Legal Business Blogs

Further expansion for Irwin Mitchell as it opens ninth UK office in Cambridge

Irwin Mitchell will open its ninth office in the UK in the latest stage of its expansion plans after securing a £60m funding facility from three major banks, the firm announced today (16 April).

The new Cambridge office, which will open its doors in June, is the firm’s second regional office opening this year after its Southampton arm – led by regional managing partner Guy Darlaston – opened for business last week.

Serious injury specialist and partner Neil Whiteley will relocate from the firm’s Sheffield office to become Cambridge regional managing partner, which will cover serious injury work and military law, with the latter led by partner Simon Harrington.

Partner Rosemary Giles, who specialises in asbestos related disease cases, will also relocate to the new office from London shortly after the opening, to accelerate the expansion of the business that her team have been building in the Cambridge and the East Anglian region for some time.

Additional specialists in family law and clinical negligence will be in place soon after launch, with the firm also confirming that it intends to add specialists in Court of Protection work and public law in the near future as well.

Group chief executive Andrew Tucker, who was promoted from CEO of the firm’s personal legal services division at the end of March, said: ‘We have assessed the market in Cambridge carefully for some time before we took this decision. We already have a growing presence in the local market and clearly, we would not be making this move unless we were confident we can repeat the significant success we have had in opening other regional offices.

‘We see Cambridge as an important regional centre with a vibrant economy where we believe we will rapidly build a share of the market quickly, building our team with recruitment locally. We expect Cambridge to become another significant region for us as our business continues to expand and this is a further signal of our intention to build on our strong financial base and drive forward with our strategy.’

The firm announced at the end of March that it had secured a £60m four-year finance package with an additional £30m ‘accordion’ facility with HSBC, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland to fund its strategic plan to grow its business ‘substantially’.

The package, which replaces the bank’s current overdraft, includes a £30m buffer facility for further finance if required and has been agreed with HSBC’s Yorkshire corporate team as the lead provider, along with Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking and Royal Bank of Scotland

As part of this expansion, the firm has embarked on major recruitment programme, which has seen 36 partner-level recruits join the business since the start of 2013.