New Team Has Strong Focus On Gaming, Leisure, Hospitality, Financial Services And CBD Sectors
Irwin Mitchell has announced the recruitment of a team of seven regulatory lawyers from Ince & Co. Led by partners Philip Somarakis and Colette Kelly, the latest appointments demonstrate the firm’s commitment to boosting its Regulation & Compliance team and investing in its legal services for the corporate and institutions audience.
Philip Somarakis, formerly the Head of the Regulatory Solutions Department at Ince & Co, joins Irwin Mitchell as its National Head of Regulatory.
He brings over 25 years of experience in a wide range of regulatory issues, including investigations and prosecution. He specialises in the gambling, alcohol, and entertainment licensing sectors, along with criminal and regulatory defence.
Philip’s knowledge has been sought after by gambling operators, where he has helped with applications for both land-based and online casino licenses. His clients have included a US-based casino operator, as well as licensed operators in Europe and Africa. Philip’s expertise has also been instrumental in advising a diverse range of clients, including multi-site restaurants, convenience stores, and breweries.
Colette Kelly, also joining from Ince & Co, has over 20 years of experience in investigations and enforcement proceedings. She specialises in complex and high-profile criminal and regulatory cases brought by bodies such as the FCA, SFO, HMRC, and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. Colette is recognised as one of the leading lawyers in the UK dealing with Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) and asset forfeiture work. Colette also advises businesses on the UK cannabidiol (CBD) regulatory landscape.
Joining Philip and Colette are four other lawyers from Ince & Co. This team includes highly experienced Senior Associate, Andrew Cotton a recognised expert in the betting & gaming sector and a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law. Andrew has over 30 years’ experience as a gaming, regulatory and alcohol licensing lawyer with over 15 years spent in house in the compliance team at the Rank Group. Andrew also advises on-going compliance with licence conditions, anti-money laundering (AML) and social responsibility controls, regulatory reporting requirements and a range of consumer protection legislation.
Also joining are Joanna Onisiforou, a recognised ‘key lawyer’ and expert in alcohol and entertainment licensing, a member of the Institute of Licensing, and notable experience in defending road traffic cases; Loren Hills, who specialises in criminal litigation and Magistrates’ Court civil appeals; and Julie Dao, who is rising to prominence in the AML and crypto regulatory space. The team is supported by Paralegal, Millie Coleman, who is the other member of the team who is moving across to Irwin Mitchell.
Expert Opinion"We are thrilled to welcome Philip Somarakis, Colette Kelly, and their exceptional team to Irwin Mitchell. Their extensive experience and expertise will add strength in depth to our Regulation & Compliance team, allowing us to provide even better support to our clients. This strategic recruitment reflects our commitment to delivering top-tier legal services and strengthening our position in the market." Fergal Dowling, Director of Legal Services (Commercial Advisory & Disputes) at Irwin Mitchell
Irwin Mitchell is investing heavily in its team focused on the Corporate and Institutions audiences.
The firm has invested in Scotland-based law firm Wright, Johnston and Mackenzie (subject to regulatory approval) which specialises in corporate, real estate and private client work. It also announced that it will significantly expand its family law practice in the North East of England with the acquisition of Silk Family Law.
Irwin Mitchell also recently announced the appointment of Construction & Engineering partner, Joanna Preece. Earlier this year it announced the arrival of construction partner Robert Tunningley, banking partner Jeremy Ladyman, two corporate/property tax partners, Kate Featherstone and Jennie Newton and Real Estate Disputes partner Will Scott.