National firm Irwin Mitchell has announced it is to acquire a debt recovery company and to apply to license it as an alternative business structure.

Oxfordshire-based PDP Management Services will operate as a subsidiary of Ascent, which is in turn a subsidiary of personal injury specialist Irwin Mitchell.

As part of the acquisition, it is intended that PDP will be licensed by the Solicitors Regulation Authority as an ABS, taking to six the number of licences held by firms owned by Irwin Mitchell. The firm would not reveal how much it is paying for PDP.

PDP describes itself as a ‘leading provider of face-to-face debt counselling and collection services’ to clients recovering mortgage, motor finance, property and utilities arrears. It also recovers unsecured debt on credit cards, overdrafts and personal loans.

Mark Higgins, chairman of Ascent, said the deal would strengthen the position of both companies in sectors such as financial service and utilities.

‘Ascent and PDP both offer high-quality services to major financial institutions, reflected in both companies’ high rankings in major clients own ratings for service and quality.

‘Bringing both companies together will enable us to combine that quality and offer improved value for money to current and future clients through our shared expertise and even stronger infrastructure.’ PDP began trading in 1997 and employs 30 people.

Ascent offers external field counselling services for financial institutions and was approved as an ABS in August along with four other companies within the Irwin Mitchell structure.