Irwin Mitchell Acquires Private Wealth Specialists Berkeley Law
10th November 2014
Leading legal services group Irwin Mitchell announces the acquisition of Berkeley Law, which specialises in wealth advice for high-net-worth individuals in the UK and overseas, in the latest stage of plans to expand its business and increase its offering in London.
Mayfair-based Berkeley Law, which began trading in 2010, has quickly established a strong reputation for providing high quality wealth services and Irwin Mitchell's Group Chief Executive Andrew Tucker said the move would enable the group to expand its range of services for clients with complex financial affairs in the UK and abroad. The news marks the sixth acquisition by the Group since it became an Alternative Business Structure (ABS) in 2012 and comes in a year in which it has also launched IMe Law Ltd, an ABS venture with FTSE250 insurer esure, and opened two new regional offices. The Berkeley Law acquisition will now add two further offices in Mayfair and Kensington to Irwin Mitchell's existing base in the City. Irwin Mitchell Group's Chief Executive Andrew Tucker said: -This is an important strategic acquisition for us and one which will enable us to broaden the range of services our experts on complex financial matters can currently offer, while enabling Berkeley Law to offer its clients access to a wider range of quality services through both our personal and business legal services divisions. -Berkeley Law has a very strong reputation in the marketplace and shares our focus on providing market-leading client care and innovative services. -This is a deal which works for both businesses and the Berkeley Law team will be an excellent addition to our existing team, expanding still further the unique diversity and quality of the specialist services we offer to both private and business clients. Berkeley Law and its separate residential property and conveyancing business, Berkeley Hurrell, will retain their names and will continue trading from their respective offices in Mayfair and Kensington as ABSs but will be part of Irwin Mitchell Holdings. As part of this transaction Directors Nick Rucker, Alex Ruffel and Tim Thornton Jones become partners in Irwin Mitchell. Berkeley Law Partner Nick Rucker said: -The Berkeley Law group of companies is committed to being the legal and wealth advisory business of choice for high net worth individuals both in the UK and abroad. We have been approached by many other suitors but Irwin Mitchell was by far and away the most creative, entrepreneurial and innovative business we have talked to. They share a vision to build an independent, legally-led wealth business driven by the needs of its clients, not by those who would be serving them. -Irwin Mitchell understands better than any other how the legal industry in the UK is changing and crucially also has expertise managing and running complementary businesses that are not law firms. This was to prove decisive in our choice to commit the future of the firm that we and our employees have built to the stewardship of Irwin Mitchell. Berkeley Law's range of services includes international estate planning, trust advice, taxation, probate and estate administration and asset protection, amongst others. The latest acquisition by Irwin Mitchell is the sixth by the firm since it became an ABS in 2012 and the third in the past 12 months, building on the acquisition of Manchester-based personal injury specialists MPH Solicitors in November 2013 and debt legal services firm HL Interactive, again in Manchester, in March. The firm has also opened two regional offices as part of its regional expansion plans in the UK, with Southampton launching in April and Cambridge opening in June, as well as continuing its high-level recruitment programme, with 10 Partner-level recruits having joined Irwin Mitchell between May and October, and three more Partner-level appointments joining this week as well as two further senior hires joining as consultants. It also confirmed that it had secured a £60m finance package with three major banks, with a further £30m 'accordion' facility if required to fund further expansion.