National law firm Irwin Mitchell is celebrating after its groundbreaking partnership with the College of Law and the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives was named the education and training initiative of the year at the prestigious British Legal Awards last week.
The firm beat off stiff competition from a host of other major law firms to take home the prize at a major ceremony at Old Billingsgate Market in London to be recognised for its hugely successful IMU Law and Business School.
Launched in 2011, the initiative is the first legal and business education programme to be established by a UK law firm and was developed in conjunction with the College of Law, which on Friday announced that it had been granted university title, and CILEx, through ILEX Tutorial College.
The IMU has so far helped more than 200 delegates to progress through its various programmes aimed at employees from paralegal to partner level and is designed to provide Irwin Mitchell’s staff with support to achieve all of their career ambitions.
Catherine Kenwright, head of learning and knowledge management at Irwin Mitchell, said: “This prize is a testament to the hard work which has gone into this initiative from within our firm, as well as the huge expertise which has been offered by the College of Law and CILEx.
“As a firm, we have always been committed to learning and development as a way of ensuring everyone within our business is able to not only deliver high-quality services for our clients, but can also achieve all of their professional ambitions.
Colin Ettinger, a partner at Irwin Mitchell’s London office who has played a key role in the development of the IMU Law and Business School, said: “Our practising lawyers have put a huge amount of work into building the expertise and knowledge within the firm to help develop the next generation of future partners.
“We are now fully focused on building upon this success and taking even further steps to ensure that our people are given the best possible chance to grow and develop in the legal sector.”
Tricia Chatterton, business development director at the College of Law, said: “We are delighted to have received this award for innovation in legal training and education. The IMU Law and Business School has created a unique multi-pathway, career-spanning law and management training programme for lawyers at all levels in the business.
“It demonstrates the clear benefits of innovative, tailored solutions to training needs which can be achieved through our unique, collaborative approach to working with our clients and training partners.”
President of CILEx, Nick Hanning, added: “We were thrilled to win this award. CILEx has been providing exceptional vocational training in law for almost 50 years and we are absolutely committed to ensuring law firms have access to flexible training programmes like the one we have helped set up with the College of Law and Irwin Mitchell.
“The IMU Law and Business School has shown that law firms can create their own legal experts of the future and we are proud to be a part of their vision.”