- Work 0870 1500 100
- Fax 020 7404 0208
- 87 LONDON CHANCERY LANE WC2
See the latest survey results from the 2012/13 edition of The Lex 100 - a student guide designed to show what working in a law firm is really like. For more information on the methodology of this survey please click here.
For more information on this firm please click here
The lowdown (in their own words...)
Irwin Mitchell now has offices in Birmingham, Leeds, London, Bristol, Leicester, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield. It also has an office in Glasgow and two offices in Spain. The firm is divided into specialist groups: business; personal injury; insurance; private client and investment management. It is particularly well known for its leading personal injury and clinical negligence work, and has been successful in a number of high-profile multi-party cases, as well as achieving substantial awards for individuals. The firm also offers a wide range of commercial services.
The star performers
Clinical negligence: claimant; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Corporate and commercial; Crime; Debt recovery; Employment; Family; Health and safety; IP/IT; Local government; Personal injury: claimant; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Product liability: claimant; Professional negligence: claimant; Property litigation; Transport.
Acted for two defendants in the first cross-jurisdiction prosecution of insider dealing by the FSA; advised OCS Group UK Limited on its £8m disposal of a product distribution business to Bunzl plc; advised the family of a critically ill patient regarding a dispute over whether to end treatment; acted for Encon on its management buyout from Wolseley; acted for Henry Boot in a joint venture with Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust; advised the trustees of the Dyson Group Pension Fund on a reconstruction.
AES Seal; Age UK; Aviva; Begbies Traynor; Capita; Newham Training and Education; HSBC; Liverpool Victoria; Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets; Mortgages plc; PL Polyurethane Products; Sheffield Hallam University; Sheffield Wednesday FC.
Winner Lawyer of the year - Michael Napier QC.
Irwin Mitchell has impressed its current trainees with its growth over the last decade as well as its 'fantastic' reputation. Well respected for its top-tier personal injury and clinical negligence practices, expect 'good quality' work and to interact with 'experienced people at partner and associate level'. The fact that the firm is 'unpretentious' and has a 'relaxed attitude' means that everyone is 'approachable' and there is always someone available to answer your questions. Expect to be given 'a lot of responsibility' and to be 'treated like a fee-earner from day one, helping out on million pound cases'. Current trainees feel that they 'always do work that they feel is contributing to the team and making a difference'. Recent experiences have included 'assisting in a million-pound settlement negotiation at a round-table meeting in London', 'a negotiation to settle a substantial PI claim' and 'appearing alone before a master at the Royal Courts of Justice in order to have an application approved'. Some feel that the training can, at times, be a bit 'limited' and a canteen would be very much appreciated. Other trainees feel that the remuneration package could also be improved. However, if you are looking for an 'ambitious' firm with a great ethos and where you will get the opportunity to do 'real legal work', then Irwin Mitchell is a strong contender.
A day in the life of...
Joanne Witherington first-year trainee solicitor, Irwin Mitchell
Departments to date: Serious injury, medical law and patients' rights
University: University of Sheffield
Degree: Law and Criminology, 2(1)
8.30am: I arrive in the office and check my diary, email and voicemail, and plan my day. I start catching up with one of the secretaries about a conference last week, when I notice a memo on my desk from my supervisor, Jenny. She reminds me about our appointment later today. I am currently working in the medical law and patients' rights team. Jenny asks that I prepare for the meeting as I will be interviewing the client. I will also need to take a detailed note.
8.45am: I prepare for my meeting by reading the initial client form. I research medical terms I am unfamiliar with and think about the key elements of a clinical negligence claim. It becomes clear that I need additional information from the client and I plan which questions to ask.
9.30am: I go along to our twice-weekly Star Chamber meeting. This is where we discuss new client enquiries and decide whether or not to accept a case. We have nine new enquiries and I have already spoken with three of the callers. I read out the information I have and a senior member of the team decides if we can assist. After an hour, we decide to accept four cases, turn down another four and get some further information about one.
10.30am: I draft letters to the callers we cannot assist and review my diary again.
11.00am: Reviewing emails. I see an email from a colleague reminding everyone about a charity dinner on Friday night. I also spot emails from some of the trainees about going out for drinks tomorrow.
12.30pm: I meet up with my fellow trainees and take lunch. We talk about some of the cases we are working on and our next seats. I explain that I'll be in the Court of Protection team next and it dawns on me that I will be moving in just three weeks.
1.30pm: The appointment I had is cancelled as the client is unwell. I decide to take this opportunity to clear some outstanding work. I begin working on an application to the Legal Services Commission seeking funding in a new case. I just get started when I get a call from a witness asking that we move our telephone appointment later in the week to this afternoon. I explain that I will gather my papers and call back in a few minutes. Fortunately, I had already prepared for the meeting. I talk to the witness, who is a client's wife. I take a detailed witness statement about the client's current situation and the care and support provided by his wife.
3.30pm: I spend the rest of the day preparing for an inquest. I call the client to check that he knows the plan for the day. I call the barrister who will be representing the client and go through recent developments. I brush up on my knowledge of inquests and gather together the paperwork I need. I make sure I have enough copies of the press release I drafted yesterday in case any media show up. The barrister tells me today that he is not allowed to speak to the press so I'm pleased to have the release.
6.00pm: I put on my out of office, change my voicemail and head home for the day. On the way back, I think about tomorrow and plan what to say if the media show up.
About the firm
Address: Riverside East, 2 Millsands,, Sheffield S3 8DT
Telephone: 0870 1500 100
Group chief executive: John Pickering
Group chairman: Glyn Barker
Other offices: Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Madrid, Malaga, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield.
Who we are: Founded in 1912, the firm has grown from strength to strength. Nationally acclaimed, with strong international capabilities, Irwin Mitchell is one of a few law firms to provide a diverse range of legal services. One of the largest law firms in the UK, Irwin Mitchell provides a wide range of legal services to over 200,000 clients a year, with litigation its particular strength.
What we do: Personal legal services - encompassing all our private client and legal services focused on individual consumers. Business legal services - providing a full range of corporate and commercial legal services to businesses, institutions and organisations.
What we are looking for: We are looking for ambitious and well-motivated individuals who have a real commitment to law and who can demonstrate a positive approach to their work/life balance. We recruit law and non-law graduates and social ability is as important to us as academic achievement. Irwin Mitchell believes trainees to be an investment for the future; therefore our retention rate is excellent.
What you'll do: Trainees will have three training seats and a qualification seat. This allows trainees to gain practical experience in diverse and innovative areas of law whilst maximising retention opportunities. We always discuss trainee seat preferences and try to meet these wherever possible, in line with business needs.
Perks: 24.5 days' holiday, pension scheme, professional subscriptions, Westfield health plan, and death in service and critical illness cover.
Sponsorship: GDL and LPC funding, if you have not started or completed your studies when offered a training contract, plus a maintenance grant of £4,500.
Facts and figures
Trainee places available for 2015: circa 40.
Applications received pa: 2,000-2,500.
Percentage interviewed: 20%.
First year: £22,450 (outside London).
Second year: £24,650 (outside London).
Newly qualified: Dependant on the office and stream you qualify into.
(from Legal Business magazine)
£171.8m (+9% from 2010) Profits per equity partner: £511,000 (-5%)
Total partners: 177
Other fee-earners: 900+
Total trainees: 88