Irwin Mitchell targets Scotland with major acquisition

Deal: Craig Marshall, Irwin Mitchell (l) and Fraser Gillies, Wright Johnston & Mackenzie

National giant Irwin Mitchell has unveiled a major expansion of its Scottish practice by acquiring five-office firm Wright Johnston & Mackenzie (WJM).

WJM has 36 partners and 150 staff across offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dunfermline and Inverness.

Its revenue for its last financial year was £11.7m and has grown rapidly in recent years, with six mergers or acquisitions in the last seven years.

The two firms will retain their separate legal status, with the deal taking the form of investment by Irwin Mitchell.

Irwin Mitchell Scotland – whose last reported turnover was £1.8m, against £276m for the whole firm – operates out of Glasgow predominantly in banking and finance and complex personal injury work. WJM specialises in corporate, private client, property and asset management.

As part of the agreement, Irwin Mitchell partners Bruce Macmillan, Craig Marshall and Mark Higgins will join the newly constituted WJM management board.

Craig Marshall, group chief operating officer at Irwin Mitchell, said: “This strategic investment significantly expands our access to Scotland and Irwin Mitchell and Wright Johnston & Mackenzie believe it will fundamentally enhance the service for current and future clients across the whole of the UK and internationally.”

WJM managing partner Fraser Gillies will continue to head up operations in Scotland.

He said: “This is a landmark moment for our firm. We have expanded considerably over the past decade and this investment will supercharge our growth efforts and provide a clear route into England and Wales, while broadening the services we can offer our clients.”

In the past 12 months Irwin Mitchell has also agreed deals to acquire asset management firms TWP Wealth and Andrews Gwynne, while opening new offices in Cardiff and Liverpool.

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