Headline figures and highlights include:
- Tenth consecutive year of revenue growth for the firm.
- Firm-wide revenue climbed to £370 million - up 11% on the previous financial year.
- Profit Per Equity Partner stands at £930,000 – down 11% on the previous financial year.
- Turnover increase recorded by all departments, with double-digit revenue growth delivered by Dispute Resolution, Employment, Personal Injury and Medical Negligence, IP, Real Estate and Tax.
- Revenue growth achieved in all countries in the international network, with double-digit increase in Belgium and Germany.
- Ten new partners hired in strategic business areas.
- New office opening in Vienna, Austria, bringing the firm's international network to 26 offices in 12 countries.
Fieldfisher's Managing Partner Robert Shooter commented:
"This has been a remarkable year in many respects. Once again, we have achieved a double-digit revenue growth, pushing our integrated firm turnover to over £300 million for the first time in our history. We have launched the firm's new strategy and continued to implement our European growth agenda, opening an office in Vienna, a strong European commercial centre in a region strategically important to us and our clients.
We have also invested significantly in areas of the firm that were previously under-invested, stretching across our systems, processes and resources. These are big developments and investments, designed to make our firm more competitive, so that we can take better advantage of emerging business opportunities, and be more robust in response to challenging market conditions. I am immensely grateful to everyone in the firm for their hard work and contribution to what we have achieved this year.
Going forward we are focused on more growth, albeit in a challenging market, more innovation and greater collaboration in support of our clients‘ growing needs and activities in Europe and internationally.”
Practice area and industry sector highlights
All departments delivered standout performances with increased revenue growth including:
- Dispute Resolution, the firm's largest department, increased its departmental revenue by 17%. Leading on a number of high-profile matters, the team is currently representing Igor Kolomoisky in a US$4 billion fraud claim brought against him by PrivatBank, advising Atalaya Mining, operator of the Rio Tinto copper mine in Andalucía, Spain, in a multimillion pound Commercial Court claim, and providing international arbitration advice to the Republic of South Sudan in a claim made by a Lebanese-owned mobile operator for US$3.5 billion.
- The Employment team's 15% revenue increase is a result of a varied portfolio of work across investigations, whistleblowing and diversity and inclusion. As part of its successful Inclusion, Diversity and Culture campaign, the team has been advising clients on how to embed diversity and inclusion policies at an organisational level.
- A 18% revenue growth was delivered by the IP practice, which continues to lead the market in trade mark, copyright and emerging tech disputes. Current cases include Getty Images v Stability AI, which is the first significant AI litigation in the world, and Sky v Skykick, the most prominent trade mark case to come before the UK Supreme Court for over 20 years. The team also represents some of the world's best-known brands including Google, EY, Crocs and Take-Two Interactive Software, the makers of Grand Theft Auto.
- Achieving a 10% revenue growth, the Real Estate group continues to be one of the busiest areas of the firm, with the UK real estate litigation team securing injunctive relief for a number of clients including leading international oil and gas companies and property developers, while the German team has concluded a number of major acquisitions for clients including Reality Germany, a Berlin-based subsidiary of the multi-billion dollar Israeli property empire Reality Group.
- Despite the market slowdown, Corporate recorded 9% revenue increase, with the international Venture Capital and Growth Equity team advising on transactions with an aggregate value in excess of US$1.3 billion last year, while the Equity Capital Markets team acted on more than 50 transactions across the London and Paris capital markets with a combined value of over £1.1 billion. Notable deals for the M&A team include acting for Irish Morphy Richards brand owner Glen Dimplex, Tokyo-listed Marubeni Corporation and US spirits giant Sazerac.
Impressive results have also been delivered by the firm's core sectors - energy and natural resources, technology, life sciences and financial services. The firm's multi-disciplinary, cross-border sector teams have maintained high levels of activity advising clients on topical sectoral issues including energy resilience and energy transition strategies, AI and the emergence of new technologies, regulations around digital health, medical devices and cell and gene therapies and crypto-asset regulation.
Growth across the office network
The UK business recorded strong revenue increases in Manchester (13%), Birmingham (12%) and London (9%). The figures confirm that seizing opportunities in the local market, while collaborating with European counterparts on wider matters, produces exceptional results and will remain the key part of the UK growth agenda.
Once again, Germany is a standout performer, with revenues climbing 22% on the previous year. Impressive contributions have also been made by the firm's offices in Belgium (20%), Ireland (9%) and France (8%), while the Silicon Valley office, a US hub for the firm's technology-focused work, continues its steady revenue growth year on year.
Underpinning the growth strategy is an ongoing investment in bringing new talent to the firm. Last year saw 10 lateral hires joining the Fieldfisher global partnership.
The Dispute Resolution practice benefited from the arrival of Ania Farren and Priyanka Kapoor in London, and Philipp Duncker in Frankfurt. Corporate expanded its ranks with the recruitment of Sebastian Kamm in Hamburg and Melanie Talbot in London. Employment welcomed Julia Mohamed as a new partner in Paris, while Financial Services and Markets, Real Estate and Regulatory boosted their numbers in London with the arrival of the structured finance expert Peter Knust, the Planning partner Christopher Stanwell and Robert Jappie, a leading regulatory and CBD and novel food expert.
There were also 8 internal promotions to partner, 50% of whom were women, confirming Fieldfisher's continued focus on nurturing female talent pipeline.
Innovation through Alternative Legal Services
Again this year, Fieldfisher's alternative legal services (ALS) have performed exceptionally well, adding significant contributions to the firm's overall revenue.
Condor, an ALS platform specialising in delivering cost-effective solutions on large-scale documentation projects, has continued its meteoric growth with 29% increase in revenue. Following its launch in 2022, Fieldfisher X, a Berlin-based office specialising in defending mass litigation claims, has landed several significant instructions by high profile global clients. The team has also been advising Leonine, a KKR-owned media and film production company, and Olympus, a Japanese manufacturer of optics and reprography products, on the development of their AI technology as well as various contractual matters.
Fielfisher X and Fieldfisher Capital have been respectively short-listed for Innovation in Client Delivery and Innovation in Adjacent Services at the Financial Times Innovative Lawyer Awards 2023, confirming Fieldfisher's market-leading position for innovation in the legal industry.
Implementation of the 2022 - 2025 firm strategy
In July last year, Managing Partner Robert Shooter unveiled the firm's new strategy focused on European expansion, collaboration and ESG, and a number of strategic objectives have already been achieved.
- Fieldfisher's ambition of becoming Europe's leading law firm was bolstered by a new office opening in Vienna and the arrival of 18 new colleagues, including 5 partners, 1 director and 4 lawyers on 1 June 2023. Further European expansion will be achieved through continued growth of existing offices, new office openings and greater integration.
- A collaboration review to implement new reward levers designed to incentivise desired behaviours and strengthen the firm's collaborative culture is currently under way.
- In January 2023, Fieldfisher released its second ESG report, which captures the key measurable outcomes in the areas of environmental protection, social agenda and accountable governance across its international network. The report confirms that the firm is committed to acting as a responsible business, progressing towards even higher ESG standards.
- As part of its ESG programme, in December 2022, Fieldfisher launched One Firm Action, a 12-month firm-wide fundraising challenge to support 15 of its charity partners across the international network and Rooting for Change, the firm's portfolio of charitable forestation projects around the world. So far, teams and offices have raised a record-breaking amount of £150,000, getting closer to the £250,000 global fundraising target, which will be matched by the firm's partners, bringing the collective fundraised pot to £500,000.
- Finally, following the most comprehensive firm-wide consultation to date, comprising all its offices, partners and staff the firm issued its new Values. Putting people first, encouraging collaboration as catalyst for success and embracing ESG, are the values which fully reflect the ethos of Fieldfisher, as a modern and socially-conscious international firm.
Sign up to our email digest