Irwin Mitchell Announces Acquisition Of HL Interactive

Deal Marks Fifth Since Becoming An ABS

03.03.2014

Mark Duffell, Business Management | 0114 274 4521

National law firm Irwin Mitchell today announces the acquisition of the business of HL Interactive through its debt legal services arm Ascent in the latest stage of its strategic growth plan.

The deal for the Manchester-based recoveries law firm is the fifth by Irwin Mitchell as a Group since it was granted its Alternative Business Structure (ABS) licenses, and the fourth to be completed by Ascent.

The deal establishes Ascent as the UK market leader among recoveries law firms, particularly in relation to secured lenders. All 62 HL Interactive staff will transfer to Ascent, adding further experience and weight to its offering to clients.

Welcoming the latest acquisition news, Irwin Mitchell’s Group Chief Executive said the deal demonstrated the continued financial strength of the business, building on the previous financial year (2012/13) when the firm exceeded income of £200m for the first time.

The move follows on from four other deals completed by Irwin Mitchell, most recently the acquisition of respected personal injury firm MPH Solicitors, also based in Manchester, in November. Ascent has acquired three firms – PDP Management Services, Elliot Davies and Fraser Gowrie Johnston – since the Group became the first multiple-licensed ABS in 2012.

News of the latest acquisition also builds on further announcements from Irwin Mitchell with regard to its major recruitment drive which has seen a number of new  Partners join the firm already in 2014, building on the 29 partner and partner-level appointments made in 2013 across all areas of the business, including its rapidly expanding commercial practice and three appointments in Ascent.

HL Interactive, based in Manchester city centre, was originally formed in 2004 and, like Ascent, has expanded rapidly. It was the subject of a management buy-out led by Matt Wightman in April 2009.

Expert Opinion
This announcement is the latest chapter in the development of Ascent. I’m delighted that we have completed this deal, which will strengthen our position and will enable us to offer an even better service to clients.

“HL interactive shares our focus on ensuring we deliver the very best service to all of our clients and together, we will have a very strong offering indeed to help us achieve our aim of being the leading provider in this sector.”
Mark Higgins, Chairman of Ascent & Partner

Wightman will join the Ascent senior management team and said: “Ascent represents the perfect partner to help build on our previous achievements and to ensure that, as a group, we become the leading provider of debt recovery services in the UK.”