John Pickering, the Group Chief Executive of Irwin Mitchell, today announced that he is to stand down from his position and will leave the business after a transitional period.
Irwin Mitchell also today confirmed that its new Group Chief Executive is Andrew Tucker, who assumed his new role on Monday. Tucker was previously the Chief Executive of Irwin Mitchell’s Personal Legal Services (PLS) division.
The decision by John Pickering, who became Group Chief Executive in 2011, brings to a close a successful 37-year career with the firm. Irwin Mitchell’s Chairman Glyn Barker paid tribute to him as ‘a leader and inspiration to the firm as a whole’.
Pickering said his decision to step down was based on the changing legal sector and his desire for Irwin Mitchell to have a settled senior management in place longer term to drive forward its strategic growth and corporate development plans, and added that he now plans to pursue long-held ambitions for holding non-executive director positions within other businesses.
The news comes after a successful 18-month period for Irwin Mitchell in which it exceeded £200m in income for the first time, completed five acquisitions, announced it would open its ninth regional office in Southampton this month and recruited more than 30 experts into Partner-level positions across its business
Glyn Barker, Chairman of Irwin Mitchell, said: “Having put in place a top class Executive Team, John believes that the firm should now be led by a Chief Executive who will lead the organisation over the medium term. Although I personally will miss John a great deal, this is an honourable decision, taken in the long term interests of Irwin Mitchell, and John has my full support.
“John’s contribution to Irwin Mitchell has been very significant and covered a wide spectrum, from being a top flight personal injury litigator to acting as mentor and coach to many of our partners working at IM today. He has been a key strategic thinker and a driver, and a leader and inspiration to the firm as a whole.
Announcing the firm’s new Group Chief Executive, he added: “As head of PLS, Andrew has already demonstrated his excellent leadership capabilities. His intellect, experience, commerciality and determination will ensure that our firm will continue to prosper, grow and win in the market place over the coming years.
“Andrew has also played a major role in our continued success through his role on the Board and I have no doubt he will lead the firm to further success as our Group Chief Executive.”
Andrew Tucker, the new Group Chief Executive of Irwin Mitchell, said: “I am honoured to be asked to lead the firm into its next phase of development during a period of change for our industry and our firm.
“We have an ambitious and exciting agenda to pursue and I will aim to build on the very strong foundations that John has helped put in place.
“John and I, with the support of the senior management team, will work closely over the coming weeks to ensure that the transition is seamless and provides a basis for us to drive forward with plans and goals.
John Pickering said: “This has been a difficult decision for me because I am deeply committed to the firm. I am proud of its growth, development and success, something which has been derived from the hard work of many people over the years.
“I have always felt passionate about our clients and our service to them and that strong feeling is embodied within the values of the firm. It remains key to the firm’s future success.”
He added: “I believe we have created a basis for the future success of the business. It is well placed to take advantage of all the opportunities which will come our way in the near future and to progress our plans.
“The Group will need a settled management team in place throughout this and, therefore, I concluded that a well managed and orderly transition to a new leader was appropriate now and the right direction for the firm to take.
“Andrew is the right man for that task and I am pleased the Board has appointed him. I am confident he can lead the firm to success and even greater things in the future.”
Andrew Tucker joined Irwin Mitchell as a solicitor in 1985 and became a Partner in 1988, working on a number of high profile group action cases. He first became a Board member in 1999 and then led the firm’s personal injury division from 2009. In May 2011, following a restructure of the firm, he became Chief Executive of PLS and a member of both the Board of Irwin Mitchell Holdings Ltd and the firm’s Executive Board.
John Pickering joined Irwin Mitchell as an articled clerk in 1977, becoming a Partner in 1980. He headed up the firm’s personal injury practice before being elected National Managing Partner in 2009. He became Group Chief Executive two years later, in May 2011.