Freshfields reports 18 per cent half-year growth

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is the latest firm to report strong financial performance at the half-year stage, with fee income jumping by 19 per cent on this time last year.

The magic circle firm has earned £560m in fees since the end of the 2006-07 financial year. This compares to £470m this time last year. At the time, that represented a 25 per cent year-on-year increase. Freshfields finished 2006-07 with £986m in turnover after an 11.8 per cent increase.

The results pip magic circle rival Allen & Overy (A&O), which also announced its fee income today. A&O boosted income by 16 per cent to £456m at the half-year stage.

Freshfields is also a smaller firm than it was this time last year. It now has 450 partners after a £55m firmwide restructuring culled 100 partners from the equity.

The firm had a particularly buoyant first quarter of 2007-08, landing deals such as advising Goldman Sachs on the £5.56bn mega-merger of Emirates Bank International with National Bank of Dubai; and advising Pearl Group on its £5.1bn approach to Resolution. It is also lead corporate adviser to beleaguered mortgage lender Northern Rock.

Freshfields’ half-year results do not include work in progress (WIP) and are preliminary.