Irwin Mitchell secures £60m funding deal to drive growth

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LAW firm Irwin Mitchell has secured £60m with three major UK banks to fund its strategic growth plan.

The four-year finance package, which also includes a £30m ‘accordion’ facility for further finance if required, was agreed with HSBC’s Yorkshire corporate team along with Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Group chief executive John Pickering described the funding deal as a clear show of support from the firm’s banking partners and a demonstration of Irwin Mitchell’s strong financial position at a difficult time for other parts of the legal sector.

Irwin Mitchell is striving for further growth in the UK and internationally after the group recorded an income of more than £200m for the first time in the financial year 2012/13.

In the last 18 months the firm became the first multiple-licensed ABS in the UK, completed five acquisitions, announced it would open its ninth regional office in Southampton and recruited more than 30 experts into partner-level positions across its business.

Mr Pickering said: “The fact that we have been able to agree this facility with our banks at a time when the legal sector faces some real challenges demonstrates the strength of our business financially.

“We have a clear plan in place to build on the impressive growth we have delivered in recent years. Passing the £200m mark was a real milestone for us but our plans are to grow the business much more significantly in all the areas we operate in.”

He added: “Our investment to date in acquisitions and recruitment has been a real signal of our intention to take advantage of the right opportunities when they arise. We will continue to seek out those opportunities and we are grateful to our banking partners for the considerable support they have shown us with this package.”

The deal comes in a month when Irwin Mitchell announced the acquisition of the business of Manchester-based HL Interactive through debt legal services arm Ascent.

It acquired personal injury firm MPH last November and also two firms through Ascent – adding to the acquisition of PDP at the end of 2012.

Last year also saw the firm’s high-profile recruitment drive continuing with 15 partner-level appointments joining Irwin Mitchell’s rapidly growing business legal services (BLS) division, including a new national head of commercial litigation. BLS has also begun 2014 by announcing two further Partner appointments, with tax expert Phil Berwick and corporate specialist Nick Dawson joining the team.