Part of the Legal Recruitment Consultant role I really enjoy at Chadwick Nott, which I haven’t been able to do during the pandemic, is getting out and about in the South East region. Whether it is going out to meet lawyers to put a face to a name and learn about their plans for their career, meeting contacts at law firms to see the office and learn more about roles or taking part in the various educational or social lawyer events we sponsor; I get to see some fantastic parts of the country I had previously never visited.
One place that has stood out to me is Winchester, a cathedral city that was the first ever capital city of England (according to Google!). Winchester has a history spanning thousands of years but I want to focus on what it has going for it now, as I believe it’s a fantastic place to be based if you are a lawyer.
Every time that I have been to Winchester, summer or winter, I been impressed with what I have seen. I have attended client meetings and events including the South Hampshire JLD event (chocolate tasting at Chococo – an award-winning, ethically sourced chocolate shop that is reason alone to check the area out!). However, the best place to start “the pitch” for this hotspot for lawyers would be with some recent eye-catching stats. The Office for National Statistics last year rated Winchester as the happiest place to live and work in the UK. It has also received a Times Best Places to Live Award in 2016 and many other studies consistently rank it highly as a great place to be based. It’s on a good train line only 60 miles from London and 14 miles from Southampton on the M3. Easy transport links to the likes of Guildford, Basingstoke and even Reading gives job seekers lots of options.
So why am I ‘selling’ the wonders of Winchester to you? It’s simple, as I have law firm clients so keen to attract more top quality lawyers to the area to join an already impressive ‘pool of talent’. There are some fantastic law firms locally including top regional firms like Blake Morgan, long-standing L500 firms like Paris Smith and Dutton Gregory, and boutique family law firms like Stowe Family Law and Vardags. It’s also an exciting area of expansion with L500 firm Trethowans opening up an office in the area this year. These firms have some superb lawyers with national and at times international client bases and so often offer fantastic opportunities for career development as well as a realistically appealing work life balance. Whether you’re a Partner looking for an ambitious firm to take your career to another level or an NQ looking for the first step in your legal career, there are options to explore.
Looking at the area through a nature-loving lens, you would do well to beat Winchester as it has fantastic access to beautiful surrounding countryside, the UK’s newest National Park - South Downs - is on your doorstep, the River Test for the fishers among you and easy access to the beaches on the South Coast and activities like kayaking, sailing or more extreme sports if that floats your boat!
Don’t think it’s only idyllic, charming villages and country pubs you could get stuck in for the day, Winchester offers a lot as a modern hub. Winchester has a number of highly rated leisure facilities, bars and smarter places to eat like Hotel Du Vin and The Black Rat to name but a few. It also has a range of rugby, hockey and football teams to get behind on a weekend. For those with young families, Winchester has excellent schooling options including first class private schools and highly rated state schools and there are great activity days to be had at Marwell Zoo and The Winchester Science Museum and Planetarium.
I certainly look forward to getting back out and about in the region and visiting Winchester again. If you are thinking about a change of location to improve your working and personal life, do give me a call. I can talk you through the law firm opportunities in the Winchester/Hampshire area or in the other counties we cover in the South East.
After a year where movement has been restricted, it could possibly be the right time to explore a big move for you, and Winchester is certainly a regional location worth a look.
Liam is an energetic member of the long standing South East team! Before joining Chadwick Nott he had previously worked both in law firms and legal recruitment. Liam recruits qualified solicitors of all levels including solicitors, associates, senior associates and partners into permanent private practice positions from Oxfordshire down to Hampshire and right across the region to Kent. He has strong relationships with clients that range from international firms, through to regional, boutique and high street.
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