Irwin Mitchell takes on non-legal CFO after gaining five ABS licences

Irwin Mitchell has turned to AIM-listed airline and logistics company Dart Group for the hire of its new chief financial officer.

John Pickering
John Pickering

Andrew Merrick is the latest in a series of big hitting non-lawyer hires for the firm, coming after the SRA granted it five ABS licences in August (20 August 2012).

Merrick will join the firm in April. He is the third non-lawyer to be appointed to the board of IMCO Holdings, the parent group of Irwin Mitchell. The firm said he would also sit on its executive board.

In January Irwin Mitchell looked outside the profession for an executive chairman to drive its development in the post-Legal Services Act environment, appointing former PricewaterhouseCoopers vice-chairman Glyn Barker (16 January 2012). It followed this with the appointment of former KPMG UK senior partner Mel Egglenton as a non-executive director.

Prior to joining Dart as group finance director in 2007, Merrick held senior positions with Bradford & Bingley and Thomas Cook.

Irwin Mitchell Group chief executive John Pickering said in a statement: “We’re now an ABS and have an established corporate structure in place. This senior appointment is reflective of the growth and development of Irwin Mitchell as a major law firm and we have well-defined plans to accelerate that growth further.”

The firm was among the first to show its hand on ABS when in April 2011 (25 April 2011) it unveiled plans to generate a £50m warchest of external investment and then applied in the first week of January this year for ABS status.

The five licences granted to Irwin Mitchell cover businesses operating separately within the firm’s group structure, including Irwin Mitchell LLP; Ascent Collections Ltd, which offers field agency and debt collection services; Coris UK Ltd, which offers international assistance and insurance claims handling services; Irwin Mitchell Trustees Ltd, which accepts appointments as a trustee, executor and estate administrators; and also to Irwin Mitchell Trust Corporation Ltd, which accepts appointments to act as deputy from the court of protection.

Merrick’s appointment is subject to the approval of the SRA.