Irwin Mitchell snags former DLA Birmingham head for business team

Irwin Mitchell has signed up former DLA Piper Birmingham managing partner Chris Rawstron as head of its business legal services team in the city.

Rawstron joined Irwin Mitchell as a partner in Birmingham on Monday (4 March) and will be responsible for expanding the office’s eight-partner business team.

The corporate partner headed DLA Piper’s Birmingham base between 1999 and 2010 and sat on its global board from 2005 to 2006. He stood down as a partner in 2010 but remained as a consultant for a further year.

He has been volunteer chairman of a Marie Curie Cancer Care fundraising appeal since leaving DLA Piper.

Irwin Mitchell has this year already hired a four-partner real estate team from DLA Piper in Manchester (16 January 2013).

Niall Baker, chief executive of Irwin Mitchell’s business legal services division, said in a statement: “This is another major appointment for the firm and a clear signal of what Irwin Mitchell wants to achieve in the West Midlands. Chris has a wealth of corporate experience, is extremely well connected and understands the market well. We are confident that he is the right person to lead the business team forward in Birmingham.”

The firm said it had now added 12 new partners to its business legal services team across the UK since the summer, including Nabarro corporate partner Andrea Cropley in Sheffield, Nabarro banking partner Dean Gormley in Manchester and Squire Sanders banking partners Andrew Watson and Jon Bew.

Rawstron said in a statement: “Irwin Mitchell is very well-known across the city and it has worked hard to develop strong expertise in a number of business areas. To be recognised as a full service commercial legal team, it is crucial that we add to our corporate offering and bolster the real estate team considerably. Although it won’t happen overnight, I am convinced that we can achieve this and look forward to playing my part in this exciting journey.”