Future is bright for great cities and ports on M62 corridor, says leading lawyer

The North of England is waking up to the economic possibilities of an M62 corridor linking the great ports and cities of the North, according to a leading lawyer.

Simon Kamstra

Simon Kamstra, the head of the Leeds office at Addleshaw Goddard, also predicted there would be less travel and fewer face-to-face meetings following the pandemic.

Addleshaw Goddard is one of the headline sponsors of The Yorkshire Post’s Excellence in Business awards, which celebrate the world class entrepreneurs who are bringing jobs and investment to the region.

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Mr Kamstra said: “We are supporting the awards because we want to show how committed we are to Yorkshire. The Leeds arm of Addleshaw Goddard dates from 1775.

The Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards celebrate the dynamic entrepreneurs who are bringing jobs and investment to Yorkshire.

"As a firm we have witnessed and played a part in both the original industrial revolution and the new one, and the growth of international trade from Leeds.

“Today our firm is growing in Yorkshire, where we have 570 staff based in our office in Leeds, which is the firm's largest. We have a deep responsibility to the Yorkshire business community based on our history. We also have strong connections with civic leaders in the city.”

He said the firm was in the Covid crisis, focusing first on the “human side” of the business , working at a team level and keeping all employees engaged and involved.

He added: “In the wider business world, no doubt things have changed now that will not change back. There is more of a focus on mindfulness and wellbeing. There will be a paradigm shift with less travel and fewer face-to-face meetings. It will affect the property sector and could affect the amount of office space required.

“It has also affected the performing arts. For 10 years, I have been a director of Phoenix Dance Theatre which has not been able to perform during the pandemic. A lot of friends of mine are artists and their work has stopped.”

Mr Kamstra, , said: “Culturally, Leeds was really going somewhere before the pandemic, with the work of Leeds 2023 and the city council. It has to be a city that is culturally interesting to succeed economically.

“The research of the Creative Industries Federation (who our firm supports) shows that the creative sector does prop up the economy, and was the fastest growing.

But in the long term, the future is bright as we wake up to the idea of an M62 corridor linking the great cities and ports of the North. That was going the right way before Covid, and will do again.

“I’m inspired by seeing how busy and creative our clients have been. Deals are still being done and people are investing. Ingenuity, energy and entrepreneurship do not give in to a challenge. ”

The Yorkshire Post’s Excellence in Business Awards for 2020 will take place on Wednesday, November 4 and will this year be staged as a hybrid event encompassing both a physical and digitally streamed event.

Headline sponsorship this year comes from Addleshaw Goddard, Grant Thornton and Virgin Money.

Associate sponsorship comes from Ernest Wilson and Openreach.

To enter click here www.yorkshirebusinessexcellence.co.uk

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James Mitchinson