Categories:Personal Injury,UK

Irwin Mitchell’s profit drops 8.5 per cent to £17.1m as revenue inches up

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  • So a huge amount of investment in lateral hires and advertising combined with a significant jump in borrowing just to stand still? It would be interesting to know how much the publicised acquisitions contributed to the figures as they are helping to conceal the true picture - revenues within the core business are falling and despite massive investment in the non PI side of the business there seems to be no improvement in turnover.

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  • No surprises really. IM are heavily and overly dependent on 'success fees.' Their model to migrate from PI to broadly balance the business with commercial services will never be fully realised as they'll never attract the right quality in the right quantities and there will always be the demagogue of conflicts. You only need to speak to some of the former Pannone partners. The other source of concern, if I were an IM partner, is that S&G are hotly on their tail, doing better, and have a more coherent business strategy. Any of the above might also form reasons why IM weren't able to attract outside investment, though they spun that out well. The question that would concern me if I were an IM partner is whether the firm is living on borrowed time?!

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  • Is there a commercial lawyer out there who has yet to receive a clumsy approach from this firm? It is good at commoditised work and PI but has no credibility elsewhere. I know it has succeeded in recruiting a number of lawyers in other areas but the numbers tell you all you need to know about how successful that's been. I can't see this firm evolving into a commercial law firm because it can't match the lawyers to the stated ambition. The clumsy approaches are now a source of amusement in the market which makes it even more difficult for the firm to recruit people.

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  • Next year will be worse. Turnover and profit will inevitably fall as the CFA success fee income dries up. I expect them to go on the acquisition trail and buy up as many PI firms as they can as they battle to increase market share. This firm needs to become even more PI based if it is to retain a top 20 ranking. That will further undermine all of the efforts to diversify into commercial law and you do wonder how long it will be before they throw in the towel and just concentrate on PI.

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  • IM have a major issue, they just won't have the money that S&G do, S&G have access to funds, as every month seems to show, IM will be squeezed at both ends of the market, they have done everything to keep the turnover above £200m, but it's profit that counts.

    My advice to IM is get your house in order, push advertising and digital and be focussed on what you do best.

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  • This is a significant amount of decrease from the prior year's revenue.

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