Irwin Mitchell hires Pinsents lit chief Kissack as disputes head

Irwin Mitchell has appointed Pinsent Masons’ former dispute resolution and litigation head Nigel Kissack as its head of commercial litigation after a two-year recruitment drive to find the right candidate.

Kissack left Pinsent Masons in May after 15 years as litigation chief, joining legal process outsourcing (LPO) provider Exigent as a global strategy consultant, having been influential in Pinsents’ own outsourcing initiatives (10 July 2013).

He will continue with his board member duties at Exigent while joining Irwin Mitchell’s London office in November.

Irwin Mitchell business legal services chief Niall Baker said it had taken more than two years to find a candidate he was confident could deliver a national strategy to expand the commercial litigation team.

Kissack is a qualified mediator and has experience in international arbitration, acting as a court appointed supervisor of search and seize orders.

Baker said that arbitration was inevitably going to be a growing feature of what Irwin Mitchell disputes group, adding: “Undoubtedly we will hire partners to support international arbitration in the future although [Kissack] has a lot to do nationally to begin with.”

Irwin Mitchell recently reviewed its internationally strategy, selling off the Spanish arm of the firm with the intention of retaining its Spanish and potentially growing its international presence via a series of best-friends relationships (1 October 2013).

“It’s a very difficult decision between international openings and operating on a best friends basis. There are pros and cons to both methods but we have decided that a best friends approach will work best for us at the moment” Baker explained.

In addition to Kissack, Irwin Mitchell has added contentious IP specialist Alex Newman, who previously led Squire Sanders’ intellectual property practice in the North of England, and Kirsten Doherty, a trade mark attorney who joins as a consultant.

Doherty previously worked at Brown Rudnick and Lawrence Graham with Georgie Collins, a cross border IP partner who joined the firms London office in September (9 September 2013).

Newman who focuses on contentious matters in the technology and engineering sectors will join as a partner in the firm’s Leeds office in early November and work alongside Joanne Bone, who specialises in non-contentious areas of IP.

The latest additions to Irwin Mitchell’s rapidly expanding business division takes the total number of new partners to join since the beginning of 2012 to 18, with 10 now having joined in 2013 alone.