Irwin Mitchell is to catapult itself into the top 10 of Birmingham firms thanks to a merger with five-partner Birmingham practice Rigbeys, which will take effect next week.
Irwin Mitchell's managing partner, Howard Culley, said his firm had approached Rigbeys because of its corporate experience and because its expertise in insolvency, housing association and retail work fitted neatly with Irwins' national litigation practice.
In Birmingham, Irwins' seven-partner practice will eventually combine in a single office with the five partners from Rigbeys. Culley said there would be no redundancies and more staff would be recruited very shortly. Rigbeys' senior partner David Billings would head the combined Birmingham practice "working closely with Stuart Henderson" - Irwins Mitchell's current Birmingham managing partner.
This is the third time Irwin Mitchell has swallowed up a smaller firm in two years. In October last year it merged with Leeds firm Teeman Levine and in December 1994 it merged with Sheffield firm Kershaw Tudor.
Culley said the firm's Birmingham practice now had roughly the same number of fee earners as Dibb Lupton Alsop and the new merger brought the firm into the national top 20 by number of fee earners.