Irwin Mitchell launches in-house fund

National firm Irwin Mitchell has launched a fund management unit that it says will become the largest in the country.

With the new unit the firm will rival London firm Lawrence Graham as the biggest practice in the country to manage clients' finances in-house. There are 55 firms in England and Scotland with similar units.

Irwin Mitchell has recruited Ian Hale, an associate director of a unit at south-east law firm Cripps Harries Hall, to launch its practice. Hale takes up the post of director of investment management.

Howard Culley, managing partner at Irwin Mitchell, says: “Many clients have accumulated substantial personal wealth and require guidance on their financial affairs.

“It has long been our practice to work with external financial advisors but the new facility will enable many of our clients to enjoy a more integrated service.”

Hale says that the nature of the personal injury business at Irwin Mitchell means clients find themselves with financial settlements they are unfamiliar with handling.

He says: “We have got a lot of clients that are suddenly receiving large sums of money.

“There is a financial benefit to the firm in doing this in that rather than giving those fees away we will be bringing them in-house. But the underlying motivation is to keep the client relationship for longer.”