Legal biz Irwin Mitchell outsources majority of IT to Esteem

Staff TUPE across to new employer ... but not all of them

Law firm Irwin Mitchell is to outsource IT operations to Esteem from Monday, with the “majority” of staff expected to be TUPEd across, although some are refusing to relocate 200 miles to the Woking call centre

The desktop support function was already contracted to Esteem at the end of 2012 for £1.7m with 15 people joining the services-based reseller.

El Chan is told that first, second and third line help desk, along with application and wider infrastructure support, will also be offloaded, and approximately 20 Irwin Mitchell techies will join Esteem but remain on-site at the solicitor’s Sheffield HQ.

This leaves application development, solutions architects and “business change” bods as the remnants of the IT department. It is not clear how many individuals this will include, it is said to be “sizeable”, but Irwin Mitchell refused to confirm.

Other staff were asked to relocate to Esteem’s office in Surrey and we understand that four heads refused. Obviously the daily journey is not easily commutable.

The reason for outsourcing is not to cut costs, we are told, though this seems a contributing factor, but is to scale IT operations as the business grows. Irwin Mitchell last year acquired HL Interactive and Berkeley Law.

In the financial year to 30 April 2014, Irwin Mitchell made £51.5m, up 16.3 per cent year-on-year, but reporting falling sales down from £191.3m to £186.7m. Some law firms have higher profit margins of around 40 per cent.

A spokesman at the law firm sent us a statement:

“Esteem is already a value supplier of IT services to our business. We are in discussions with it, and it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage." ®

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