De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek has emerged from its first year of independence from Linklaters with the lowest turnover growth among its competitors in the Dutch elite.
De Brauw billed e126m (£88.5m) in 2002, up just 1.26 per cent on the previous year’s e124m (£87m). De Brauw voted almost unanimously against merging with Linklaters in April last year.
The Netherlands’ highest grossing independent, Nauta-Dutilh, grew turnover by 11 per cent to e143m (£100.4).
However, De Brauw’s fees per partner climbed from last year’s e1.4m (£1m) to e1.6m (£1.1m), coming second only to Loyens & Loeff partners, while its fees per fee-earner were the highest in the table. Loyens’ civil law notaries and attorneys billed e87m (£61.1m) last year, while its tax practice brought in a further e110m (£77.2m).
A De Brauw spokesperson said: “We have always had a high level of fees per fee-earner and it grew again in 2002, despite the economic conditions. We continue to focus on the type of work we
do. Size is not our aim, high-end legal advice and breaking new ground is.”
Another key development is the rapid progress of AKD Prinsen van Wijmen, the Dutch firm allied to Deloitte & Touche. The firm merged with Andersen Legal’s Dutch arm on 1 September 2002. By AKD’s financial year-end on 31 May, the combined firm had racked up a turnover of e63.5m ($44.6m), placing it sixth in the rankings.
|Independent Dutch firms’ figures|
|Firm||Turnover €m (£m)||% increase on 2001||No of partners||Fees per partner €m (£m)||No of fee-earners||Fees per fee-earner €k (£k)|
|Nauta Dutilh||143 (100.4)||11||100||1.4 (1)||469||304.9 (214)|
|De Brauw||126 (88.5)||1.26||81||1.6 (1.1)||361||349 (245)|
|Loyens & Loeff||87 (61.1)||26||51||1.7 (1.2)||321||271 (190.2)|
|Houthoff Buruma||75 (52.7)||10||61||1.2 (0.8)||315||238.1 (167.1)|
|Stibbe||70.7 (70.7)||2.9||46||1.5 (1.1)||205||344.9 (242.1)|
|Source: The Lawyer|