The Lawyer UK 200 Rank21

Irwin Mitchell started life in the 1920s as a criminal firm representing rival factions in the Sheffield gang wars. It gradually grew into a respected personal injury and clinical negligence firm and it is that reputation that still endures today – not least because Irwin Mitchell is one of the largest UK firms to run adverts on TV. The firm has made efforts to diversify, however, and is now essentially split into two divisions – Personal Legal Services (PLS) and

Irwin Mitchell started life in the 1920s as a criminal firm representing rival factions in the Sheffield gang wars. It gradually grew into a respected personal injury and clinical negligence firm and it is that reputation that still endures today – not least because Irwin Mitchell is one of the largest UK firms to run adverts on TV.

The firm has made efforts to diversify, however, and is now essentially split into two divisions – Personal Legal Services (PLS) and Business Legal Services (BLS). The split is distinct enough that trainees joining the firm complete their training contract in either one stream or the other.

Offices have come and gone as Irwin Mitchell has acquired other firms. For example, by 2000 the firm had four offices – in Sheffield, Leeds, Birmingham and London – but acquired Solihull and Altrincham outposts in 2006 via a merger in 2006. Neither of those two survive, but Irwin Mitchell now has 13 English offices, including those in Middlesbrough and Chichester, as the result of more recent acquisitions.

Since it converted to an Alternative Business Structure in 2012 the firm has merged multiple times, most notably with south of England firm Thomas Eggar in 2015.

The deal bulked up the firm’s corporate and real estate offering and provided Irwin Mitchell with its first footing in the South East outside of London.

Another major growth area for the firm has been the private wealth sector. In 2014 Irwin Mitchell acquired Mayfair based private client firm Berkeley Law, which was estimated to have a turnover between £3m and £4m. The further addition of the Thomas Eggar team means IM now possesses one of the largest private wealth teams in the country.

TRAINING CONTRACTS

What is the trainee salary at Irwin Mitchell?

1st year trainee: £36,000 (London); £25,000 (regional)

2nd year trainee: £38,000 (London); £27,000 (regional)

What is the NQ salary at Irwin Mitchell?

NQ solicitor: £50,000-£60,000 (London); £34,000-£39,000 (regional)