Irwin Mitchell has axed at least a dozen partners in a stealth cull.
Management's clear-out was coordinated. It issued compulsory retirement notices on all 12 at the same time, according to a source. Spread across several of IM's offices, all the partners are understood to be in their 40s and 50s.
In Southampton, two partners were given their marching orders, leaving the office with no corporate, commercial or employment partners, one litigation partner, 17 property lawyers and two floors of personal injury lawyers.
A source told RollOnFriday the victims were all fixed share partners, and as a result would not be able to rely on employment rights to appeal the decision. "Nobody could see it coming", said an insider. "It's not based on performance and defies logic. They are all in a state of shock". The notices are understood to require the partners to work six months before leaving the firm.
The IM operations room mid-cull.
"Following a review of the future needs of our business a very small number of Partners from across our offices will be leaving Irwin Mitchell", confirmed a spokesperson for the firm. "Whilst these decisions are always difficult, it is an important part of our plan for continued profitable growth. We can’t comment further while discussions are ongoing."
According to a source, the partners were all lawyers from legacy Thomas Eggar, the firm Irwin Mitchell swallowed in 2016. An IM spokesman denied all the partners were ex-Eggs, although post-merger issues were evident in Firm of the Year 2019 responses for last year's Golden Turd. "Those of us from the Thomas Eggar merger are gradually humanising the personal injury elves from traditional IM", joked a partner, who has possibly now been sacked.