By: 1 October 2021
Minster Law to acquire Irwin Mitchell’s fast-track personal injury business

Minster Law has agreed to acquire Irwin Mitchell’s back book of fast-track road traffic accident (RTA), employer liability (EL) and public liability (PL) injury claims.

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, a partner at Irwin Mitchell and head of its volume personal injury department, will join Minster Law’s executive management team and board as chief legal officer.

More than 80 Irwin Mitchell staff will join Currie at 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.

The staff will move from Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds and Sheffield offices to Minster Law’s headquarters in Wakefield, although agile and remote working will continue. The deal will complete once the necessary legal and regulatory requirements are secured.

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 was appointed as motor legal service provider to both LV= and esure insurance. This agreement with Irwin Mitchell adds to that growth and further strengthens the Minster Law team and their service proposition for to customers, insurers and brokers.

Shirley Woolham, chief executive officer at Minster Law, hailed this latest win as “the third landmark success in as many months” for the Yorkshire-based law firm.

“With Irwin Mitchell choosing to step away from fast-track personal injury work, we are the partner of choice to manage their outstanding work in progress 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.”

Woolham 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, chief operating officer at Irwin Mitchell, 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.”

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.”