Irwin Mitchell dishes out appreciation bonuses and repays furlough cash

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By Thomas Connelly on

Move comes amid flotation rumours

Lawyers and staff at Irwin Mitchell are set to receive special appreciation bonuses in recognition of their efforts during the pandemic, the firm announced today.

The national giant confirmed the bonuses of 3% of salary are in addition to the performance-related awards dished out in November 2020. All staff also received an extra ‘thank-you payment’ at Christmas.

IM has also taken the decision to repay funds received through the government’s Job Retention Scheme (JRS) following what it described as a “positive performance” over the past 12 months.

At the height of the pandemic, and like many firms, IM took a number of steps to negate the impact of the virus. These included placing a number of staff on furlough and as revealed by Legal Cheek, delaying the start dates of some of its future trainees.

Andrew Tucker, group chief executive at IM, said: “We used the JRS scheme to help protect our colleagues from the impact of Covid-19 on our business during 2020. Through our prudent business management and a good trading performance in the current situation we’re in a position to repay the Job Retention Scheme funds provided by government. This is the right thing to do to help our communities.”

Tucker continued:

“We’re also very pleased to be able to recognise our colleagues with an additional bonus payment this financial year which reflects the attitude and hard work which they have all put in to making sure we continue to navigate the pandemic successfully meeting our client’s needs and supporting the business. It’s been a year of unprecedented uncertainty, but our colleagues have risen to the challenge. I am proud of all they have achieved.”

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The news comes amid rumours the firm is exploring a flotation on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) in a move which could value the national giant at £500 million.

Tucker added: “There’s still some uncertainty in the market with Covid-19 support measures gradually being eased, and the impact of Brexit still becoming clearer, but we’re feeling very positive about 2021 and beyond.”

Elsewhere in the world of bonuses, US outfit Paul Hastings confirmed all eligible staff, including lawyers and trainees in London, will receive an appreciation award of $1,500 (£1,077) following “a strong start to the year”. The additional cash is intended to be separate from any year-end discretionary bonus paid for 2021, the firm said.

Other firms to dish out special appreciation bonuses in recent weeks include Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Linklaters, Herbert Smith Freehills and Hogan Lovells.

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