Working in Leeds

Fleur Gribble is a first seat trainee in Shoosmiths’ Banking and Finance team based in Leeds. Here she explores her thoughts on working for Shoosmiths in Leeds and why it is the best place to experience the hustle and bustle of city life with a side of country.

Our office

This year, Shoosmiths celebrated five successful years in Leeds. These five years have been a testament to Shoosmiths’ commitment to its ambitious growth strategy as, what started as a team seven, has now grown to 98. The firm is located at the heart of the city at Platform, which offers regular activities to support networking and integration across the offices including talks on faith inclusion in the workplace to street photography workshops and even tasting sessions of ‘Leeds sauce’!

Shoosmiths covers two floors, with our first floor being home to our client space and meeting rooms, including our very own ‘Platform 9 ¾’. Staff are located across both floors in an open plan office environment which fosters an inviting atmosphere of collaboration and further reflects Shoosmiths’ non-hierarchical approach.

Despite being in the heart of the city, the Shoosmiths office retains a connection to nature. The second floor hosts a bright kitchen area (referred to as the Allotment) and meeting rooms such as the Shed, the Treehouse, Bill and Ben. If staff would prefer a more traditional meeting room they can retire to the Library or, if they would like to take a moment to themselves, they can visit our Wellbeing room with views across the city.

Our people

Headed up by Simon Meek, the Leeds office hosts a number of departments including real estate, corporate, and dispute resolution and litigation. The office takes on between three and four trainees per year and offers a number of opportunities for development including attending client events, supporting pro bono initiatives and getting involved in our national diversity and inclusion networks.

More widely, Shoosmiths hosts various events to encourage collaboration including pizza nights, regular get-togethers for the junior members of the office, and team away days including walks across the tranquil Ilkley Moor.

The location

Speaking of events, it would be remiss to not mention Leeds’ buzzing social scene. Leeds has a strong student presence due to the three universities that call Leeds home and, with an abundance of restaurants, museums and bars, Leeds has something for everyone. The foodies out there may appreciate stopping off at Leeds Kirkgate Market (the largest indoor market in Europe), the Michelin star restaurant ‘Man Behind the Curtain’ or may prefer to grab a couple of small plates of tasty vegetarian treats at Bundobust.

If you prefer the quieter countryside, there are plenty of opportunities to get away. In Leeds itself there are a number of large parks including Middleton, Roundhay and Meanwood Valley. Alternatively, you can visit some of Leeds’ neighbours from the train station which is a matter of seconds away from the office. Our recommendations include visiting Harrogate to try Betty’s famous fat rascals, or wandering York’s shambles which date back to the 14th century. Although, if you are visiting the area, we would of course recommend Leeds as your number one destination!

Join us

Leeds is a city in West Yorkshire and is the largest legal and financial centre in the UK outside London, playing host to the northern/regional offices of more than 30 national and international banks.

Life as a lawyer in Leeds offers you opportunities to grow and be a part of the Shoosmiths’ journey.

Facts & figures for Leeds (correct as of November 2022)

  • Address: Platform Building, 9th Floor, New Station Street, Leeds, LS1 4JB
  • Head of Office: Simon Meek, Partner
  • Total number of staff: 98
  • Number of partners (or equivalent): 24
  • Number of trainees:
    • 3 x 2nd year trainees
    • 4 x 1st year trainees
  • Current trainee vacancies:
    • 3 to commence in September 2025
  • Trainee salary: £31,000 – £33,000
  • NQ Salary: £58,000
  • Universities:
  • Likely trainee seats: Banking, Commercial Litigation, Real Estate, Property Litigation, Corporate, Employment, Restructuring and Insolvency, Commercial, Construction, Planning
  • Local junior lawyer & business networking groups:
  • Find out more local knowledge on Instagram:
  • A couple of facts about Leeds
    • Marks & Spencer is a British institution that began as a market stall. Back in 1884, Michael Marks opened up a penny bazaar in Leeds Kirkgate Market. 10 years later, he teamed up with Tom Spencer to grow the business, leaving the market for new premises on Boar Lane before moving to Briggate where you’ll still find the store today
    • Roundhay Park is now one of the biggest urban parks in Europe, but its history goes back centuries. It was originally created by William the Conquerer. He passed the land on to the De Lacy family before it came into the possession of John of Gaunt and Henry IV. It was used as a royal hunting ground until Leeds City Council bought it in 1871. Now it’s the city’s most popular park.
    • Leeds West Indian Carnival has been running longer than any other in Europe. That’s right, even longer than the famous Notting Hill edition. It’s been going since 1967 and it’s still going strong more than 50 years later. On every August bank holiday weekend, Chapeltown comes to life, full of colour, music and energy as dancers weave their way through the streets before finishing up with a party.

Apply for an insight evening, placement or training contract in Shoosmiths’ Leeds office here.

Apply for a business support or legal adviser role in Leeds here.


This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2023.


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