– In a move designed to take full advantage of the changes… – In a move designed to take full advantage of the changes taking place within the legal marketplace, leading law firms Irwin Mitchell and Golds have announced plans to merge with effect from 1 April 2007. The new firm, to be known as Irwin Mitchell, will be the largest, most diverse supplier of commoditised legal services in the UK.

Both firms have market leading reputations in different, but closely related markets. Irwin Mitchell is recognised as the UK’s market leader for the provision of commoditised legal services, particularly in the insurance sector. The firm is also the leading personal injury and medical negligence litigation practice in the country.

Golds has for many years been recognised as Scotland’s leading volume supplier of mortgage lending, commercial lending and recovery services to financial institutions. Over the last 4 years, from its Manchester base, it has become an important national player in these markets. It is Scotland’s largest provider of commoditised services in the insurance sector, where it has worked closely with Irwin Mitchell for some years.

Both firms have developed a pioneering range of ‘white label’ legal products for national organisations, institutions and companies which can be packaged and sold under their own brand.

Howard Culley, Managing partner of Irwin Mitchell said “The present Government has been clear in its intention to streamline the delivery of legal services, increase competition within the UK’s legal sector and ensure that a better legal service is provided to consumers. Irwin Mitchell has supported the proposed changes to the legal industry set out in the Legal Services Bill.”

“Realising the opportunities that a de-regulated market will offer, our aim is to position the firm as the leader in the delivery of volume legal services in the UK whilst continuing to develop our specialist areas of practice.”

Craig Marshall, Managing Partner at Golds said “The two firms have enjoyed a close relationship for a number of years. The attraction for both of us lies in the synergies between the two firms. We are extremely strong in markets which are different, but which have at their heart market-leading technology, process design and capacity management skills. The combined firm has enormous potential to grow our unique ‘legal logistics’ business across a wide range of industry sectors.”

With over 2300 staff, including over 1200 fee earners, the newly merged firm will be the 4th largest law firm1 in the UK with an established office network covering Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle, and Sheffield as well as the Spanish cities of Marbella and Madrid.

Howard Culley continued “This merger will create a legal powerhouse, offering our clients an unequalled diversity of legal services whilst providing the firm with a springboard to develop commercial work with financial institutions. The merger will also create a base to promote our market leading personal injury and clinical negligence services in Scotland.”

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