European law firm Fieldfisher has announced its results for the financial year 2021 / 2022.Headline figures and highlights include:
- Ninth consecutive year of growth for the firm
- Firm-wide revenue climbed to £330 million - up 15% on the previous financial year
- Profit Per Equity Partner increased to £1,050,000 – up 22% on the previous financial year
- Double-digit increase in turnover for Corporate, Dispute Resolution and Financial Markets and Products practices
- Exceptional revenue increase for Condor, the firm's alternative legal solutions platform – up 200% on the previous year
- New business unit opened in Germany to capitalise on the country's growing mass litigation market
- More than 20 partners hired in strategic business areas
Fieldfisher's Managing Partner Robert Shooter commented: "Our outstanding performance this year is a result of a collective effort from teams across our international network and is reflective of high activity levels across sectors and practices we operate in.
In-line with our strategic focus, we have recorded exceptional growth in Europe, underpinned by our strong platform across the region and driven by our ability to offer seamless multi-disciplinary and cross-border service to clients operating in this market. Key to our success has also been our focus on carefully chosen sectors and areas of growth. Throughout the year, we have remained the first choice for clients for our market-leading expertise in energy and natural resources, technology, life sciences and financial services, and experienced extremely high levels of utilisation in our specialist practices including dispute resolution, corporate, regulatory, technology & privacy and real estate.
I am immensely grateful to everyone in the firm for their hard work and contribution to our continued success. Having already built a solid business model and a high-performing international platform, we are now perfectly positioned to embark on the next phase of development focused on ever greater collaboration, integration and growth.”
Sector and practice area highlights
The firm has recorded double-digit turnover growth across a number of practices:
- A 28% increase in revenue reflects extremely high activity levels for the Financial Markets and Products practice, whose matters included acting for CounterPointe Sports Group Inc. on the legal and regulatory structuring of its Security Token Offering and advising on the launch of Mesarete Capital Master Fund Limited, a global credit investment firm focused primarily on emerging markets.
- A 20% increase in turnover for Corporate is a result of a dynamic year for the equity capital markets, M&A and venture capital teams. Acting for UK adtech company IPONWEB on its US$380 million sale to Nasdaq-listed French media trading platform Criteo was one of the group's highlights last year.
- A 20% revenue growth for Real Estate was secured primarily thanks to the efforts of our real estate transactional, litigation and finance groups, whose matters included acting on financings and acquisitions of a number of high-value student accommodation, residential and prime office space schemes and disputes involving the operators of key energy infrastructure.
- Dispute Resolution continued its growth with a 10% increase in revenue. The team has been instructed on a number of high profile disputes and is currently advising Igor Kolomoisky, on a US$2.6 billion fraud claim and freezing order brought against him by PrivatBank.
Impressive results have also been delivered by the firm's core sectors:
- Energy and Natural Resources sector continued to act on market-leading deals and matters for high profile energy clients, including advising Harbour Energy, the largest UK-listed independent oil and gas company, on its merger with Premier Oil plc.
- Our flagship Technology Sector Group maintained its momentum with a number of interesting and challenging mandates across its privacy, TMT and satellite and space practices in particular, with highlights including advising Maltese bank, BNF, on the procurement of Temenos Transact, one of the most successful and widely-used digital core banking solutions.
- Our Financial Services sector group continued to boost its market profile with a number of panel appointments and significant financing deals, including advising US healthcare investor Oberland Capital Management LLC on a US$300 million financing structured as a bond offering to provide capital to Centessa Pharmaceuticals plc.
- Fieldfisher's international Life Sciences sector attracted a number of corporate and regulatory mandates and advised its longstanding client Roche on negotiations with the UK's vaccine taskforce for the supply of an antibody treatment to HM Government for deployment in the NHS to treat Covid-19.
Office network and alternative legal services
Standout figures include a 17% increase in revenue across Fieldfisher's UK offices (London, Manchester and Birmingham, supported by our Belfast Hub) and a 16% increase in turnover in Germany, where the firm has established a market-leading presence with five offices in Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Düsseldorf and most recently Berlin. Impressive contributions have also been made by the firm's Dublin, Brussels and Paris offices, while, in the US, the Silicon Valley office has continued to increase both in revenue and headcount.
Looking to capitalise on opportunities arising in Europe, we launched Fieldfisher X, a dedicated, specialised business unit in Berlin focused on Germany's booming mass litigation market. In Spain, as part of our ongoing plan for collaborative growth, Fieldfisher JAUSAS rebranded to become Fieldfisher Spain. In the UK, Fieldfisher’s thriving Belfast support office reached 100 employees, and is now offering Belfast-based legal training contracts, which will see 2 trainees qualify as Solicitors in England and Wales at the end of the 3 year period.
A stunning revenue increase of 200% was recorded by the firm's alternative legal solutions platform Condor. The performance is reflective of Condor's success in establishing itself as a go-to provider for clients requiring cost effective and efficient solutions for large scale documentation projects.
The firm has made more than 20 lateral hires across its network during the past financial year.
In London, Quinton Newcomb and Shiv Haria-Shah joined as partners to spearhead the firm's new commercial crime practice. Arbitration specialist Shivani Sanghi was recruited in the dispute resolution team to front the firm’s India practice, while Elena Tzialli joined the firm's private client practice. In Germany, corporate and financial restructuring partner Daniel Kamke, joined the Düsseldorf office, bringing Fieldfisher's German corporate practice to 36 lawyers, including 12 partners. Highly-experienced litigator Koen Van Den Broeck and corporate partner Lars Raedschelders joined our Brussels office.
In addition to lateral hires, there were five promotions to partner in London, Manchester and Brussels.
People, diversity and purpose
Being an inclusive employer that gives diverse talent an opportunity to thrive and the conviction of being part of a responsible business is vital to Fieldfisher.
- Gender balance - Our focus on female talent pipeline is beginning to take effect. Over the past three years, 46% of newly promoted partners were women, which is among the highest percentage of all large firms. This year, the figure was further improved, with 60% of new partners being women.
- Social mobility - Broadening access to the legal profession for people from underrepresented backgrounds is a priority for Fieldfisher, and is an area where we have always shown leadership. To help formalise our approach, we have worked with key clients to implement several innovative social mobility programmes, including a paid social mobility legal internship in collaboration with Gensler, a Diversity Access Scheme in partnership with Peloton, and our "Stand Out" social mobility scheme run in conjunction with ViacomCBS international.
- D&I-related HR policies - To support our people during challenging times and periods of change in their lives, we have introduced a range of new support policies. These include pregnancy loss and parental bereavement services, domestic abuse support and carers and dependants leave policies. We were also one of the first law firms to offer menopause support and neurodiversity policies.
- Inclusion, Diversity and Culture client service – Over the last few years, we have also developed a unique service to support clients on their inclusiveness, diversity and culture journeys. Combining the skills of our dedicated I&D team with those of our specialist employment, regulatory, corporate, tech and privacy lawyers, this year we have worked with a number of organisations to help them identify I&D objectives and execute strategies for achieving them, while remaining legally compliant.
- ESG – Our clients and our people rightly expect ESG to be a priority for Fieldfisher and we are proud of our progressive and growing ESG agenda. In the past year, we continued to work with Planet Mark, an internationally recognised sustainability certification provider, to bring down our carbon emissions year-on-year. We also provided pro bono support to environmental and conservation charities The Orchard Project and Rooting for Change (through which we planted over 6,500 trees in India last year) and to UK food distribution charity FareShare. Through our international offices, we worked with a number of local and international charity partners and supported our individual staff members to fundraise and dedicate time to numerous causes. We will publish our second ESG report covering the firm's international ESG activities in autumn 2022.
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