Bristol suspension bridge

Progress your legal career while living in Britain’s coolest city – Bristol

Whilst all my friends moved to London for graduate jobs, the capital never appealed to me. I decided to move to Bristol last summer as it is somewhere I have always wanted to end up since visiting the city numerous times with family and friends, and I cannot see myself ever leaving. 

If you are looking for a change of scenery and a move to a vibrant city where a great standard of living and lifestyle is attainable, or you are just bored of extortionate prices in London, then moving to Bristol could be a great next step for you. You’ve seen the great architecture and quirky vibe showcased in so many recent TV dramas: OutlawsChloeShowtrail and Before We Die, plus Skins way back in the day. Let’s not forget its green credentials – in 2021 it was named the Most Sustainable City in the UK.**

Chadwick Nott have been advising lawyers in Bristol and across the South West for decades, helping lawyers ranging from NQ-level up to Partners secure their dream job at every type of law firm across the South West market. Below, I explore four of the many reasons you should consider a move to Bristol.

Career – the Bristol legal market is nationally recognised as an important legal hub, with many leading City, national and international firms setting up a base in Bristol. Many of the leading firms (including numerous Top 100 firms such as Osborne Clarke, CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang, Burges Salmon, Womble Bond Dickinson, Simmons & Simmons, Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, and TLT) in Bristol undertake high-quality City-level work, so you would not need to compromise on the quality of work undertaken, nor the range of clients you would be exposed to (plus, more sociable working hours than in London!). As well as the City and international firms, Bristol is also home to a whole range of leading regional, medium and specialist boutique law firms (such as Foot Anstey, Ashfords and Michelmores), offering high-quality exciting work as well as diverse and interesting client bases, so Bristol truly offers lots of exciting prospects for lawyers at all levels and across all sectors. I’ve seen lawyers secure the promotion in Bristol that perhaps was slow to come by in London.

Location – although you would rarely wish to leave Bristol as it has so much to offer, the surrounding areas offer just as much. You are less than an hour away from Cardiff by train, and a train to Bath takes less than 15 minutes! The other weekend, I visited and walked Cheddar Gorge in the sun and saw some amazing views of Somerset (as well as getting the chance to try some cheddar from Cheddar), and Pen y Fan in Wales is my next peak to conquer. Heading north of Bristol you arrive in the Cotswolds, a perfect place for a weekend break. There is so much greenery not only surrounding Bristol but also within the city itself, such as Leigh Woods and Clifton Downs. And, if you really wanted to head into London (for whatever strange reason!), you could be in Paddington in 1 ½ hours.

Culture – Bristol is a city known for its culture, and this is one of the reasons I decided to make the move myself. There are a range of different museums and galleries presenting a whole host of different exhibitions and fantastic artwork. Recently, I was fortunate enough to get to see the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at M Shed, and I also attended the Vanguard Exhibition which was a celebration of Bristol’s street art. I had always been a fan of Banksy but did not understand the variety and breadth of the street art scene before moving to Bristol. The streets are painted with art from various artists around the globe, and the annual Upfest is a fantastic festival which sees numerous artists paint buildings across the South of Bristol during the summer. Walking down North Street in Bedminster, you see absolutely stunning artwork wherever you look. The music scene is brilliant, with numerous internationally renowned venues and nightclubs putting on a range of different events and gigs across all genres. There are also many different cultural and musical festivals: Bristol International Balloon Fiesta, Bristol Harbour Festival, Love Saves the Day, Bristol Light Festival, Forwards and St Pauls Carnival (plus many more) thrown during the summer months. There is something for everyone here!

Food – my biggest joy in life! A self-proclaimed foodie, I can confirm Bristol is a foodie’s dream. You will never be too far away from good food when walking around Bristol. When in the office, I sometimes like to pop into St Nick’s market in the centre of town on my lunch break and explore the various food stalls there which offer cuisine from Jamaica, Mexico, America, India, and Morocco to name a few. On a weekend, you can take a trip to Wapping Wharf, a vibrant and lively venue right by the harbour, made up of cargo containers hosting numerous restaurants including my favourite Tapas place, a great Mexican (which also serves the best margaritas you will ever have in your life!) and a delicious Asian restaurant offering a £10 lunchtime bento. Up the well-known Gloucester Road, you can find some interesting and quirky restaurants and bars including a place serving Sri Lankan street food, and Clifton also has a great food offering, including a stunning sushi restaurant. In Bristol, there are 15 restaurants listed in the Michelin Guide. Three restaurants have a Michelin star to their name - and have all kept them in 2022 - while two eateries have a Bib Gourmand.

If you are thinking of moving to another part of the country, I urge you to consider Bristol; it is a city that truly has everything you could ever want. If you would like to arrange a confidential chat to find out more about legal opportunities within Bristol, please contact me on:

0117 917 1872
0777 585 3338


*voted as Rough Guides’ Top UK City of 2017

** 2021 votes as most sustainable city in survey by

Megan joined Chadwick Nott in 2021 after having worked at Shoosmiths LLP in Northampton and CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP in Bristol. She is now part of the Chadwick Nott South West team based in Bristol that recruits solicitors from NQ up to Partner level.



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