National firm Irwin Mitchell, one of the first to be approved as an alternative business structure in 2012, has reported profits down by more than a quarter as it completed the largest merger in its history.

Results for 2015/16 released today show pre-tax profit down by 25.7% to £12.4m on revenues up 8.2% to £221.3m. Chief executive Andrew Tucker (pictured) attributed the fall in profits to the costs of integration with London-based firm Thomas Eggar after a takeover in December 2015

Describing 2015/16 as a 'transformational' year, Tucker said the profit fall 'is a short-term issue driven by the significant investment in the merger to ensure it was a success'.

He added: 'The board is comfortable that sacrificing profit in the short-term will deliver greater benefits to the business in the medium-term as we reap the return on investment and the improved strength and breadth of depth the merger has given us.

'Our focus in 2016/17 is on completing the successful integration, maximising the opportunities for growth which arise from the greater strength and depth we now enjoy. Our vision of being the legal brand of choice continues and we have a clear strategy to ensure we maintain our progress.'

The firm said the merger with Thomas Eggar is one stage in a plan to strengthen business and private client services while remaining a leader in complex personal injury cases.