Irwin Mitchell considers Manchester office as part of North West strategy

Irwin Mitchell is planning to expand into the North West with a new Manchester office.

The firm hopes to have a base open in the city by spring this year. However, it will be manned by existing Irwin Mitchell lawyers for the time being.

Managing partner Howard Culley told The Lawyer: “We’re giving it consideration, having a cold start opening in Manchester. If and when we get this together, it will be to do personal injury [PI] claimant and clinical negligence claimant work.”

Culley added that he viewed the Manchester plans as mirroring Irwin Mitchell’s 2002 opening in Newcastle. That office now has three partners and eight solicitors.

But Culley downplayed the plans, adding: “I wouldn’t regard it as a huge event: it’s a fairly small beginning.”

There are few large firms in the North West practising PI or clinical negligence. The biggest is Pannone & Partners, which last year had a total turnover of £33.5m.

A partner at one competitor said: “They are competition but it doesn’t worry us. It’s not a major surprise they’re opening in Manchester.”