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Bird & Bird has broken through the £200m revenue barrier for the first time, posting a total turnover of £201.8m for the 2009-10 financial year.
The 10 per cent rise in turnover, up from Bird & Bird’s audited total revenue of £184m in 2008-09, contrasts with the firm’s average profit per equity partner (PEP) figure, which fell for the second year running from £481,000 to £466,000.
The reduction in average profit is also reflected in Bird & Bird’s relatively low margin for a City firm of 18 per cent. The firm’s net profit grew last year from £34.6m to £37.7m, but with the overall growth in turnover that translates into a drop in the profit margin from 19 per cent in 2008-09.
Bird & Bird’s chief executive David Kerr said that while economic conditions were still challenging a number of “definite opportunities in the market” led him to be “optimistic” for the future.
Bird & Bird’s financial year was characterised by international expansion. The firm is currently planning to open an office in Abu Dhabi, its first base in the Middle East region. Further afield it formed an alliance last year with Beijing IP boutique Xiang Kung Law Firm, with the aim of strengthening its contentious capabilities in China.
In London Bird & Bird bolstered its corporate team with the hire of two partners from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, Richard Eaton and Struan Penwarden.
Total equity partner numbers grew from 72 to 81 while total lawyer headcount grew from 661 to 738.