Irwin Mitchell picks up personal injury WIP as Donns files for administration

Irwin Mitchell has bought a portfolio of personal injury cases from failed Manchester firm Donns.

Donns filed for administration today (23 March), with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) Toby Underwood and Robert Hebenton appointed as administrators.

Irwin Mitchell was one of a number of firms to pick up personal injury specialist Donns’ work in progress – understood to comprise hundreds of cases – from PwC, but a spokesperson for the auditor could not confirm which other firms had also bought cases from Donns.

In a statement Irwin Mitchell’s Personal Legal Services chief executive Andrew Tucker said: “Irwin Mitchell confirms that it has agreed an arrangement with PwC as administrators appointed in respect of Donns LLP for the transfer of the firm’s personal injury files to Irwin Mitchell, subject to clients’ consent.

“This is welcome news for those clients of Donns who would otherwise have been left without a solicitor to act for them in their case. We appreciate this will be worrying for many of the people affected and we are therefore writing to each client to advise them of the situation and to offer them the choice of appointing Irwin Mitchell, as a respected personal injury law firm, to act for them or to appoint another solicitor of their choosing.

“Those clients who decide to appoint us will do so safe in the knowledge that Irwin Mitchell has vast experience in acting in personal injury cases, as well as in taking on many cases where clients have come to us after having previously instructed another firm and where we’ve been able to achieve a very successful outcome for them. They’ll also benefit from high-quality legal advice from experts in our eight offices across the country.

“We’d also assure any clients who don’t wish to appoint Irwin Mitchell that we’ll hold the files for their case, and any monies paid, safely until they inform us of their wishes.”

According to the latest filings at Companies House, three-partner firm Donns pulled in £8.2m in turnover in the 2009-10 financial year, but its liabilities still exceeded its assets by nearly £5.6m and the firm was in the process of trying to renegotiate its banking facilities. The amount of work in progress at the firm in 2009-10 was just over £1.5m.