We’ve been Intercity’s trusted legal partner for over a decade, advising across employment, commercial and contract law. Though a long-term collaborative relationship, we’ve helped turn doubt into assurance for Charlie, Group Managing Director, and his team.
Intercity is a large IT services business founded in 1985 that specialises in communications, managed services, and cloud security. They have 2500 UK customers from SMEs to enterprise level and public sector organisations like police forces, local councils, NHS trusts, hospitals, and charities.
Over the years we’ve worked together, we’ve built up a real lasting relationship as we’ve got to know Charlie and the business.
“Irwin Mitchell feel like an extended part of our team because we’ve got that familiarity with them now,” says Charlie. “They know our business well. They know the personality of our business, which is important - what we stand for and how we want to do business.”
Supporting Our Growth
It’s a dynamic, growing business and we’ve been there to help facilitate that growth.
They’re currently in the middle of a big deal involving TUPE, a set of employment regulations which businesses must follow when changing ownership or service provider. They’re working with our employment law team, including Helen Dyke and Fergal Dowling, to make sure the deal goes smoothly and stays legally compliant.
“As a business, we’ve gone through quite a lot of change in the last three to four years,” Charlie explains. “We’ve pivoted away from what was just a telecomms business, with two acquisitions and a broader product and service portfolio.”
“Being able to adapt to that change and being able to handle new deals was important, and Irwin Mitchell have done that very well to help us deal with the growing pains.”
As the business has grown, we’ve helped their staff upskill and grow themselves. We’ve given employment law training to their HR team, and Intercity’s HR Manager has since gone on to become their HR Director. During lockdown, Intercity colleagues have benefited from our online tutorials and webinars to keep abreast of upcoming issues and prepare for the future.
“They make you feel more assured, more confident. They know we’re a business that’s growing, that’s fast-moving, and they move with the times. We trust them.”
Pragmatic, Practical, Relevant
For a company going through so much change, it’s important to work with a legal team that can act fast to give you the right legal advice. When something urgent comes up, Charlie knows he can pick up the phone and get quick, responsive support.
But fast advice is no good unless it’s right for you. After working with Intercity so long, we understand them well enough to find a solution that suits them and their commercial goals.
“There are always different perspectives when it comes to dealing with a legal issue,” says Charlie. “I always find that they chart the most pragmatic and common-sense way that aligns with our business values. They’ll explain the options, you can have a conversation with them about your own concerns, they can share their experiences, and then we come up with the right solution.”
“I think it’s really important that they understand the business and the customers that we’re with, and the environment. Their advice is pragmatic, it’s practical, it’s relevant to our sector."
Demystifying a Black Art
The right solutions are only half the story, however. Charlie also finds it helpful that we speak his language.
“They give good advice, they keep it simple, they don’t overuse legal jargon,” he says. “They’re able to really engage with us at our level and demystify some of the legal aspects. They simplify things so we understand them clearly.”
“I never feel inferior or intimidated - you feel like you can say what you want to them. No question’s a silly question. You can ask those silly questions without fear of them looking down their nose. It’s nice to be able to have that relationship. You can be really open with how you’re feeling and what the issues might be.”
That’s the approach we take with all our clients, but Charlie and Intercity have also really benefited from the close partnership we’ve developed over the years.
“I genuinely feel that when we engage with them, we know each other well – there’s a familiarity – and they’re just great to deal with. You know them personally, they get to know you personally, and that’s really important. They care – they care about our business as well as theirs.”
The Right Values
Values are important to Charlie and Intercity, as is working with partners who share those values.
They have over 200 employees and are proud to have recently been listed in the Sunday Times’ Best Companies to Work For List. Their vision is to be the best tech company to work for, and the best tech company to work with.
“We put a lot of emphasis on doing things right and looking after our colleagues. Irwin Mitchell seem to do the same. They seem to have a good way with their own team and how they provide a good environment for their own colleagues as well as their clients. That comes through when you talk to them.”
Looking to the future
Charlie sees more growth and acquisitions for the future of Intercity, following a strong, ambitious business plan.
“We’re a business that’s looking to the long-term future with some positivity and having partners like Irwin Mitchell who’ve seen us grow and know us well is important to us.”
We’re looking forward to continuing our journey with Charlie and Intercity and seeing what that future brings.
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