Irwin Mitchell announced yesterday (17 April) that it is to promote to partnership four non-lawyers in a bumper round of promotions.
The four will be promoted to rank of associate director, which is the equivalent of partner at the Major UK firm. They are: Manchester-based head of communications, Mark Duffell; head of talent and resourcing, Janet Sandford, and two from the operations team, David Robinson and Danny Varhalamas.
This is a record round of partnership promotions for the firm who last year made up just four including non-lawyer Gary Jackson, who joined the equity. In 2011 the firm added seven lawyers and a non-lawyer, while in 2010, ten were promoted, including two non-lawyers.
John Pickering, group chief executive, said: ‘Our business is growing and in a strong position and this round of partnership promotions reflects the breadth of the high quality, innovative services we provide to our clients.
‘Once again we can also demonstrate the value we place on the role people from non-legal backgrounds play in the success of our firm and the service to the most important people of all, our clients.’
Of the ten lawyers promoted, six come the firm’s personal legal services (PLS) division, one of whom, Sheffield-based serious injury partner Neil Whiteley, will become a full-equity partner after 19 years with Irwin Mitchell.
Fellow Sheffield-based serious injury lawyer, Rachael Aram, is one of five PLS solicitors appointed partner for the first time. Also promoted are two clinical negligence specialists, Sarah Rowland, based in Sheffield and Birmingham-based Luke Daniels who also works with victims of child abuse.
London-based public law solicitor Alex Rook and Rosemary Giles, who specialises in asbestos-related disease claims, complete the quintet.
The other four new partners are part of the business legal services division, including real estate experts Andrew Wallis in Sheffield and Claire Quinn in Manchester; Leeds-based insolvency specialist Doug Robertson; and Daniel Brumpton of Irwin Mtichell’s commercial litigation department in Sheffield.
Thirteen other partners joined the firm’s BLS division earlier this year along with four senior real estate partners appointed in Manchester in February and the recent high-profile hire of former DLA Piper partner Chris Rawstron to head up the business team in Birmingham.