Irwin Mitchell posts 6% revenue increase in first full-year results since Thomas Eggar merger

Irwin Mitchell has posted a 6% rise in revenue for 2016-17, the first full financial year since its merger with regional firm Thomas Eggar.

Turnover at the firm grew from £221.3m to £235.2m, falling short of earlier expectations that the combined firm would have total revenues of around £250m.

Last year’s results included just five months of revenue from Thomas Eggar following the December 2015 merger.

Net profit fell slightly to £12.3m, down from £12.4m, while the number of equity partners increased to 246, up from 239.

In a statement, the firm said that £12.3m represents the pre-tax profit the group made last year after all partner remuneration, adding: “This profit goes to pay corporation tax and dividends, with the majority being retained to support the further growth of the group.”

The firm declined to provide a profit per equity partner (PEP) figure. Legal Week has estimated that PEP remained static this year at £452,000.

“We made significant progress in a number of areas last year and I am excited about our prospects for the future,” said group chief executive Andrew Tucker. “The group has responded positively to challenging external conditions and I’m pleased to say that this hard work is reflected in these financial results.”

Last year, Irwin Mitchell’s profits plunged 25.7% from £16.7m – a drop attributed by the firm to investment in the Thomas Eggar merger.

Earlier this year, the firm paid out thousands of pounds to shareholders in its first dividend since February 2016. In a letter to shareholders in February, the firm announced that it would pay an interim dividend of 1.25p per share for the half-year to October 2016.

In July, the firm also announced a sector-focused strategy for its business legal services (BLS) division, following a review led by former Thomas Eggar managing partner Vicky Brackett, who took over as BLS CEO in November.

The six sectors the BLS division will focus on are: manufacturing, technology, financial services, real estate, education and consumer services.

Irwin Mitchell is divided into two main divisions – BLS and personal legal services, which covers areas such as personal injury, family law, wills and trusts, and public law. The BLS division currently contributes about a quarter of the firm’s total revenues.

The firm is also unusual in that its limited liability partnership has a parent company, Irwin Mitchell Holdings, which was set up in 2011 when the firm shifted to a corporate group structure.