National firm Irwin Mitchell has repaid the money it received via the government’s furlough scheme and is awarding staff a 3% ‘thank you’ bonus. The announcement follows rumours that the practice is gearing up for a stock market float.

Having recalled staff from furlough last year, Irwin Mitchell said it will repay the money it received from the government following a ‘positive performance’ over the past 12 months. Staff at the firm will also receive an additional 3% bonus this month to recognise their contribution during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Partner and associate promotions are due to go ahead as planned at the end of April.

Andrew Tucker, chief executive, said: ‘Through our prudent business management and a good trading performance in the current situation we’re in a position to repay the job retention scheme funds provided by government. This is the right thing to do to help our communities.’

He added: ‘There’s still some uncertainty in the market with Covid-19 support measures gradually being eased, and the impact of Brexit still becoming clearer, but we’re feeling very positive about 2021 and beyond.’

Earlier this month, it was reported that Irwin Mitchell is gearing up for a stock market float with hopes of securing a £500m valuation. Speculation around a potential listing has been rumbling for several years.

However, a spokesperson for Irwin Mitchell said no decisions have been taken. ‘We remain in a strong position financially with our existing bank facilities offering us sufficient firepower to invest further in the growth and transformation of our business,’ the firm said.