Bird & Bird
UK 200 position: 16
Bird & Bird’s lengthy streak of posting financial results that are surprisingly solid despite the prevailing economic conditions continued in 2011–12. Total revenue grew by 10 per cent, from £214.6m in 2010–11 to £235m in 2011–12, while average profit per equity partner (PEP) was also up, by 10 per cent, clocking in at £515,000.
Once again it was the TMT-focused firm’s international expansion coupled with its sectoral approach that powered the increases. Bird & Bird opened offices in Hamburg and Abu Dhabi, its first Middle Eastern office, at the start of the last financial year and now generates around 10 per cent of its total fee income from Asia, a figure CEO David Kerr said is expected to rise to around 20 per cent over the next two to three years.
It also established associations with firms in Denmark, Morocco and Tunisia. Bird & Bird now has more than 250 partners globally, with 30 per cent in the UK, 10 per cent in Asia and the remaining 60 per cent in the rest of the Emea region.
Kerr admitted the 2011–12 results were better than expected, with the firm having budgeted for a lower increase last year. He also conceded that the new office in Abu Dhabi had got off to a slow start, but said it had now picked up momentum, with Bird & Bird using the eight-lawyer outpost as a Middle East hub.
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Overview15 Fetter Lane
Turnover (£m): 235
Total lawyers: 831