European law firm Fieldfisher has announced a 17% increase in annual revenue to £242m for the year 2018-2019. This is its third consecutive year of double digit growth with total revenue increasing by 137% over five years.
This year's rise was down to organic growth, lateral partner hires and new offices in Barcelona, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Luxembourg and Madrid.
Average profit per equity partner (PEP) increased by 7% to £805,000, rising by 94% since 2013-2014.
Stand out jurisdictions included Germany where revenue increased by 48%. Figures include the launch of Frankfurt which now has four partners. France, Belgium and Silicon Valley were also well ahead of budget. Fieldfisher JAUSAS opened in Barcelona and Madrid in September so only seven months of figures are included. Its annual increase in revenue however was 12.5%. China revenue increased by 31%, Italy by 22% and Netherlands by 21%. London, Manchester and Birmingham all delivered record-breaking turnover with the UK up 11%.
Sectors and practices
Financial Services was the best performing sector group with 14% growth to £31m. Panel appointments included Deutsche Bank, Paysafe, Tunstall Real Estate Asset Management and LendInvest, along with a string of new US bank clients. New partners have boosted commodity finance and real estate finance revenues and the launch of the first IBORs legal sector website has positioned the team as a front runner on Libor and Euribor discontinuance.
The Technology Sector Group consolidated its position as one of Europe's leading teams with revenue climbing 12% to £22m, with more services provided to clients in areas such as corporate and M&A, real estate and employment. The group's European clients include Wirecard, Cognizant and Alibaba.
Dispute Resolution was the largest practice, posting a record performance again. It continues to handle some of the biggest litigation and arbitration in the City, including the widely reported PrivatBank and Yukos cases (the latter is one of The Lawyer's Top 20 Cases for 2019).
Our Russia and CIS group also had another record-breaking year. It has grown to over 60 lawyers (30 of which are Russian or Ukrainian speakers) focusing on cross-border transactions and disputes in sectors including oil & gas, financial services and natural resources.
Our Corporate practice was up 28%. The team advised in relation to deals including the largest ever acquisition by an oil and gas company on AIM.
Michael Chissick, managing partner, Fieldfisher, commented: "We again set ourselves some challenging targets. We have worked even more closely with clients in our priority sectors to help them face their challenges and leverage opportunities successfully. This focus has greatly contributed to revenue ahead of budget and above market trend. I am especially pleased that investment in our new European offices is already making a big impact.
"The Fieldfisher brand is gaining a lot more traction across Europe. We are attracting some great new people and fantastic clients who recognise that we have a compelling sector-led proposition backed by innovative products from Condor ALS.
"Our core international strategy is now complete and this year we are consolidating and also integrating our newest offices including Dublin which opened in May. We are incredibly optimistic about the future and all credit goes to everybody across the firm who has maintained their drive and focus."
Fieldfisher announced a record 24 lateral partner hires during the year. There were also 14 promotions to the partnership with a 50/50 gender split. Investment in people and the new Spanish offices increased overall headcount by 24%. This included more than 30 people in our innovative new Belfast Solutions Hub which supports offices across the network.
We continue to invest in our business and we are investigating new technologies through our new legal solutions delivery team. We have also developed a team of innovation champions to help us work through new ways of helping clients and improving our business.
Our Corporate Responsibility team has grown as more people and clients have inspired and supported more initiatives and charities. This year marked the five year anniversary of our UK partnership with National Deaf Children's Society. Since 2014, more than 70 lawyers have provided over £750,000 of legal support to open doors to educational opportunities which would otherwise have been denied. We also completed the first year of our Right to Care clinic with Mencap. Forty lawyers have taken on 20 community care cases with a 100% success rate in ensuring that adults with learning difficulties have their care needs met.
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