But what do we really know about Birmingham?
As reported recently in The Lawyer, the centre of England is very much the centre of attention right now, with Trowers opening up a ‘document hub’ in Birmingham and Hogan Lovells setting up a ‘legal service centre’ there later in the autumn. But what’s so great about Birmingham? We decided to track down all the stuff we didn’t know we didn’t know, to paraphrase that nice chap Donald Rumsfeld.
- Lawyers in Birmingham after a day off can visit Cadbury World. Located in Bournville, this Wonka-esque experience includes a 4-D adventure in which you ride a Crunchie Rollercoaster and take to the skies in a Creme Egg Airship. Sadly for schoolboys, the entrance is not on Bournville Boulevard.
- Slade legend Noddy Holder was the third celebrity to be inducted into the Birmingham Walk of Stars. He is also the mascot of Nobby’s Nuts, which firms will presumably have in their meeting rooms instead of the more London-y chocolate biscuits.
- Byzantine concrete road-fest ‘Spaghetti Junction’ is officially known as Gravelly Hill Interchange. Peripatetic lawyers can look forward to getting trapped on its 13.5 miles of elevated motorway.
- Birmingham New Romantics Duran Duran played their first gig in a club above a Communist bookshop. Lead singer Simon Le Bon now has a net worth of around $60 million.
- Long-running Radio 4 series ‘The Archers’ is recorded at the BBC studios in The Mailbox, Birmingham. The Mailbox is also home to Harvey Nichols, which does not have an outlet in Ambridge.
- Lawyers won’t be short of a conference or two to attend – the NEC and the ICC hold about 200,000 of the PowerPoint-y time blighters every year.
- Hiring young trainees shouldn’t be too much of an issue. Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe, with under 25s accounting for almost 40% of the population.
- Birmingham has more Michelin starred restaurants than any English city outside London. Perfect for inflating those partner expense accounts.
- There are over six million trees in Birmingham. Ideal for cutting down and turning into necessary resources for a ‘document hub’.
- Composer Antonin Dvorak once said of Birmingham: ‘I’m here in this immense industrial city where they make excellent knives, scissors, springs, files and goodness knows what else, and, besides these, music too. And how well! It’s terrifying how much the people here manage to achieve.’ Had there have been a ‘legal service centre’ there too at the time, his poor Czech head might really have spun. AB