Irwin Mitchell hives off housing group

National firm Irwin Mitchell has off-loaded its housing management team in Birmingham to local firm Lee Crowder.

Partners Andy Ballard and Simon Denslow will transfer along with one solicitor, five paralegals and six support staff. Irwin Mitchell describes the moves as part of its long-term plan to concentrate on corporate work.

Joe Simpson, managing partner of the firm's Birmingham office, says: “We are focusing on corporate institutional funding and larger property issues which affect housing associations and the public sector.'

In the last year Irwin Mitchell has done a number of substantial deals for public sector clients, including securing over £225m in funding for one client and selling 18,700 properties in one transaction for another.

Simpson says his office is currently working on 10 large-scale public sector corporate transactions and will soon be recruiting two more corporate lawyers to the practice.

“When we moved into Birmingham we were recognised for litigation work, but we are gradually building up our corporate strength,” he says.

Lee Crowder senior partner Stephen Gilmore says: “This latest expansion is consistent with Lee Crowder's growth in a number of sectors. We are very pleased to have secured the team, which will fuel our expansion.”