Simpson Millar targets big brand affiliations with senior hire

June 1, 2016

Andrew Darke, formerly an equity partner with Irwin Mitchell, has joined Simpson Millar as Director of Partner Distribution. 


After 25 years with Irwin Mitchell, Andrew will focus on developing Simpson Millar’s portfolio of partner distributors across a broad range of sectors, including banking, insurance, retail, trade union, utilities, employee assistance programs and chambers of commerce. 


He will also be responsible for developing closer relationships with the charities and support groups the firm already has links with. 


“I have watched Simpson Millar diversify its range of services in recent years, and the investment by Fairpoint was a hugely positive indication that this is a firm gearing up for the future. The will to evolve is backed by sound financial investment; a very attractive combination. The directors at Simpson Millar are agile in their decision making and flexible in their approach to business partners. It is this ‘light on our feet’ approach that really appeals.” 


Simpson Millar’s Managing Director, Peter Watson calls Andrew’s appointment a ‘gear change’ for the firm.

He says: “The fact that someone of Andrew’s calibre is joining Simpson Millar is testament to the strong foundation we have laid. We continue to build momentum; growing the business and diversifying our range of services. 


“Andrew brings an enormous amount of credibility to this job. His experience in building links with affinity partners is extensive. He knows that success is achieved by getting things right for consumers and tailoring service packages that are attractive to our business partners.”


Andrew will be working closely with the firm’s divisional directors to ensure his efforts chime with their strategic plans. 


Andrew says: “My job is to add value to existing relationships, and to bring on board new affinity partners. There is a huge opportunity for recognised brands to add value to their customers by offering white label consumer legal services.”


The Legal Services segment of Fairpoint Group plc – established when the company bought Simpson Millar in June 2014 – now accounts for 67% of the Group’s revenue on a pro forma basis. The Group continues to target further growth in legal services both organically and through acquisition.


Chris Moat, Chief Executive Officer at Fairpoint, says: “Simpson Millar has proved a hugely successful investment and the brand continues to attract the calibre of people we need to develop our range of consumer professional services further. Andrew’s appointment reflects our intentions to continue our investment in professional services.” 



Simpson Millar LLP is a Fairpoint Group PLC company which successfully represents the rights of individuals and their families via a network of 13 regional UK offices and through its long-standing association with membership organisations.


The firm was the first ever UK law firm to obtain Lexcel Accreditation from the Law Society, and the first to obtain the Diversity in Business Accreditation.

Simpson Millar LLP employs more than 500 people from offices in Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, London, Wimbledon, Bristol, Cardiff, Lancaster, Gateshead, Acton Newcastle and Kingston-Upon-Thames.

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