Legal Business

‘Despite the considerable headwinds, we will deliver progress’: Irwin Mitchell records flat revenue in latest financials

Although the frenzy of financial reporting season has begun to subside, this week saw Irwin Mitchell release its financial results for 2022/2023.

The report shows that the whole group’s overall revenue has remained steady at £276m since last year, while the group’s core businesses generated 2% more revenue than this time last year, rising from £266m to £271m.

The group’s gross profit has decreased by 3% from £144m in 2022 to £140m, with the gross profit of the group’s core businesses also down by 1% from £142m this time last year to £141m. In its report, the firm gave some context for the dip in profit: ‘The reduction to both measures reflects the impact of wage inflation and is a key operation focus for the group as we look to absorb inflation over the medium term, through growth in revenue and a sharper focus on our recruitment and retention activities.’

Furthermore, the drop in the group’s operating profit of 41% from £23.5m 12 months ago to £14m is substantial, which the firm blamed on ‘the impact of gross profit in addition to one-off costs related to property write-downs as we seek to optimise our office footprint to cater to the evolving needs of clients and colleagues, higher wage inflation as well as the planned investments in IT transformation, digital innovation, marketing and transaction-related professional fees.’

The core group’s underlying operating profit was down by 23% from £30m to £23m.

The firm’s net finance costs were recorded as up by 100% from £1m to £2m, which according to the firm is ‘due to the benefit of higher interest received on bank deposits, which increased from £0.4m to £4m.’

Group profit before tax was down to £15m from £21m, a decrease of 29%.

In terms of individual practice areas, Irwin Mitchell reported that its complex personal injury practice generated 53% of the firm’s group revenue, with its revenue growing marginally from £147m to £148m since last year.

Meanwhile, the firm’s life cycle legal services practice (LCLS), which covers commercial advisory and disputes, corporate and finance, family, property, private client and public law-related matters brought in 32% of the group’s revenue. The LCLS practice grew by a more significant 7% in revenue from £84m to £90m, with private client and family law performing the highest.

The firm’s third-largest contributing sector was its financial asset services (FAS) offering, generating 13% of the group’s overall revenue. The FAS practice revenue was down by 1% from £36m in 2022 to £35m, which it explained was ‘driven by the expected decline in revenue from our Ascent business,’ which is the firm’s arrears management outsourcing business that mostly services UK lenders.

Irwin Mitchell opened two new offices in Cardiff and Liverpool in 2022 and aims to expand its presence in the south and southeast of the UK. Over the past 12 months, the firm also acquired 18 new lateral partners as part of its investment into M&A in the financial services sector.

The group’s chair Glyn Barker said in a statement: ‘Global economic forecasts suggest that the coming financial year will be another challenging year as inflationary pressures, in combination with the high interest rate environment and general cost-of-living crisis will impact many consumers and businesses adversely. However, the quality of our people, combined with the breadth of services and ongoing investment, supported by the strength of our balance sheet, gives us the confidence that despite the considerable headwinds, we will deliver further strategic progress in FY24.’

Legal Business

‘Difficult circumstances’: Irwin Mitchell reports tenth consecutive year of growth albeit Covid-subdued

After last year’s show-stealing performance when Irwin Mitchell’s profit soared 76% and revenue grew 9%, the firm has reported a more sedate 2019/20 financial year as the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll.

The firm on Thursday (20 August) said turnover increased 2.4% to £269.3m from £263m the previous year, with profit before tax growing 11% to £23.7m from £21.4m.

Though clearly an anti-climax after last year’s successes, the results are nevertheless robust, given that Irwin Mitchell’s reporting period ran to end of April 2020, thus encompassing the first full month of coronavirus lockdown.

The eagle-eyed reader may notice that the turnover and profit figures for 2018/19 differ from those stated this time last year when revenue was reported to be £263.2m and profit was £21.3m. The firm said the difference was due to a change in accounting policy which saw a Prior Year Adjustment.

Irwin Mitchell Group chief executive Andrew Tucker commented: ‘I’m pleased to say that despite being faced with difficult circumstances in relation to Covid-19, we had a good end to the year. Our profit increased by 11%, cash flows were positive and our balance sheet is stronger than 12 months ago. These are however extremely challenging times for everyone and there’s understandably a lot of uncertainty.’

Tucker noted that he was proud of the way the business has adapted to the new coronavirus environment and how it adopted new processes to connect with clients. He was nevertheless wary of the challenges ahead.

‘The heightened pace of change will no doubt continue over the next 12 months and as we confront serious issues such as Covid-19 and Brexit, we will focus on ensuring we’re in a strong and sustainable position for the future,’ Tucker concluded.

The firm has continued to invest over the last year, making 13 partner-level appointments and promoting 11 new partners, along with 84 associate and senior associates.

A particular highlight last year was Irwin Mitchell becoming the official legal partner of the RFU, with England Rugby recently agreeing for the firm to take over the provision of its legal helpline and online legal document services for member clubs.

Legal Business

Profit soars 76% as Irwin Mitchell hits ninth consecutive year of revenue growth

Irwin Mitchell has hiked profit 76% to £21.3m in a ninth consecutive year of growth that has also seen 9% added to its top line.

The pace-setting results compare with last year’s slight fall in profit to £12.1m and modest 3% increase in turnover to £241.8m, meaning the firm has added £21.4m to its top line to hit £263.2m in 2018/19.

Andrew Tucker (pictured), chief executive of Irwin Mitchell, attributes the firm’s strong financial performance to client engagement. [Clients] tell us our service is consistently good and distinctive. We have an extensive programme to enable us to really understand what our clients value which helps us deliver our services more effectively.’

Tucker said the firm is investing in its people with initiatives such as flexible working patterns and mental health training. ‘These and other initiatives are driving our growth in revenue and profit,’ he said.

During the financial year the firm added non-lawyer directors from IT, HR, marketing and operations to the executive board and promoted eight people to the partnership. The firm boasts a better gender balance than many, with 43% of Irwin Mitchell’s partnership now female.

The firm, which became an alternative business structure in 2012, also has a fast-growing Business Legal Services division which advises individuals, senior executives, growing businesses, sector leaders and overseas businesses in sectors including consumer business, education, manufacturing and technology.

Irwin Mitchell recently opened an office in Reading, growing its number of UK locations to 15, with the firm intending to invest in marketing and technology to grow further.

In May it was reported that the firm fired at least a dozen partners across the business. At the time a spokesperson said that following a review of the business, a small number of partners would be leaving the firm but did not confirm specific numbers.

Irwin Mitchell’s group companies include Ascent, a specialist law firm and financial services business focusing on debt recovery for banks and SMEs as well as IM Asset Management which provides financial planning and investment advice and has over £700m in funds under its management.


Legal Business

Irwin Mitchell axes ‘small number’ of partners following business review

Irwin Mitchell has fired a number of partners following ‘a review of the future needs’ of the firm.

According to RollOnFriday, the firm has asked at least a dozen partners across its business to leave.

Irwin Mitchell confirmed some partners were leaving but refused to disclose how many, where they were located, or what practice areas they worked in. A spokesperson claimed they were not all former partners of Thomas Eggar – a firm Irwin Mitchell acquired in 2016, however. The firm had 232 partners, including 79 equity partners, as at September last year.

The spokesperson said: ‘Following a review of the future needs of our business a very small number of partners from across our offices will be leaving Irwin Mitchell. Whilst these decisions are always difficult, it is an important part of our plan for continued profitable growth. We can’t comment further while discussions are ongoing.’

Irwin Mitchell’s results for the 2017/18 financial year showed turnover increased 3% to £241.8m, its eight consecutive year of growth, while profit before tax fell slightly to £12.1m from £12.3m. The drop in profit was said to be due to a number of one-off costs aimed at positioning the business more strongly for the future.

The firm’s revenue has increased 21% over the last five years. In 2016, profit fell 59% to £8.4m following the acquisition of Thomas Eggar. At the time, the firm said the sharp drop in profit was due to a deliberate decision to fast-track the integration of Thomas Eggar.

Legal Business

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Legal Business

‘Significant progress’: Irwin Mitchell posts 6% revenue increase to £235m

Irwin Mitchell has posted a revenue increase of 6% for the last financial year from £221.3m to £235.2m, with profit before tax of £12.3m.

The results represent a solid performance in the first full year of combined financials with south-east firm Thomas Eggar, which Irwin Mitchell combined with in 2015. Last year the firm posted an 8% turnover rise to £221.3m, which included four months of trading with Thomas Eggar.

Work highlights for 2016/17 included co-ordinating real estate advice to National Grid as part of a deal to dispose of majority stake in its gas distribution network, which included the transfer of over 10,000 properties. The firm launched its private wealth group and was also named Private Client Team of the Year for the second year in a row at the Legal Business Awards. In addition, Irwin Mitchell Group company IM Asset Management has over £500m of assets under management.

As a result of the Thomas Eggar merger, profits at the firm were ‘sacrificed’ in 2016, falling by 25%. The sharp drop in profits was put down to a deliberate decision by the board to ‘fast-track the integration’, which led to a ‘short-term impact on profitability’. Irwin Mitchell does not operate a traditional law firm partnership and partners are remunerated according to salaries and bonuses, not profit shares, therefore the firm does not publish a profit per equity partner (PEP) figure.

In the firm’s first LLP accounts since the acquisition, published late last year, showed the firm’s profit on ordinary activities had dropped by 59% to £8.4m from £20.6m.

Commenting on the recent financials, group chief executive Andrew Tucker (pictured) said the firm had made significant progress in a number of areas last year and he was excited about future prospects.

‘The group has responded positively to challenging external conditions and I’m pleased to say that this hard work is reflected in these financial results. I’m very optimistic about the opportunities across the group and our strength in breadth gives us a great platform to build on.’

Legal Business

Irwin Mitchell LLP’s show profits fell 59% as a result of ‘fast-tracked’ Thomas Eggar integration


Irwin Mitchell‘s first LLP accounts since the acquisition of Thomas Eggar in December last year show the firm’s profit on ordinary activities has dropped by 59% to £8.4m from £20.6m.

Irwin Mitchell claims the sharp drop in profits is down to a deliberate decision by the board to ‘fast-track the integration of Thomas Eggar which has led to a short-term impact on profitability in FY16 but which we view as being the right decision longer term to enable us to maximise the return on synergies between Irwin Mitchell and Thomas Eggar as soon as possible.’

The decrease in profits is despite the fact that LLP revenues have increased by 7% to £199m from £186m, largely as a result of the Thomas Eggar acquisition – the largest in the firm’s history. According to the report, the firm also borrowed £29m, which is due within two years.

According to the firm’s business review: ‘The merger advanced a number of strategic objectives for the LLP, including adding new offices and experts in the core London and south east market; adding significant strength and depth to the business legal services division; and adding the specialisms of a number of Thomas Eggar teams to the existing private client and private wealth experience at Irwin Mitchell and Berkeley Law, acquired by the firm in November 2014.’

The LLPs also state that members are: ‘required to contribute capital amounting to 30% of notional salary plus any guaranteed profit share within two months of becoming a partner as and when required by HMRC legislation.’

In addition to turnover, the accounts reveal the firm’s operating costs at 30 April 2016 rose – from £60m to £70m, while other operating income rose from £72m to £86m.

On the other hand, operating profit fell from £53m to £45m, while profit for the financial year before members’ remuneration and profit shares fell from £53m to £44m. Goodwill since the Thomas Eggar merger was valued at £24m, up £19m from the year before.

According to the accounts, the amount paid out to the member with the largest entitlement to profits was £4.2m, down from £14.6m. The accounts said that this related to a corporate member.

Legal Business

Irwin Mitchell exits continue as two corporate partners join OC in London


Following last month’s exits to Dentons, Irwin Mitchell has lost a further two partners in London, with Edward Persse and Paul Smith departing the firm to join Osborne Clarke (OC).

Persse was a partner at Irwin Mitchell for the last ten years, where he managed the corporate department in the London office and also headed up the firm’s international strategy group and in-house programme. He has experience in domestic and international private capital, M&A and joint venture transactions and was also previously at Baker & McKenzie.

Smith focuses on domestic and cross-border M&A, investment, joint venture and corporate advisory transactions, acting regularly for SMEs, venture capitalists, investment companies and funds.

Commenting on the hires, Greg Leyshon, head of OC’s corporate department said: ‘In Ed and Paul, we have two very strong additions to the business. As highly regarded practitioners, their broad sector focus and technical and commercial know-how make them a great fit for our clients, our business and our people. We look forward to having them at the firm, and to the contributions they will bring.’

Last month, Dentons took five partners from Irwin Mitchell in London, strengthening its London banking and finance practice with the hire of Simon Tweedle.

The firm also appointed real estate head Rob Thompson, real estate partners Lewis Myers and Rupert Dowdell and head of corporate real estate Jayne Schnider.

Additionally, head of employment Chris Tutton left for boutique Constantine Law in August after his resignation in March, while litigation partner Daniel Brumpton moved to Manchester-based Berg in July.

In November last year, the firm announced a merger with south-east based Thomas Eggar to create what was billed as a £250m firm.

Legal Business

‘A short term issue’: Irwin Mitchell profits dip as firm beds in takeover


Irwin Mitchell has posted a disappointing profit result after last year’s merger with Thomas Eggar, with profit down by more than 25%.

The group’s chief executive Andrew Tucker said the lacklustre result was a ‘combination of investment and a necessary focus on the merger and successful integration.’

Irwin Mitchell’s revenue came in at £221.3m. This is up just 8% on the year prior and included about four months of trading with Thomas Eggar.

Tucker (pictured) added: ‘The board is comfortable that sacrificing profit in the short-term will deliver greater benefits to the business in the medium-term as we reap the return on investment and the improved strength and breadth of depth the merger has given us.

‘Our focus in 2016/17 is on completing the successful integration, maximising the opportunities for growth which arise from the greater strength and depth we now enjoy. Our vision of being the legal brand of choice continues and we have a clear strategy to ensure we maintain our progress.’

Yesterday (23 August) Legal Business revealed Irwin Mitchell had lost a fifth partner to Dentons with the departure of real estate finance partner Simon Tweedle. Last week, Dentons confirmed it had appointed four partners from Irwin Mitchell, with real estate head Rob Thompson, real estate partners Lewis Myers and Rupert Dowdell and head of corporate real estate Jayne Schnider all moving.

The group arrived from SJ Berwin as part of a 20-strong team move to Irwin Mitchell in 2010, while former colleagues Jo Footitt and Louise Cartwright also recently departed for Osborne Clarke in hires announced in June

Following six months of talks, Irwin Mitchell and Thomas Eggar voted to approve a merger last November with plans to establish a leading private wealth business.

Legal Business

Dentons takes fifth Irwin Mitchell partner in boost for banking practice


Dentons has strengthened its London banking and finance practice with the hire of Irwin Mitchell partner Simon Tweedle, its fifth hire from the firm in the past fortnight.

On Friday (19 August), Dentons confirmed it had appointed four partners from Irwin Mitchell, with real estate head Rob Thompson, real estate partners Lewis Myers and Rupert Dowdell and head of corporate real estate Jayne Schnider all moving.

Dentons confirmed its most recent City hire to Legal Business, with Tweedle becoming the fourth former SJ Berwin partner to leave Irwin Mitchell for Dentons, after Thompson, Myers and Dowdell.

The group arrived from SJ Berwin as part of a 20-strong team move to Irwin Mitchell in 2010, while former colleagues Jo Footitt and Louise Cartwright also recently departed for Osborne Clarke in hires announced in June.

The Legal 500 cites Tweedle as a leading individual in property finance, and his previous work includes advising Raven Russia on a $180m property loan and acting for Mercer Real Estate in its £64m acquisition of Mitre House in the City.

With 18 years’ legal experience, Tweedle returns to Dentons having trained at legacy Dentons Wilde Sapte. He moved to Sidley Austin in 2003, before serving in-house as legal counsel at real estate finance service Capmark, ahead of a move to SJ Berwin in 2008.

UK top 25 firm Irwin Mitchell has seen a number of departures this year, with the real estate practice particularly impacted in this summer’s moves. Head of employment Chris Tutton also left for boutique Constantine Law in August after his resignation in March, while litigation partner Daniel Brumpton moved to Manchester-based Berg in July.

The firm said in a statement: ‘We will continue to progress our strategy and invest in profitable areas of Business Legal Services (BLS) and the wider group – including in our real estate teams across the UK, the rest of BLS and the wider Group. Irwin Mitchell (IM) has diversified significantly in recent years, notably with the rapid expansion of BLS and the development of IM Private Wealth. That diversity is a key differentiator in the market, gives us greater stability and flexibility in a changing market and is a core contributor to our ongoing financial strength.’

In November last year, the firm announced a merger with south-east based Thomas Eggar to create what was billed as a £250m firm.