Legal firm Irwin Mitchell given regulatory go-ahead to expand

Elizabeth Fournier
LAW firm Irwin Mitchell said yesterday it had been given the regulatory nod to go ahead with its conversion to an Alternative Business Structure (ABS), paving the way for ambitious growth plans.

The mid-tier firm was among the first batch of companies to apply for approval from the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA) in January, and yesterday received five licences covering its various group businesses.

The decision means it can press ahead with ambitious expansion plans, with group chief executive John Pickering saying the licences “position us well to take advantage of the opportunities which we think will arise from the changing legal landscape”.

Irwin Mitchell stuck its head way above the parapet in early 2011 when it announced its intention to seek ABS approval, challenging the traditional law firm structure by targeting potential mergers and acquisitions and looking for up to £50m of outside investment.

“We can now push on with our plans for growing the business. Conversion to ABS status sends a clear signal that we intend to move forward with our strategy,” said Pickering yesterday.

“Irwin Mitchell is one of the largest organisations we have authorised so far, and the first multi-licence to be granted. It just shows that the new legislation gives plenty of scope for all types of applications,” said the SRA’s chief executive Antony Townsend.