International law firm Fieldfisher has announced a 24 per cent increase in annual turnover to £207 million for the financial year 2017-2018, marking its second consecutive year of double-digit growth.
It is the first time the firm's revenue has reached £200 million and follows last year's record increase of 36 per cent. Average profit per equity partner (PEP) increased by 17 per cent to £750,000.
UK turnover increased to £135.6 million with offices outside the UK now accounting for 35 per cent of turnover. This share is expected to increase following the addition of new offices in Frankfurt and Luxembourg and anticipated openings in Spain later in 2018.
Among the practice groups, Technology, Outsourcing and Privacy grew by 58 per cent. Dispute Resolution delivered growth of 47 per cent with significant increases in work from the CIS region and in international arbitration. Finance grew by 37 per cent, Real Estate 32 per cent and Corporate 21 per cent.
The firm recently added Life Sciences as its fourth strategic sector, complementing existing specialisms in Financial Services, Energy and Natural Resources, and Technology. Life Sciences turnover is now over £11.5 million.
Financial Services grew with a number of senior lateral hires across its expanding pan-European offering. New partners in London, Frankfurt, Luxembourg and Belfast specialise in asset finance, structured finance, funds, securitisation, regulation, derivatives and fintech.
Within the Energy and Natural Resources sector group, the mining team completed over $2 billion of deals with the oil & gas, regulatory, and renewables teams all winning major new clients. KGAL instructed the team on multiple renewable projects across central Europe.
The Technology sector team was boosted by the GDPR compliance work and an increase in instructions from US digital, tech and social media clients. The sector grew 69 per cent with the firm's Silicon Valley office increasing revenue by 115 per cent.
In Europe, the firm's German offices increased revenue by 46 per cent; Paris grew by 18 per cent; the Italian offices by more than 20 per cent; and Brussels grew by 8 per cent. The Amsterdam office opened on 1st May 2017 and now has seven partners. The Bologna office opened in July.
The firm has grown considerably in China adding to Beijing with a new Shanghai office in early 2017. As a result, revenue in China trebled.
Michael Chissick, Managing Partner, Fieldfisher, said: "We are very pleased with this performance and credit goes to every single person in the firm. Our focus on a smaller number of high growth strategic sectors has provided a great deal of momentum. We have been fortunate to win more new international clients, while continuing to benefit from the loyalty of many long-standing clients who are increasingly working with us across multiple practices and offices.
"Looking forward, we are confident about the prospects for our newest offices in Belfast, Frankfurt and Luxembourg. Brexit continues to occupy a prominent position in the business agenda, but we believe we are in a strong position, whatever the outcome of the political negotiations. Spain will be our next major new jurisdiction and we aim to be trading in Madrid and Barcelona before the end of 2018."
Fieldfisher has continued to invest in a range of innovative initiatives, including Condor ALS, its alternative legal services platform. Condor now provides eight major international banks and financial institutions with a range of price-efficient and process-efficient services. Partnerships with eClerx in India, Integreon in the US, Cognia in South Africa and Donaldson Legal Consulting in Belfast have all helped to facilitate a significant expansion of the platform. This includes expansion into tech commercial and GDPR agreements.
During the year, Fieldfisher also launched a consumer-facing law firm called Roscoe Reid. Initially focusing on claims for defective cavity wall insulation and equal pay claims against supermarket Morrisons, it already has well over 500 clients with thousands more in the pipeline.
Fieldfisher hired a record 22 lateral partners over the 12 months and is currently in negotiation with potential new partners including new corporate and tax partners in Luxembourg.
Highlights during the year included a number of important awards including law firm of the year at the Legal Business and British Legal Awards, the JUVE award for law firm of the year in Western Germany, the Solicitors Journal Award for personal injury team of the year, and the award for Condor from FT Innovative Lawyers for best new business and service delivery model.