Irwin Mitchell LLP accounts show dip into debt

Irwin Mitchell saw turnover rise by 17.2 per cent at the end of the last financial year to £184.1m from £157.1m, the firm’s LLP filings show, but internal investment resulted in a rise in net debt.

The firm has spent much of the last year gearing up to its conversion to an alternative business structure (ABS) and the latest LLP filings show there has been significant internal investment.

At the end of the 2010-11 the firm recorded net debt of £1.14m, compared to the previous year when it had net funds of £6.21m. Meanwhile, capital introductions almost doubled from £1.02m to £2.01m.

Irwin Mitchell Holdings Ltd took a controlling stake in the LLP at the beginning of the financial year. According to the accounts the profit attributable to the member with the largest entitlement to profit was £5.85m up from £1.36m in 2009-10. The 2010-11 figure related to Irwin Mitchell Holdings.

Through the LLP the holding company also had a stake in insurance claims analysis company Ectimo and, until it went into administration in October, the firm also had a stake in Broker Assistance, which offered motor claims and recovery services on behalf of insurance brokers.

The firm’s Spanish office, which opened in 2005 (9 December 2005), contributed 0.86 per cent of the turnover, or £1.6m.

In November the firm announced the retirement of its long standing chairman Michael Napier from the firm (16 November 2011). He was widely credited with shaping modern group action law and introducing the concept of conditional fee arrangements to the legal system.

In January, the firm appointed former PricewaterhouseCoopers vice-chairman Glyn Barker as executive chairman designate (16 January 2012). The appointment will need approval from the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) and will come into place should the firm gain ABS accreditation.