By: 11 February 2014

Irwin Mitchell is to open a new office in Southampton as it looks to grow its presence on the South Coast.


The firm's tenth UK office, which will be operating from April, will be manned by Court of Protection and personal injury teams from the beginning and is expected to house family, public law and private wealth departments before too long.


Plans are also in place to set up a business legal services division in Southampton focusing on corporate, commercial litigation and real estate.


A number of the firm’s existing lawyers will relocate as part of the launch team, led by the new regional managing partner for Southampton, Guy Darlaston, who will move from his current role as a partner in the London office.


“We already provide specialist legal advice to clients across the south coast but we feel that the time is now right to establish a new regional office providing greater accessibility across our range of innovative legal services for both private and commercial clients," said Darlaston.


John Pickering, group chief executive, said the move showed that the firm was in a "strong position".


“We have a strong track record of opening new offices when the time is right," he said. "We already do a significant amount of legal work in the Southampton and south coast area and we have now reached a level where having a local office will enable us to grow our presence still further.


“Our intention is to expand our offering in Southampton, not just in personal legal services. We believe there are significant opportunities to develop our growing business legal services division and build on our existing client base and we will be following those up to expand our presence in the business community.