Irwin Mitchell has raided BPE Solicitors’ Birmingham office for a team of 10 that includes three partners.

Corporate finance partner Paul Wakefield joins the firm with insolvency partner Andrew Taylor and commercial litigation partner Mark Elder. The trio will take a team of seven associates and assistants to Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office.

Head of business and ­private client Peter Wylde said that Irwin Mitchell was looking to diversify beyond its focus on non-contentious private client services, ­insurance and personal injury.

“We’ve been concentrating on developing those areas and developing our service offering outside those areas,” Wylde said. “We’ve been looking to do something in Birmingham for some time, but we’ve been very selective.”

The team will transfer with its existing clients.

BPE senior partner John Workman said the firm was concentrating on growing its Cheltenham headquarters.

“Our strategy is to concentrate on driving and growing our practice from our Gloucestershire powerbase, while Irwin Mitchell is looking to extend its range of business services in ­Birmingham,” he said.

The firm put 13 members of staff, including three partners, on a four-day week in January (The Lawyer, 29 January).