Taylor Wessing is feeling pretty pleased with itself in Munich. Not only has the German end of the business just enjoyed its best year since the merger (turnover is up 20 per cent and profits 30 per cent), but it's also about to bring on board a media and entertainment team from arch rival Bird & Bird.
Reinhard Gaertner has a first-rate reputation in the German market for media work and is bringing with him a team of three. The firm will be hoping he will stay a bit longer than he did at his former home, where he was head of media and IT for just 12 short months.
Now, if you were feeling uncharitable, you might say that Gaertner will feel more at home at Taylor Wessing because his practice is less internationally focused than Bird & Bird would like. But that would be mean.
FFW claims: ambitious or just fictitious?
Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) celebrated solid end-of-year figures with two partner hires into its busy corporate department.
The firm increased its revenue by 10.9 per cent, from £47m to £52.9m. It claims to have exceeded the first-year target of £51m set in its "ambitious three-year Strategy for Growth".
FFW certainly is ambitious. It hopes to increase turnover from £47m to £75m in just three years. While ambition is to be applauded, one can only wonder why it set such an unambitious target for its first year. Similar revenue hikes, while commendable, would leave the firm falling some £10m short of its overall target.
The firm will hope that new recruits such as Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham partner Alex Woodfield and Linklaters senior associate Anne Cruikshank will create momentum. While FFW's IP expertise is renowned, the firm's corporate department has begun to motor on the back of a successful AIM practice. If the firm can stimulate its sluggish property department, then perhaps its ambition will be rewarded.
Is Newcastle minnow Robert Muckle attempting to muscle in on big fish Dickinson Dees' client, transport company Arriva?
Dickinson Dees has a longstanding relationship with Arriva dating back to 1981 and gets the lion's share of its work. But the entrepreneurial Robert Muckle has been making some strides in the city of late and is now growing at a much faster rate than its much larger rival.
Turnover at Robert Muckle is up an impressive 27 per cent to £7.5m, compared with a more stately 11 per cent rise at Dickinson Dees to £44m.
More pertinent to the Arriva relationship, Robert Muckle has just picked up two senior Arriva in-housers. Jason Wainwright has been brought in as a partner in the commercial property group (where revenues are up 50 per cent) after five years at Arriva and four years at Irwin Mitchell. Meanwhile, joining the corporate/commercial group is Jo Grady, who has not only spent four years at Arriva, but who also has two and a half years' experience gained at Dickinson Dees. Watch this space.