25 June 2015 By Northern Lights
Leeds Law Society has moved into new premises in the city as it embarks on an ambitious new era that will ensure it does even more to represent and support the most important legal sector outside of London.
In a “game-changing” few weeks for the organisation, it has welcomed a new president, secured the future of its historic home and moved into new modern premises at 62 Wellington Street in Leeds so it can be closer to members in the heart of the professional services district and offer even more services, events and support.
The new president of Leeds Law Society, Colin Gilbert, says: “This is a major milestone in our history. The legal sector has faced an unprecedented era of change in recent years and our members’ needs have changed dramatically. The society has also had to change to ensure it remains relevant and this move will ensure we can continue to be a powerful and supportive ally of the profession.”
The Society has taken 2,000 sq ft, across four floors, on a 20-year lease at 62 Wellington Street, which has been refurbished by landlord Caddick Developments to offer high quality office and meeting space in the centre of Leeds’ professional services district. The new premises will allow the society to host meetings and stage a variety of events for members.
The move is part of a deal which has also secured the future of the Society’s grade-II listed home at 1 Albion Place in the retail centre of Leeds. The building had become unsuitable for the modern needs of the Society’s members and was becoming a financial burden to the Society. It will now be converted into a top-class leisure venue and has been taken on a long-term lease by the Bill’s restaurant chain.
Mr Gilbert says: “The Leeds Law Society plays an integral role in preserving the future of professional services for the Leeds City Region economy. Now, more than ever, legal practitioners need representation at a national level and we are the gateway to ensuring that their opinions and concerns are heard.
“More importantly, we provide the connections and support they need locally to ensure that Leeds remains one of the most powerful and respected legal centres in the world. Our membership continues to grow and we work hard to ensure that we remain relevant and representative of the profession.
“This move allows us to deliver more and strengthens our voice on the national stage. It is a game-changer for the society and secures our future at the heart of the Leeds legal profession.”
The Society was advised by Irwin Mitchell solicitors. Leeds Law Society board member David Cowgill, an Associate Solicitor at Irwin Mitchell said: “This is a great deal for all. The Society has secured its future, with its historic home preserved and respected and we have also secured fantastic modern premises on a long-term lease.
“This will deliver so much more for members and is a great vote of confidence in Leeds. We’ve helped bring major inward investment from a national chain to the city and have also supported the continued investment in the professional services district by taking space at 62 Wellington Street.”
Sarah Friskney, Senior Development Surveyor at Caddick Developments, adds: “We’re really pleased to be welcoming Leeds Law Society to the building. 62 Wellington Street has been sympathetically refurbished to ensure its beautiful period features remain, yet it offers all the requirements of a modern working environment. What’s more it is ideally positioned within the central business district of Leeds, within easy reach of the station.”