Irwin Mitchell has drafted four new partners into the firm’s London office as the first major arrivals since announcing its sector-focused strategy.

Earlier in the year, Irwin Mitchell CEO of business legal services Vicky Brackett outlined the firm’s intentions to focus along sector lines including real estate, financial services, manufacturing, education, consumer services and technology.

Adrian Barlow was head of real estate at Pinsent Masons for 12 years before stepping down in May 2016 although it was reported that he would be joining Irwin Mitchell as national head of real estate in May.

Wedlake Bell head of residential Jeremy Raj joined his former firm in 2003, and was head of practice since 2006. He will head up his new firm’s residential property team. It is understood that Raj brings his entire client list with him.

Sarah Cardew joins as head of commercial tax from Teach Stern, having previously worked at Pennington Manches and Berwin Leighton Paisner.

Richard Geraghty joins from Slater & Gordon, which last week announced that it would be splitting from its UK arm after a 46 per cent drop in profits, as a partner in the PI division.

The new arrivals mean Irwin Mitchell’s London office now houses 53 partners across business legal services, personal legal services, private wealth and IT systems.

Irwin Mitchell group chief executive Andrew Tucker said: “We are delighted with these new appointments of highly respected lawyers. Their appointments will ensure continued enhancement and strength in our legal offering across our group in line with our strategy as well as further strengthening our London office.

“They reflect our ambition to grow our practice through individuals who have both strong track records in their sectors and proven ability to provide first-class client care.”

The firm has experienced a difficult year after seeing several partners leave its real estate and corporate practices to join Dentons, Osborne Clarke and Howard Kennedy before mass defections in Yorkshire to Shoosmiths triggered an internal reshuffle in its Sheffield office.

Irwin Mitchell announced a 6 per cent increase in turnover from £221.3m to £235.3m in its second published financial results since merging with Thomas Eggar in 2015.

While profits fell incrementally, from £12.4m to £12.3m, they were much more stable than in the previous year where the cost of the merger caused a 25 per cent drop.