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Minster Law to acquire Irwin Mitchell’s Fast-Track Personal Injury business

Minster Law

Minster Law has entered into an agreement with Irwin Mitchell, which will see Minster acquiring the firm’s back book (WIP) of fast-track road traffic accident (RTA), employer liability (EL) and public liability (PL) injury claims. It will also see Minster Law take ownership of any future fast-track injury customers from Irwin Mitchell’s direct channel.

Speaking about the agreement, Minster Law CEO Shirley Woolham said: ““I want Minster Law to be the pre-eminent legal services partner to the insurance sector. This acquisition is a major step forward in achieving this objective, and presents us with the additional opportunity to further grow our presence in EL and PL.”

The agreement with Minster Law follows Irwin Mitchell’s strategic decision earlier this year to focus its personal injury services on helping those who have suffered serious injury and have complex needs. This is alongside Irwin Mitchell growing both its wider private client and business services teams.

Matt Currie, currently partner of Irwin Mitchell and head of Irwin Mitchell’s volume personal injury department, will join Minster Law’s executive management team and Board as chief legal officer (CLO). In addition, over 80 Irwin Mitchell staff will TUPE transfer to Minster Law.

Three other partners in Irwin Mitchell’s fast-track teams, Sally Risbrook, Andrew Russell and Robert Watson, will also transfer to Minster Law, and the staff will move from Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds and Sheffield offices to Wakefield (Minster Law’s HQ), although agile and remote working will continue.

Minster Law currently settles around 4,000 cases each month and has an ambitious growth agenda to become the pre-eminent provider of legal services to insurers and their policyholders. In June and July, Minster Law were appointed as motor legal service provider to both LV= and esure insurance. This agreement with Irwin Mitchell, which will see around 6,500 of cases per year added to case volume, adds to that growth and further strengthens the Minster Law team and our service proposition to customers, insurers, and brokers.

Shirley hailed this latest win as “the third landmark success in as many months” for Minster Law.

“With Irwin Mitchell choosing to step away from fast-track personal injury work, we are the partner of choice to manage their outstanding WIP and step in to serve new fast-track PI customers from the Autumn.”

She added: “The EL and PL portfolios are a significant addition to Minster Law’s existing capabilities in these claims and will accelerate business growth in this market.”

“Across the whole of our business, we have built a winning proposition on the back of our investment in digital expertise (technology and people), and our willingness to work collaboratively with our partners to improve the customer experience.”

Shirley said: “It was widely predicted that the whiplash reforms would lead to consolidation in personal injury, and I have previously said that Minster Law intended to acquire books of business where they add value and meet our longer term strategic aims.”

“With this consolidation deal, Minster Law further cements our position at the heart of the PI sector, and supports our strategy to lead consolidation in the market.” She added: “We are a well-capitalised, debt-free firm with the firepower to make further acquisitions where they fit our strategy.”

Commenting on the move, Craig Marshall, Irwin Mitchell Chief Operating Officer, said: “In response to the Civil Liability Act (CLA) law reforms being implemented in May this year we’ve made a decision to move away from taking on lower value, fast-track personal injury work which represents a small part of our business.

“As a full service legal and financial services firm, we will continue to focus on helping clients who have complex personal and business issues including those suffering serious injuries, workplace illness and injury and medical negligence, as well as growing our business and private client teams.

“This agreement protects both our clients and colleagues in the fast-track PI area of our business. Minster Law’s focus on customer outcomes and giving new opportunities to our people made them the natural choice for our business. We wish our departing colleagues well in their future careers with Minster Law.”

Irwin Mitchell partner Matt Currie also commented: “After more than 25 years at Irwin Mitchell this is an exciting new challenge for me. I’ve had a number of conversations with Shirley and her Board and it is clear that Minster Law has a clear strategy to deliver quality legal services to the insurance sector in a post CLA environment.

“I am looking forward to working alongside Shirley and my new colleagues to help Minster Law achieve its strategic ambitions.”