Irwin Mitchell Continues To Improve Business Legal 500 Rankings

Firm Improves Its Positions In Six Key Areas


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

Irwin Mitchell’s fast-growing commercial legal practice has again reaffirmed its first-class reputation after recording another impressive performance in the latest Legal 500 tables.

Across the UK, Irwin Mitchell saw six teams within its Business Legal Services (BLS) division improve their ranking position within the annual independent legal directory.

Following the success of the previous years, Irwin Mitchell is now ranked as a top three firm in 38 of Legal 500’s business related categories.

Niall Baker, Partner and BLS Chief Executive, said: “These are very strong Legal 500 results which once again reflect the hard work amongst of our existing teams whilst also demonstrating that our ongoing senior-level recruitment drive is paying off.”

Following a strong year for BLS which resulted in double-digit growth, Irwin Mitchell continued to shine in a wide range of areas including Real Estate, Corporate & Commercial, Litigation, Employment, Regulatory and Corporate Recovery.

In Sheffield, the Real Estate team maintained its number one position and was described as having ‘impressive bench depth’. In addition to Paul Firth; Kevin Docherty, Steven Richardson and Thomas Hall were all praised.

The arrival of a 14-strong real estate team from DLA Manchester in February 2012 ensured that the firm continued to make progress in the North West with an improved commercial property ranking from three to two.  Here the firm was said to ‘clearly understand its area of expertise and provide commercial, pragmatic advice'.

In Leeds, John Flathers’ team of six retained its top three ranking after a strong 12 months which saw it act in a number of high profile real estate transactions including the £15m purchase of the former Terry’s Chocolate Factory. Also in Yorkshire, the Property Litigation team, led by Danny Revitt, maintained its tier two position, whilst Julie Morrissy’s Construction unit was noted for its new client gains including Vue Cinemas and HSBC Bank.

The real estate team in London maintained its high ranking positions within the categories of ‘Commercial Property’, ‘Construction’ and ‘Property Finance’. It was also listed for the first time in the area of Planning. In the Property Finance category, the ‘excellent’ team was commended for handling ‘increasingly big ticket, complex transactions’.

The firm’s investment in establishing its Banking & Finance team saw the firm in London debut in the ‘Asset Based Lending’ category at number one. Here Irwin Mitchell’s ‘highly experienced and effective’ team, headed up by the ‘vastly experienced’ Andrew Watson, was praised for its work with lenders including HSBC and Close Invoice Finance.

In Birmingham, Banking & Finance Partner Jon Bew, was described as ‘excellent’ and ‘commercial’ and the practice, which was said to be ’exceptionally experienced in the ABL sector’, recorded a new top three listing in the directory’s Finance section.  Within Yorkshire, Banking & Finance Partner Dean Gormley was described as the ‘name to note’ following his work on a number of multi-million pound refinancing deals.

The firm’s Commercial Litigation department continued to perform well across the UK. It retained its number one spot in Sheffield where in addition to the recruitment of Dorrien Peters, team leader Steven Beahan was praised for his ‘tremendous amount of experience’.

The firm’s high performing dispute resolution team in Leeds was said to have the capability to ‘compete in any part of England’, whilst the arrival of National Head of Commercial Litigation, Nigel Kissack, resulted in the firm improving its tier ranking within London.  Irwin Mitchell also retained its number one spot within London and Glasgow for debt recovery work.

Across the Corporate and Commercial arena, Irwin Mitchell’s Sheffield office again received an impressive number two ranking and in Leeds, the team was praised for its breadth of work which included advising UK subsidiaries of international corporates, firms with a national footprint as well as local SMEs.

The London team once again retained its ‘tier two’ ranking in the ‘Mergers & Acquisitions (deals up to £50m)’ category and in the West Midlands Irwin Mitchell improved its position with the guide’s authors highlighting the highly respected Chris Rawstron and the arrival of new Partner Nick Dawson.

Within Legal 500’s Technology, Media and Telecoms category, Irwin Mitchell again performed strongly. Across the Yorkshire region, it boosted its position in the IP section following the arrival of Alex Newman and maintained its number two ranking in the IT & Telecoms sub-sector.

The firm’s Regulatory and Criminal Group also recorded some very strong results in all areas of the UK.

In the North West, Irwin Mitchell moved up to top spot in the Crime, Fraud and Licensing category with Paul Haycock being recommended for his ‘cool head in difficult situations’. His work within other offices across the North was also praised.

Irwin Mitchell’s London office was ranked number two in the ‘White Collar Crime’ category with partner Sarah Wallace being referred to as ‘tenacious in pursuing the interest of her clients whilst giving realistic advice.’ Sarah was also said to be a ‘fearsome opponent’ in the financial services sector where the firm improved its ranking.

The employment team maintained all of its top three or above rankings across the UK, whilst in Yorkshire, the Pensions department headed by Nigel Bolton retained its number three spot.

Niall Baker added: “I’m delighted with these results and I’d like to thank everyone at the firm for their hard work. We have performed well in established areas and continue to make tremendous headway in new categories. We are committed to constantly improving and enhancing our range of services to our clients and as our investment continues, I look forward to seeing further improvements in our rankings next year.”

Since the start of 2012, Irwin Mitchell has announced 26 new partners within BLS and within the last year it has recruited a host of high profile legal experts including Nigel Kissack as its National Head of Commercial Litigation, contentious tax expert Phil Berwick, and IP specialist Alex Newman.

Other appointments include Real Estate lawyer, Ayesha Hasan, Commercial Litigation Partners Jonathan Sachs, Jonathon Crook and Dorrien Peters as well as Corporate & Commercial specialists Nick Dawson and Sarah Riding.