Burnetts logo

Moving Back to Cumbria

Moving Back to Cumbria

Practising Consultant, Sally Johnson, reveals why she moved back to Cumbria after working for a number of years at London-based law firm.

My Background

I grew up in Cumbria, where my family are still based. Following my graduation from Durham University, I trained with a London law firm before moving back to the North (Newcastle) where I worked for Eversheds.

After 5 years in the North-East I moved back to London where, at that time, the right opportunity presented itself and I worked at Solicitor and Partner level for Lewis Silkin, a commercial city firm.


After 14 lively years working in London I felt I had ‘been there, done that’ and the time was right for me to move back to my roots in Cumbria. I wanted to improve my work life balance, be closer to my family and away from the inward-looking intensity of London but still retain the challenges of working as a commercial litigator.

As a transition, I was lucky to be able to take a post for a couple of years with the Office of Fair Trading and its successor, the Competition and Markets Authority, working flexibly from home with occasional periods in the London office. I then decided it was time to make the break entirely and look for local work.

I recognised Burnetts as a leading firm in the area with a good reputation.  Although Burnetts wasn’t advertising any vacancies, after a speculative enquiry I secured an interview and the rest as they say is history.

Moving to Cumbria and working for Burnetts has certainly given me what I wanted.  I wish I had done it earlier. You could be fooled into thinking that Cumbria is a little ‘sleepy’ when it comes to business and would not present the same challenges as larger cities, but you would be wrong. 

There are some major businesses in Cumbria presenting exciting cases and with a different type of client base, there is plenty to learn and challenge yourself.

But at the end of a hard day, the rewards of living in such a beautiful area are priceless.

Life at Burnetts

On joining Burnetts, it felt very familiar. The teams are smaller, but one commercial law firm operates in very much the same way as another, so I settled in quickly. The people are definitely an asset at Burnetts with a high calibre throughout the firm.  My colleagues are inclusive and supportive and I would say that the level of professionalism and client service is as good if not better than in a city firm.

Burnetts provide great tools for the job and is well-resourced through an online and hard copy library and other professional resources. The IT systems allow us to work remotely including from home as required.

I have a flexible working arrangement with Burnetts which allows me to work in the office when required, but be more flexible with my hours as the work dictates.  This suits me well and allows me to make the most of the ‘work’ time, but importantly the ‘life’ time outside of the office.

I enjoy the atmosphere of being in a forward-looking firm that takes itself seriously and is not afraid to change and move forward.

There are also plenty of opportunities for those who are looking to work full-time and develop their careers. Even if Burnetts isn’t advertising and you are thinking of relocating to Cumbria or the North East, get in touch, you never know what might come of it!

If you would like to register your interest in joining Burnetts, please send a copy of your CV to kas@burnetts.co.uk.

About the author

Sally Johnson profile photo

Sally Johnson

Sally is a Practising Consultant in the Dispute Resolution team at Burnetts.