Leading national legal services business, Irwin Mitchell, has set its sights on further growth after announcing a 3.9% rise in turnover to £210.6m along with a 6% increase in profits.
Group chief executive Andrew Tucker said financial performance for 2014/15 reflected returns on both organic growth and other investment including acquisitions in previous years and said the business is well-placed to capitalise on the opportunities in the changing legal market.
Income growth was seen across the Group, including the fast growing Business Legal Services division which, for the second consecutive year, delivered a double digit increase in turnover.
The Personal Legal Services team recorded a 2% increase in revenues despite a further anticipated fall in income within its volume personal injury work caused by the impact of law reform. Underlying growth in other services within this division has been strong.
Growth was also supported by Group companies including IM Asset Management Ltd, debt legal services business Ascent and private wealth law firm Berkeley Law, which was acquired by the Group during the financial year.
Profit before tax increased by 6% to £18.1m (13/14: £17.1m), reflecting the impact of previous investment in strategic recruitment, acquisitions, new regional offices, and continued investment in building the Irwin Mitchell brand through high profile advertising.
Tucker also highlighted the significant progress made by the Group in delivering key strategic objectives with highlights including the Berkeley Law acquisition – the sixth since Irwin Mitchell became the first multiple-licensed ABS in 2012 – and the launch of IMe Law, a new ABS venture with FTSE250 insurer, esure.
In addition to 29 partner-level appointments and 10 additional partner promotions in 2014/15, the Group also advanced its regional expansion strategy by opening a new regional office in Cambridge, building on the announcement of a new Southampton base towards the end of 2013/14.
Tucker said: “2014/15 was a good year for our Group and again demonstrates our continuing financial strength as we deliver our strategic objectives.
“In 2013/14, we took very deliberate decisions to sacrifice a proportion of profit to invest even further in our business and we are beginning to see the return on those and earlier investments with both an increase in income and profit before tax.
“We have continued with our investment strategy during 2014/15 and this is evident not just in the acquisitions and partner hires that we have made, but in our investment in high profile marketing campaigns, our commitment to widening our UK-wide footprint with new office openings and further investment in our infrastructure.”
He added: “Above all, the financial year continued to showcase numerous examples of first-class client engagement. Irwin Mitchell is unique and we are proud to offer a different type and range of service in a market where more and more clients are looking for better value and an empathetic relationship.
“Our core values underpin who we are as a business and how we operate. We believe it offers us an advantage in a rapidly developing market and we intend to build on that to drive forward our vision of being the legal brand of choice.”
Progress on delivering the Group’s strategy has continued since the year end. In May, it announced it had opened a new consulting office in Middlesbrough and last month, it announced its seventh acquisition since 2012, the commercial debt recovery division of P&A Receivables Services.