Irwin Mitchell bucks trend by boosting trainee intake

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Alternative business structure law firm ramps up recruitment by 37.5% while City players cut numbers


Magic circle and other City-based global law firms may have slashed trainee recruitment by as much as 30% since the financial crisis, but one regional alternative business structure appears to be bucking the trend by piling on junior jobs.

Sheffield-based Irwin Mitchell revealed yesterday that 55 wannabe lawyers will slide behind desks at the firm this September. That marks an impressive 37.5% growth on last year’s intake over last year’s cohort of 40 of its trainee slots.

Indeed, last year the firm — which three years ago bagged five ABS licences — boosted its target annual recruitment of trainees from 40 to 50. The latest batch of trainees will be spread across nine of the firm’s offices and will be allocated to all practice areas.

Earlier this year, Solicitors Regulation Authority figures revealed training contracts across England and Wales had dropped significantly. The depressing numbers showed only 5,097 openings were registered between 1 July 2013 and 30 June 2014, a fall of more than 200 on the previous year.


Training contract numbers take another tumble [Legal Cheek]



Bucks trend? I know some numbers are down but I thought generally city firms are increasing their uptake with CCs and a few others taking in more.


A City NQ

I pity anyone who’s willing to work in this boiler room of a firm. A close friend of mine did her TC at IM’s London office, toughed it out for two years at the sweatshop, then left and never looked back.

Her supervising partner would regularly offer sexual comments on the outfit she was wearing or brag about “what a wonderful wank he had in the morning before work” or how he “propa jackhammered his missus last night”.

The whole office had a policy of confiscating cell phones from their employees in the morning for the duration of the workday and the only bonus she ever received was a voucher for two to Wahaca. HR would regularly terrorise trainees, threatening them with the boot whenever they raised a complaint. The pay was mediocre at best as well, way below market rate.

Having said all of above, I still have no doubt they will easily find 50 fools who’ll gladly toil over negligence claims whilst their supervisor heads off to down pints at the local.



Out of interest, how long ago was this?



Could have been a while ago as pay is now more in line with other firms (36k/38k for London trainees)


A City NQ

I think she left in Sept 2014, currently working in-house and loving it.


IM Trainee

Wholeheartedly agree with all mentioned above by City NQ.

A bit of lolz at the partner’s comments though – being a bloke, mine just claims he hates pufters and watches a ton of porn, occasionally on office computers late at night when everyone’s gone.





IM Trainee

Nah mate, I’m up in Newcastle. I did hear about a bird in Sheffield who apparently got a salary bump by offering tug jobs and blowies to several office staff though – climbing the ‘greasy pole’ comes to mind.



Oh, our regional cousins…

Lucky escape

Couple years ago I went on the Assessment Day and was really shocked about the mobile phone policy – like being back at school.


Lucky escape

Oh and I remember one of the trainees I spoke to saying “I don’t miss my phone at all. Not having it during the day really helps me concentrate on my work”

K. Sure



They certainly don’t have this policy any more and none of the people I know in the London office have ever mentioned it…


SullCrom Swagg

Doesn’t surprise me in the slightest – Irwin Mitchell was always a mediocre insurance chop shop. I remember it winning RoF’s coveted Golden Turd a couple of years ago as well.



Yep I remember that! Hence we get satisfaction questionnaires that get disregarded completely- their answer is to put mug shots on the wall of people who have got nominated….of course we do have sales people who market the firms success to staff internally rather than externally… And tweet from swanky mobiles and laptops all day long


Beggars belief

Not sure about the sexual favours part… However as someone who is still employed here the stuff about poor pay is definitely true still unfortunately… Fee earning staff are told we should be happy to be working for them and pay doesn’t matter… Even if you beat targets, we aww frequently told there are other factors which can’t be disclosed and whilst pay may be low we have a better chance of getting bonuses unlike competitors who may pay staff better but don’t do bonuses (not true!) They have implemented a scheme where people get nominated for “hard work” and other staff vote for the nominated to get a small selection of cinema vouchers (yes really). They’ve had so many complaints about pay of late that flow charts have gone up on walls explaining the ways they reward us that doesn’t involve pay!



Typical sweatshop mentality – let’s shaft our employees so that the partners can expand their BTL portfolio or get around that E-class Benz he so longed for.

Utterly disgraceful, but far too common in the City and not just at IM.



Irwin Mitchell is a firm I would not train or work at (full stop). No matter how desperate I was, I would walk away from my dream of being a lawyer rather than work at this lousy sweat-shop.


Irving Metchell HR lady Emma

So many naughty comments from our ungrateful employees!

The senior partners, Mr D. Fapps and Dr J. Wankson have instructed me to let you know that a thorough investigation is underway and all the culprits shall be named, shamed and summarily punished.

Now get back to work!


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