News

Done deal: Irwin Mitchell gobbles up Thomas Eggar as quest for legal market domination continues

By on
20

More merger mania

lead

National law firm Irwin Mitchell has confirmed that it has struck a deal with mixed regional practice Thomas Eggar that will see the firms become one.

An indication of who will wear the trousers in this partnership is that the Thomas Eggar name will disappear from next year and the firm will be known simply as Irwin Mitchell.

Rumours that Irwin Mitchell was eyeing up Berkshire-headquartered Thomas Eggar have been circulating among the legal press over the last few weeks, but the firms have remained tight-lipped until now.

Confirming the deal this morning, Irwin Mitchell noted that this is the biggest merger in the firm’s 103 year history — but the eighth tie-up by the fast-growing outfit since 2012.

National-powerhouse Irwin Mitchell is based in Sheffield and has 11 offices across the UK, including in London. Thomas Eggar, which is known for its retail, financial services, technology and media work, has just six offices. To date the firms have offered 50 and eight training contracts respectively each year.

The merger means the new combined firm will presumably up its trainee intake to almost 60 positions annually. That figure would put it on a par with international outfits Eversheds and Hogan Lovells — and make it the ninth highest offerer of training contracts in the land.

Turnover will also see a welcome boost as a result of the move.

Irwin Mitchell revealed earlier this summer that turnover had risen from £202.7 million to £210.6 million in the last financial year. With Thomas Eggar reporting a turnover north of £40 million in 2014, the newly formed firm will be on track to boast a healthy £250 million plus turnover if the multiple practice area synergies between the firms yield growth.

This figure will put Irwin Mitchell into the financial league of international outfits like Bird & Bird and Taylor Wessing.

The move continues a sustained period of growth for Irwin Mitchell following the acquisition of its alternative business structure (ABS) licence in 2012. Last year Irwin Mitchell purchased boutique Mayfair outfit Berkeley Law, while in 2013 it snapped up personal injury specialists MPH Solicitors. Meanwhile, Thomas Eggar itself merged with London commercial outfit Pritchard Englefield back in May 2013.

Today’s announcement follows yesterday’s news that northern powerhouse Addleshaw Goddard is in advanced merger talks with top Scottish law firm Maclay Murray & Spens. Reports suggest that management from both firms have met and given the move the green light, subject to a partner vote.

With mergers appearing to be the in thing, law students should take note of who’s eyeing up who: the firm you are applying to this year may technically no longer exist by the time it comes to commencing your training contract.

20 Comments

Charlotte Proudcock

I object to the sexualisation of this story.

“Who will wear the trousers…” is yet another egregious example of mysoginism in the legal profession.

Stunning pic of the Soviet Gulag-style offices BTW…

(20)(23)

MrShineHimDiamond

Oh shut. Up.

(13)(4)

Irvine J. Mitchell

Some quality merger stuff right there – Thomas Eggar evading going into administration by joining IM in the toilet bowl.

I just hope that TE’s staff were sufficiently briefed regarding the dirty-talking equity partners and the mobile phone ban policy, otherwise they’re up for a pretty rude awakening.

(12)(6)

Anonymous

What about the selfie sticks doe

(4)(0)

Anonymous

cant think of anything worse than doing a t/c with that bunch

(3)(2)

Spill the beans

I’ve read loads of negative things current/past employees have said IM. Are these true? High turnover, rubbish pay, bad working environment??

(9)(0)

Anonymous

To be fair, that describes most large law firms.

Solicitors these days are cattle to be herded, branded, and ultimately devoured by their owners.

I can’t wait to set up my own small high street practice and be free of all of them!

(6)(2)

Anonymous

all true

(0)(2)

Anonymous

Not with regard to the London office, in my experience. Can’t speak for the regional spots. Pay is fairly in line with other city firms at 36k/38k for trainees and circa 60-62k on qualification (don’t know if this has changed recently). Never even heard of the mobile phone thing that people keep mentioning.

(4)(3)

Anonymous

All true!!!!

(1)(2)

Insider Info

My supervising partner is this ludicrously bloated Northerner with a ten year old BMW who often brags about the epic fap he had last night when surfing videos on Pornhub or that one time he shot ‘several thick ropes’ across his missus’ arse. When I asked him to kindly stop, he asked me if I’m a poofter since all ‘propa blokes’ like dirty talk like this.

He sharts constantly, but sometimes the wind is so foul I need to excuse myself to go ‘copy something’ as otherwise I’d probably retch.

Most of my colleagues jumped ship straight outta their TC, and are reporting far better earnings, as well as work-life balances compared to this boiler room. I’m actually typing this right now on my phone which is technically banned and I have to be locked in the toilet cubicle to get this brief message out.

Oh and it’s 2am and I’m still here, all alone, bundling briefs. A truly awesome employer, this IM shop. But I gotta keep up with my mortgage repayments.

(18)(1)

Nobody

the phone thing is definitely true! And trainees are brainwashed in to thinking its “normal” to be treated like 12 year olds

(4)(0)

Anonymous

Thomas Eggar is a brilliant firm. I fear this merger will leave its staff members feeling like just another name on a long list where it’s impossible to stand out

(8)(3)

Anonymous

T.E . is a good firm. A shame to see it merge with I.M. Hopefully it wont be lowered to their standards.

(6)(2)

Anonymous

the problem with irwin mitchell is they are growing too quickly

(0)(0)

Anonymous

I am afraid IM is a hideous place to work. The reference to bloated northerners is right. One of them featured in the Daily Mail a while back accused of smacking a female’s bottom whilst working for a different firm. It is a laddish culture full of Sheffield done good types who will be like aliens to the TE partners.

(3)(0)

Anonymous

IM need this merger to give their commercial division some much needed credibility. It will only work if a TE partner leads it rather than sticking with the chuckle brothers who have been running it for 4/5 years and whose credibility is now at an all time low. The problem I forsee is that the incapable will not step aside and let the capable run the commercial division. To do so would bring an end to the gravy train of undeserved share allocations and bonuses.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

A court of protection lawyer and Scottish debt collector are never going to be able to credibly lead their commercial division. Look at the number of partners who leave every year – tells its own story.

(0)(0)

Anonymous

TE will regret doing that. The mask will slip about 3 months after the deal is done and TE staff will be butchered in a wave of redundancies. They want your office locations and clients, not the staff.

(1)(0)

RobotNation

Modern law: Fitter, healthier and more productive – a pig – in a cage – on antibiotics.

(3)(0)

Comments are closed.