Fieldfisher can trace its roots back almost two centuries, though today’s business is unrecognisable compared to its early forbearers. We have undergone a number of mergers, the most significant of which have happened within living memory. Many of the partners and staff from the legacy firms that went on to form Fieldfisher are still working at the firm today.
In 2006 Fieldfisher converted to LLP status. In 2007 the we took our first steps into Europe, setting up offices in Brussels, Hamburg and Paris and then in 2011 opened two additional German offices in Düsseldorf and Munich. Our European presence has since gone from strength to strength, with the addition of over 40 new partners in the last three years.
In 2012 we opened an office in Silicon Valley, in the United States, at the heart of the world's high tech industry.
In 2013 Matthew Lohn was appointed as Senior Partner and Michael Chissick as Managing Partner.
In 2014, Fieldfisher merged with Manchester law firm Heatons. This merger was all about client service. It gives us the ability to offer more competitive rates and means we can offer further support to a number of long standing clients in the Manchester area.
To date the merger has been very successful and our Manchester office is growing. Eight partners from Heatons joined us upon merger and a further three have joined since. The office's Managing Partner is Ian Austin.
In 2016, we agreed a merger, structured as a Swiss Verein, with Italian Law firm Studio Associato Servizi Professionali Integrati - adding four new offices and 21 partners across Milan, Rome, Venice and Turin.
Following this in November 2016 we agreed 2 further mergers. The first with leading commercial Birmingham firm Hill Hofstetter. The second - as a Swiss Verein - with Chinese law firm JS Partners, who adpoted the name FeiShi and the Fieldfisher brand.
In 2017 we opened our Amsterdam Office. This office is structured as a Swiss Verein and is comprised of 5 partners who have joined Fieldfisher from Kennedy Van Der Laan.
In 2018 we opened new offices in Frankfurt and Luxembourg. In the summer we opened our third Chinese office in Guangzhou and our innovative Belfast Solutions Hub was launched to provide document negotiation and legal support for clients from all offices.
Early in 2019 we established an innovative new law firm called Cummings Fisher. This is a hedge fund, derivatives and alternative investment management-focused firm based in Mayfair, the heart of the UK's hedge fund district.
On 1st May 2019 we merged with top 20 Irish firm McDowell Purcell. Our Dublin office now has 16 partners and more than 50 lawyers.
Did you know?
Some interesting facts about Fieldfisher (and its predecessor firms):
- One early partner was the UK’s leading copyright lawyer, acting for Joseph Conrad, Arnold Bennett and Rudyard Kipling.
- Theodore Waterhouse’s younger brother set up Price Waterhouse.
- A Zeppelin bomb landed on the firm’s offices in 1916 – but did not explode.
- The Martineaus (as in Fieldfisher Martineau) were active in campaigning to abolish slavery and collaborated with Florence Nightingale on healthcare.
- The firm used to organise the opera season at Covent Garden from its offices.
- One of our former partners rowed for Oxford in the boat race and won.
- The Martineau family owned a sugar refinery and set up long-term supply arrangements with Whitbread for both sugar (for its alcohol) and its legal advice.
- The Confederation of British Industry was set up by a partner of the firm in 1965.
- Philip Martineau’s sister was the 19th century’s leading female political economist and a close friend of Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle.
- Theodore Waterhouse’s older brother designed the Natural History Museum and Prudential building.
- There used to be offices in Brixton, Kilburn, Victoria, Brussels, Edgware and Golders Green.
- At least two members of the firm have been knighted.
- The Waterhouse canteen had its origins during the blitz when the telephonist installed a gas ring in the telephone room and fed all the staff.
- The NAAFI (Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes), which runs recreational establishments for the British Armed Forces, was set up by one of our former partners during the First World War.