Irwin Mitchell acquires Mayfair-based Berkeley Law

Irwin Mitchell has acquired Mayfair based private wealth specialists Berkeley Law in a bid to gain ground in London.

As well as the Mayfair headquarters, the acquisition includes a separate residential property and conveyancing business, Berkeley Hurrell in Kensington.

Berkeley Law is believed to turn over between £3m and £4m per annum and specialises in private wealth advice for high-net-worth individuals both in the UK and abroad, such as international estate planning, trust advice, probate and estate administration.

The firm was set up by four legacy Lawrence Graham (LG) partners in 2010 (8 March 2010). Nick Rucker, Alexandra Ruffel and Tim Thornton-Jones, who quit LG to establish the firm alongside Glenn Hurstfield, will become Irwin Mitchell partners as part of the deal.

Both of the businesses will retain their brands and continue trading from their respective offices as alternative business structures (ABS) under the Irwin Mitchell Holdings umbrella.

Irwin Mitchell chief executive Andrew Tucker described the move as “an important strategic acquisition” that would “enable [the firm] to broaden the range of services [its] experts on complex financial matters can currently offer.”

Rucker said the Irwin Mitchell were the most suitable of several “suitors” due to sharing the Berkeley’s vision of building an independent, legally-led wealth business.

“Irwin Mitchell understands better than any other how the legal industry in the UK is changing and crucially also has expertise managing and running complementary businesses that are not law firms. This was to prove decisive in our choice to commit the future of the firm that we and our employees have built to the stewardship of Irwin Mitchell,” he added.

This is Irwin Mitchell’s sixth acquisition since becoming an ABS in 2012 (20 August 2012).

In the last year the firm has formed a joint ABS, IMe Law, with Sheila’s Wheels insurance company Esure (4 August 2014) as well as acquiring Manchester-based personal injury specialists MPH Solicitors in November 2013 (14 November 2013) and debt legal services firm HL Interactive in March (4 March 2014).

The firm also opened in Southampton in April (10 February 2014) and Cambridge in June (16 April 2014).

In March Irwin Mitchell secured a £60m rolling banking facility along with an additional £30m buffer in a joint deal with HSBC, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland (27 March 2014).

A month later group chief executive John Pickering stood down after 37 years at the firm (2 April 2014).