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The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
In November 2015, Irwin Mitchell announced the takeover of former Lex 100 entrant Thomas Eggar, a £40m firm with six offices in the South East. The newly-expanded Irwin Mitchell has acquired several smaller firms in recent years, and has refreshed its brand to stress its credentials as a commercial firm and a market leader for personal injury and clinical negligence claims. The firm was crowned Private Client Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2016.
The star performers
Asset based lending; Charities and not-for-profit; Clinical negligence: claimant; Commercial property; Contentious trusts and probate; Corporate and commercial; Court of Protection; Crime: fraud; Education; Family; IT and telecoms; Insolvency and corporate recovery; Intellectual property; Local government; Pensions; Personal injury: claimant; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Professional negligence: claimant; Property litigation; Public sector: education.
Advised BlackRock Workspace Property Trust on its £32m disposal of a portfolio of four light industrial properties to Westbrook Partners; represented the Intrepid Brewing Company in a trade mark dispute with Greene King; advised ABN AMRO Commercial Finance on the provision of a funding package to Excel Components; advised EasyJet on a number of tribunal claims; represented the families of 16 British citizens who were killed, as well as many of the injured victims of the 2015 Tunisia terrorist attacks.
3 Sovereign Square; Canal & River Trust; Decathlon UK; General Medical Council; HSBC; Jones Lang LaSalle; Metro Bank; National Grid; Santander UK; Sheffield City Trust.
Irwin Mitchell offers a ‘uniquely tailored training contract’, with the ‘two streams’ of personal legal services and business legal services prompting one respondent to summarise that ‘my training contract is focused on the type of work and clients I want to experience’. The firm attracts many recruits keen to ‘focus on personal legal services at a top-tier national firm’ with a ‘market-leading position in ‘family, personal injury and public law’. Trainees also note that ‘the corporate side of the business is growing rapidly’, and that Irwin Mitchell is an ‘ambitious firm with a clear strategy’. We are told that ‘the variety of clients makes for a well-rounded experience’, and work highlights include ‘seeing a transaction through to completion’ and ‘spotting an issue that ultimately knocked 50% off the value of a multi-million euro dispute’. The ‘lack of communication from top-level management’ is identified as a problem, as ‘sometimes you are kept waiting for information in relation to the next seats that you are going to’. The ‘approachability of staff at all levels’ is appreciated, as is the fact that ‘partners actually care about you and your development’. The ‘comprehensive training’ also ensures that trainees experience ‘direct client contact and substantive work’. The ‘emphasis on time recording’ is a real drag for some trainees, and there is a perception that ‘the NQ salary and employee benefits do not match the competitor firms that IM is trying to rival’. This is partially offset by the ‘healthy attitude to work/life balance’ and the ‘good socials’ enjoyed by the current intake. For the chance to experience a training contract at a firm with ‘ambitious and acquisitive growth plans’, head to Irwin Mitchell.
Why Irwin Mitchell? Three associates share why they decided to join Irwin Mitchell
Hayley Johnson BLS associate, banking and finance, Sheffield
I joined Irwin Mitchell to assist with setting up a new team at a time when many other law firms were not investing or recruiting in the business legal services space. The opportunity to join Irwin Mitchell presented an exciting challenge for me personally, as well as a really good way to progress my career with a major national law firm with a strong foundation and an established reputation. It was exciting to join a firm with a clear ambition to develop its business legal services division and a developed strategy to do so. I wanted to be part of a team working together on a national basis to provide the best possible service to business clients and joining Irwin Mitchell gave me the opportunity to achieve this.
Nicola Meier PLS associate, personal injury, Southampton
I joined Irwin Mitchell back in 2010 from another firm and at the time I remember being attracted by the prospect of working for a market leader with a pioneering approach. I was also impressed by Irwin Mitchell’s reputation as being an innovative and forward-thinking firm, with real expertise in personal injury work. Six and a half years on, I can say that joining Irwin Mitchell has given me a fantastic opportunity to specialise in a really rewarding area of law and to progress my career. I initially joined the London office, but relocated to head up a new team on the South coast in Southampton. The firm’s commitment to delivering exceptional service to each and every client is impressive and the working environment is fantastic – my colleagues are all very friendly and a good work/life balance is actively encouraged.
Ravi Francis private wealth associate, London
“My decision to join Irwin Mitchell was driven by a number of factors. The foremost of these was that it has such a strong and long-standing reputation for private client and tax. This has grown and improved further still since I joined, and the recent launch of Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth promises very exciting times ahead.
The second reason was that the firm has a large number of market-leading experts, both within my practice area and across the firm. This not only offers the best opportunities for learning, but that strength in depth also adds credibility and convenience to our offering to clients. Simply put, I wanted to be on the same team as these people.
Finally, the combination of the above means that the firm is able to attract some of the best clients out there; it is still very exciting and satisfying to work on such prominent, technically challenging and high-value client matters, and in a highly specialised area like international tax, those opportunities can only be found at a handful of firms.
About the firm
Address:Riverside East, 2 Millsands, Sheffield, S3 8DT
Telephone: 0144 276 7777
Group chief executive : Andrew Tucker
Other offices: Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Chichester, Gatwick, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newbury, Newcastle, Southampton.
Who we are: Irwin Mitchell is a national firm, and one of the few law firms to provide a diverse range of legal services to business and private clients.
What we do: We offer a broad range of personal and business legal services to a range of businesses and private individuals.
What we are looking for: Those who have the ability to work under pressure, be creatively minded, use their initiative and have strong problem-solving skills.
What you'll do:Trainees will have three training seats and a qualification seat, giving them the chance to gain practical experience in diverse areas of law, in their selected stream.
Perks: 25 days’ holiday, contributory pension scheme, health plan, death in service cover, critical illness cover, recognition scheme, season ticket loan, two CSR days a year, sports team sponsorship
Sponsorship:If your application is successful, we will meet all the fees associated with your LPC and, if applicable, your GDL if you have not started or completed your studies when offered a training contract. We also provide a maintenance grant to help you through your studies.
Facts and figures
Trainee places available for 2019: 50
Applications received pa: 2,000+
Percentage interviewed: 13.7%
First year: £25,000 (regional), £36,000 (London)
Second year: £27,000 (regional), £38,000 (London)
Newly qualified: Dependent on the office and division you qualify in.
Total partners: 293
Apply to:Nicola Stanley (graduate recruitment manager).
When to Apply:By 30 June 2017 for 2019 contracts.
19-30 June and 3-14 July 2017 (apply by 15 January 2017).