The lowdown (in their own words...)
If the firm were a fictional character it would be...
With its network of 12 offices across the country and over 2,800 staff, Irwin Mitchell is one of a few large law firms to provide a diverse range of legal services to both businesses and private individuals. The firm is divided into two divisions: personal legal services and business legal services and has particular strength in litigation. The firm was crowned Private Client Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards 2017.
The star performers
Administrative and public law; Asset based lending; Clinical negligence: claimant; Commercial litigation; Commercial property; Contentious trusts and probate; Corporate and commercial; Court of protection; Debt recovery; Education; Family; Fraud: white-collar crime; M&A: smaller deals, up to £50m; Personal injury: claimant; Personal tax, trusts and probate; Planning; Product liability: claimant; Sport; Travel: personal injury.
Representing the families of 18 British citizens who were killed during the Tunisia attack in 2015, as well as many of the injured victims; acted on a £12m hypoglycaemic brain damage claim against Bishop Auckland Hospital following sub-standard midwifery management; acted for an individual in a property damage and personal injury dispute with a retailer of an Air Runner Hoverboard that exploded; acted for Keep Wythenshawe Special in a judicial review that challenged the decision of clinical commissioning groups in Manchester to not award specialist status to Wythenshawe Hospital; advised Investec Bank on the £24.5m ABL facility to facilitate the buy-out of Fresh-Pak Chilled Foods.
BNP Paribas Real Estate Advisory and Property Management; Charles Wilson Engineers; Crown Record Management; English Bridge Union; Hills Numberplates; HSBC; Metro Bank; Official Solicitor and Public Trustee; Paypoint Network; Shawbrook Bank.
Irwin Mitchell boasts a 'range of specialisms' and 'provides advice to private individuals and businesses'. The firm's 'two-stream approach', whereby trainees can choose between a personal legal services or business legal services training contract, offers the opportunity to 'tailor your training to the areas that interest you the most'. There is a discernible 'passion to really want to help clients and get the best for them' at Irwin Mitchell. Trainees laud the 'fantastic quality' of the work and the considerable amount of client contact they receive. The 'quality of the supervision' did not go unnoticed either, with one trainee noting 'I have never felt out of my depth, but I have also never felt undervalued'. On a slightly less positive note, some recruits expressed their frustration at the discrepancy between the pay in the regional offices compared to that of the London office. Partners do however strive to make trainees feel like 'valued members of the team'. Refreshingly, the firm demonstrates an 'openness to career changers', whose previous experience is welcomed. The work/life balance at Irwin Mitchell is 'exceptionally good', especially in the personal legal services stream, where there is 'no culture of working excessive hours, although this does 'depend on the department'. Qualification prospects are affected by the firm's 'business needs' which leads to some uncertainty regarding trainee retention. Stand-out work moments include 'acting for a member of foreign royalty' and 'securing an excellent settlement for a client who had sustained life-changing injuries'. For the opportunity to undertake a 'personalised training contract' in a firm which has an 'unbeatable reputation in its chosen areas' and offers 'substantive work', take a closer look at Irwin Mitchell.
Why Irwin Mitchell?
Hayley Johnson BLS senior associate, banking and finance, Sheffield
I joined Irwin Mitchell to assist with setting up a new team at a time when many other law firms were not investing or recruiting in the business legal services space.
The opportunity to join Irwin Mitchell presented an exciting challenge for me personally, as well as a really good way to progress my career with a major national law firm with a strong foundation and an established reputation.
It was exciting to join a firm with a clear ambition to develop its business legal services division and a developed strategy to do so. I wanted to be part of a team working together on a national basis to provide the best possible service to business clients and joining Irwin Mitchell gave me the opportunity to achieve this.
Nicola Maier PLS associate, personal injury, Southampton
I joined Irwin Mitchell back in 2010 from another firm and at the time I remember being attracted by the prospect of working for a market leader with a pioneering approach.
I was also impressed by Irwin Mitchell's reputation as being an innovative and forward-thinking firm, with real expertise in personal injury work. Seven and a half years on, I can say that joining Irwin Mitchell has given me a fantastic opportunity to specialise in a really rewarding area of law and to progress my career.
I initially joined the London office, but relocated to head up a new team on the South coast in Southampton. The firm's commitment to delivering exceptional service to each and every client is impressive and the working environment is fantastic - my colleagues are all very friendly and a good work/life balance is actively encouraged.
Ravi Francis private wealth associate, London
My decision to join Irwin Mitchell was driven by a number of factors. The foremost of these was that it has such a strong and long-standing reputation for private client and tax. This has grown and improved further still since I joined, and the recent launch of Irwin Mitchell Private Wealth promises very exciting times ahead.
The second reason was that the firm has a large number of market-leading experts, both within my practice area and across the firm. This not only offers the best opportunities for learning, but that strength in depth also adds credibility and convenience to our offering to clients. Simply put, I wanted to be on the same team as these people.
Finally, the combination of the above means that the firm is able to attract some of the best clients out there; it is still very exciting and satisfying to work on such prominent, technically challenging and high-value client matters, and in a highly specialised area like international tax, those opportunities can only be found at a handful of firms.
About the firm
Address:Riverside East, 2 Millsands, Sheffield, S3 8DT
Telephone: 0370 1500 100
Group chief executive: Andrew Tucker
Total partners: 260
Other fee-earners: 1,430
Total trainees: 108
Other offices: Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Chichester, Gatwick, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Newbury, Newcastle, Southampton.
Who we are: Irwin Mitchell is a national firm, and one of a few law firms to provide a diverse range of legal services to business and private clients.
What we do: We offer a broad range of personal and business legal services to businesses and private individuals.
What we are looking for: Those who have the ability to be creatively minded, demonstrate resilience, use their initiative, display empathy and have strong problem-solving skills.
What you'll do:Trainees will have three training seats and a qualification seat, giving them the chance to gain practical experience in diverse areas of law, in their selected stream.
Perks: 25 days' holiday, health plan, recognition scheme, two CSR days a year, sports team sponsorship, season ticket loan, contributory pension scheme, death in service cover, critical illness cover.
Sponsorship:If your application is successful, we will meet all the fees associated with your LPC and, if applicable, your GDL if you have not started or completed your studies when offered a training contract. We also provide a maintenance grant to help you through your studies.
Facts and figures
Training contracts available for 2020: 45
Applications received pa: 2,000+
Percentage interviewed: 12.8%
First year: £25,000 (regional), £36,000 (London)
Second year: £27,000 (regional), £38,000 (London)
Newly qualified: Dependent on the office and division you qualify in.
Turnover in 2016: £221.3m (+20% from 2015) Profits per equity partner: £482,000
Apply to:Nicola Stanley (head of graduate recruitment).
What's involved: Online application, video interview and assessment centre.
When to Apply:
Training Contract: By 30 June 2018.
Legal Work Placement: By 15 January 2018.