National law firm Irwin Mitchell, which has a regional office in Newcastle, has secured a £60m four-year finance package with three major UK banks to fund a strategic growth plan.
The package, which also includes a £30m ‘accordion’ facility for further finance if required, has been agreed with HSBC’s Yorkshire Corporate team as the lead provider, along with Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking and Royal Bank of Scotland.
It signals the next stage in Irwin Mitchell’s plan to be a leading provider of legal and related services in the UK and internationally, building on the group recording income of more than £200m for the first time in the financial year 2012/13.
Group chief executive John Pickering said the deal represented a clear show of support from the firm’s banking partners and a demonstration of Irwin Mitchell’s strong financial position at a difficult time for the legal sector.
The announcement comes after an 18-month period in which Irwin Mitchell completed five acquisitions, announced it would open its ninth regional office in Southampton and recruited more than 30 experts into partner-level positions.
Pickering said: “The fact that we have been able to agree this facility with our banks at a time when the legal sector faces some real challenges demonstrates the strength of our business financially. We have a clear plan in place to build on the impressive growth we have delivered in recent years. Passing the £200m mark was a real milestone for us but our plans are to grow the business much more significantly in all the areas we operate in.”
“Our investment to date in acquisitions and recruitment has been a real signal of our intention to take advantage of the right opportunities when they arise. We will continue to seek out those opportunities and we are grateful to our banking partners for the considerable support they have shown us with this package.”
Chief financial officer Andrew Merrick said: “This is a very strong vote of confidence from our bankers, who are supportive of the clear strategy we have in place to grow Irwin Mitchell into an even more significant presence in the legal marketplace.
“To commit themselves for four years is a positive sign of how well our financial position is regarded and we are now clearly well-resourced to deliver our strategic growth plan and take advantage of opportunities arising in the sector.
“The £60m package will be available to invest in further growth opportunities which fit with our clear strategic plan. The accordion facility is there if we need it and only if a substantial opportunity arises, but the fact we have this to call on is again a clear demonstration of the confidence our banking partners have in this business.”