|Irwin Mitchell LLP|
|No. of offices||11 |
|No. of attorneys||1100 |
|No. of employees||2200 |
|Major practice areas||General Practice|
|Key people||John Pickering (Group Chief Executive)|
|Founder||Walter Irwin Mitchell|
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
Irwin Mitchell LLP is a firm of solicitors in the United Kingdom, established in Sheffield in 1912 and now with offices in nine British cities. The firm has more than 180 partners, 900+ associates, consultants, senior advisors and other fee-earners, employing in total over 2,200 people. The company was ranked 20th largest UK based law firm in terms of worldwide revenue in the 2010/2011 year with a turnover of £171.8m.
Irwin Mitchell was founded by Walter Irwin Mitchell in Sheffield in 1912 as a general practice firm. His aim when he founded the company was to provide the highest quality law services to the general public.
The company remained solely in Sheffield until its first expansion into a Birmingham office in 1989, the Leeds arm was next to follow, opening its doors in 1993. The company continued to acquire companies throughout the 1990s, with Sheffield outfit Kershaw Tudor in 1994; Leeds-based corporate and commercial firm Teeman Levine in 1995; and Birmingham corporate specialist Rigbeys in 1996. A City branch was launched in 1995 and added to another series of merger deals - with debt recovery and insolvency firm Braby & Waller in 1998 and personal injury outfit Lorenzo Zurbrugg in 2003. The firm launched in Newcastle in 2003 then opened its sixth office in Manchester in 2006. The company’s expansion went further afield in 2005 with the opening of their offices in Marbella (now moved to Malaga) and Madrid. The year Irwin Mitchell moved internationally was also the year the firm’s annual turnover broke the £100m barrier.
More recently, Irwin Mitchell acquired specialist personal injury and clinical negligence outfit Alexander Harris in 2006, absorbing the 12-partner firm's offices in London, Solihull and Altrincham and further tightening its hold on the claimant PI market.
The firm was among the first to show its hand on Alternative Business Structure (ABS) when in April 2011 it unveiled plans to generate a £50m war chest of external investment and then applied in the first week of January 2012 for ABS status. The company gained this status in August 2012 and is the first to be granted multiple ABS licences by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).
In 2013 Irwin Mitchell sold off its Spanish offices in Madrid and Marbella to Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo, also signing an alliance to work together in the future.
Main Practice Areas
Structurally, Irwin Mitchell is primarily divided into two legal service areas.
Personal Legal Services
Court Of Protection
Crime & Investigations
Divorce & Family
Employment & Work
Home & Property
Money & Tax
Personal Injury Compensation
Protecting Your Rights
Wills & Estates
Business Legal Services
Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Construction and Infrastructure
Financial and Other Regulations
Investigations and Prosecutions
Offices and Global Locations
Irwin Mitchell has an established office network covering Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Leicester (consulting office),London, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield. It also operates in Scotland through Irwin Mitchell Scotland LLP with an office in Glasgow.
Charity and Sponsorship
Irwin Mitchell has a long history of supporting communities nearby to their office locations. The company has been involved with local charitable organisations or institutions, employee volunteering and charitable giving. The firm encourages employees to take part in volunteering and in 2010, to ensure all staff will be able to offer their time, the firm set up a volunteer policy. This policy enabled staff from all areas of the business to contribute 14 hours a year to community activity facilitated through the firm.
The firm supports a number of educational programmes aimed at raising attainment in key skills such as literacy and numeracy. This work is supported by a number of offices through employees going to schools where they will support children who need extra help with their reading. Examples of this include the Manchester office linked with the Salford Literacy Project and the Sheffield office being the largest supporter of BITC’s Right to Read programme.
Irwin Mitchell Charities Foundation
The Irwin Mitchell Charities Foundation (IMCF) was set up in February 1997 as an independent, registered charity by the partners and employees of Irwin Mitchell. The foundation receives money each year from partner donations and the employee Give As You Earn (GAYE) scheme, a scheme the company is a top 10 contributor to in the UK. In December 2008 Irwin Mitchell was recognised as the 5th most charitable law firm, with over 13% of the employees donating to the GAYE scheme. Charities are nominated by each office once a year, this charity will receive 12 months of funding as well as any other support the firm can provide. Charities such as Comic Relief, Macmillan coffee mornings, Oxfam unwrapped and many national cancer charities have all been involved with the IMCF.
Irwin Mitchell is the largest full-service law firm in the UK, offering career opportunities in various locations across the firm. The company has the largest personal injury practice in the country with a rapidly expanding business legal services division; there are lots of opportunities within the company for those looking to enter these divisions. Progression within the company is possible, with many of the partners starting life as trainees at the firm. The company’s graduate recruitment team attends many law fairs across the country for graduates to speak and network with current trainees, solicitors and partners. The company is ranked 177th in the Guardian UK’s most popular graduate employers for the 2012/13 year compared with 253 in the 2011/12 year. Also, in the Guardian UK’s top 300 law firms, Irwin Mitchell ranked 15th in 2012/13, down from 13th position in the 2011/12 year. In 2013 the firm topped the national firm rankings in terms of the perception of law firms looking for a career in the industry; they also posted the joint highest mark alongside Macfarlanes for diversity and work/life balance.
2012 – Most effective diversity programme – gender (The Lawyer Workplace & Diversity Awards)
2012 – Best graduate trainee recruitment campaign (The Lawyer Workplace & Diversity Awards)
2011 – Corporate Strategy (FT Innovative Lawyers Awards)
2011 - Property Law Firm of the Year (Yorkshire Insider)
2010 – Trainee of the Year (Yorkshire Lawyers Awards)
2010 – Claimant Solicitor of the Year (Rehabilitation Awards 2010)
2010 – Deal of the Year (South Yorkshire Dealmakers Dinner)
2009 – Mid Tier Boutique Law Firm of the Year (Saint Nick Awards)
2009 – South Yorkshire Corporate Law Firm (Insider South Yorkshire)
2008 – Social and Welfare Solicitor (Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards)
2008 – Outstanding Case of the Year (Jennifer Cawthorne) (Proclaim PI Awards)
2008 – Claimant Solicitor of the Year (Rehabilitation Awards)
High Profile Cases
Costa Concordia: Travel law experts from Irwin Mitchell were instructed to act for victims of the Costa Concordia cruise disaster.
Lockerbie: The firm represented victims’ and their families of the Lockerbie bombing where a total of 270 people died.
Zeebrugge: Irwin Mitchell represented victims of the Herald of Free Enterprise, the worst sea disaster since the sinking of the Titanic, killing 193 passengers and crew.
Grayrigg derailment: Train crash in Cumbria which resulted in a fatality, Irwin Mitchell represented 11 victims and their families.
Cadbury’s Salmonella: Salmonella poisoning in 2006 forced Cadburys to withdraw one million chocolate bars, Irwin Mitchell represented a number of clients who suffered illness as a result of contracting salmonella.
Marchioness: Irwin Mitchell represented 48 survivors and families of victims in this riverboat disaster, occurring in the early hours of 20 August 1989.
Bhoja Air Crash: Solicitors from Irwin Mitchell investigated the crash on behalf of over thirty of the victims’ families.
Stafford Hospital Crisis: Irwin Mitchell was asked to investigate the death of a father who lost his life after his bowel was perforated during routine surgery.
Northwick Park Drug Trial: Victims from a drug trial back in 2006, at the Parexel drug trial unit at Northwick park hospital, victims sought compensation for their multiple injuries with the help of Irwin Mitchell.
- "About Us". Irwin Mitchell. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
- The Lawyer UK Revenue Table