Irwin Mitchell adds two more partners to growing commercial practice

07 Jan, 2014

National law firm Irwin Mitchell has again boosted its fast-growing commercial practice with the announcement that it has appointed tax investigations Partner, Phil Berwick, and Corporate Partner, Nick Dawson.

The appointments, which also include a new Corporate Associate, take the total of new Partners into Irwin Mitchell’s Business Legal Services (BLS) division to 20 in two years and comes off the back of another strong year for the firm, where turnover exceeded £200m for the first time for the financial year 2012/13.

The move was hailed as further proof of the firm’s determination to increase its commercial practice by BLS Chief Executive Niall Baker, who forecasts further growth and recruitment in an ‘exciting year’ ahead.

Moving to the firm’s London office, Phil Berwick is a former inspector of taxes who after leaving the Inland Revenue 18 years ago, has worked in the investigation teams of various accountancy and consultancy firms, including four years as head of tax investigations at Tenon. He joined McGrigors, the law firm which subsequently merged with Pinsent Masons, in 2009, as head of their tax investigations team.

He deals with a range of HMRC’s specialist units, but is principally involved in investigations instigated by HMRC’s Specialist Investigations and Local Compliance Fraud teams. He is a recognised expert and innovator in relation to advising clients on international disclosure facilities, with his clients including corporate entities, individuals, sole traders and partnerships, and he also frequently assists professional advisers who seek his specialist expertise.

Nick Dawson moves to Irwin Mitchell’s Birmingham office from DWF, where he was a Director, and will link up with the firm’s Head of Business in the city, Chris Rawstron, who joined Irwin Mitchell last year to build the firm’s business legal team in the West Midlands. He has more than 10 years of experience on mergers, acquisitions and disposals and his specialist expertise includes private equity-led and cross-border transactions.

Nick is joined by senior Corporate Associate, Rob Laugharne, who moves to Irwin Mitchell in Birmingham from Shoosmiths. Rob advises organisations within the private and public sectors on a wider range of corporate matters including mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings and joint ventures, and specialises in providing support for venture capital investors and investee companies in relation to corporate finance transactions.

Niall Baker, Chief Executive for BLS, said: “These are key appointments in what will undoubtedly be an exciting year at Irwin Mitchell.

“Last year, Irwin Mitchell’s turnover exceeded £200m for the first time and our BLS division played a hugely important role in this success.

“Twenty new partners have now been appointed into our business team in the last two years and we are dedicated to ensuring that we continue to recruit new high quality people and teams which have the ability to help us grow, but more importantly, further improve our level of services to clients.

“These latest appointments speak volumes for our determination to keep expanding and are a further sign that senior advisers, not just lawyers, are excited about what we are doing and want to be part of it.”

The news follows on from a range of appointments in 2013 in which BLS recruited the former head of litigation at Pinsent Masons, Nigel Kissack. IP specialists Georgie Collins and Alex Newman were also recruited along with insolvency expert John Vickery and banking and finance lawyer, Jon Bew. BLS was also boosted by the arrival of real estate Partners in Manchester, Roy Beckett, Patrick Duffy, Tony Weightman and Anita Weightman.

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