Saturday, July 09, 2005

Is It Grim Up North?

I recently spoke to an old friend from University who is based up in Bradford and Leeds. Much like myself he left university with his law degree and went searching for a career in law and eventually started to do criminal defence work.

My friend decided about 15 months ago that he needed a career move and he decided to set up his own firm doing only crime. He employs a secretary and a clerk, and he is the only solicitor there in a sole practitioner set up. I am very glad that his venture has become a successful and profitable one - he has obviously worked very hard.

Whilst on the phone my friend said, "Hey, why don't you set up your own firm?" The idea is very nice and ideas of grandeur set in when I dream of the idea. I replied, "I can't set up a firm in London. Competitive tendering will wipe out the small firms within 2 to 3 years, there is a drive to reduce the number of firms in London, not increase it." We then got in to a conversation on the subject of competitive tendering. My friend then said, "Well why don't you move out of London?" Now that is an idea.

I spend a great deal of my time whinging about what happens to me at work, and how I work within a system that I see as flawed. Would moving make me any happier? I don't know. Going from an employee to an employer is a nice idea. I have decided to stay put for the immediate future and consider my position when the dust settles on competitive tendering. If it all goes 'belly up' I will withdraw to deepest darkest Essex and work from there, and I may even consider moving up North where it does not appear to be grim at all - at least not for criminal defence lawyers.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


Don't publish this sort of thing on the web. Soon us in the North will be swamped with Sotherners. Good grief if we wanted to live in apartments the size of broom cupboards and face loads of extra traffic etc we'd move down South.

No your friend is wrong, it's all cloth cap and cloggs, wippeting and pigeon racing. It truely is grim up North.