across the UK. 

Now, how can we help you? Are you a law firm looking for brilliant new people or a talented professional searching for a fabulous new job?  Get in touch and speak to Jon Shepherd who is heading up our North West office – jshepherd@ryderreid.com or call him directly on 0330 175 8130.


Written by Andrea Prendergast, Ryder Reid Legal co-owner and Executive Search Director. Andrea started her recruitment career in 1998 in her hometown of Liverpool. She moved to London and joined Ryder Reid Legal in 2008, becoming a Director and shareholder three years later, before buying the business in 2018 with colleague, Callum Smith, Ryder Reid Legal Business Director.


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