Noerr hits turnover high of €191m with 12 per cent growth

German firm Noerr has reported market-beating turnover growth for 2013, with revenues rising from €170m in 2012 to €190.8m (£159m) last year.

The 12.3 per cent increase follows a 7 per cent rise in turnover last year (13 March 2013).

The firm’s German offices performed most strongly, with domestic revenue increasing by 15.2 per cent to €164.5m. Revenues from Noerr’s Central and Eastern European (CEE) offices dropped by 3 per cent, to €26.3m.

The financial increase came with no substantial change in headcount, meaning revenue per fee-earner and per lawyer also rose. However Noerr added eight to its partnership during the year, resulting in a slightly lower rise in average revenue per partner of 5 per cent, from €1.19m to €1.25m.

Co-managing partner Alexander Ritvay said the firm’s performance followed its decision a few years ago to focus its efforts in three core practice areas – regulatory, litigation and corporate. 

“For us it’s comforting to see that growth,” Ritvay added, saying that the 2013 results proved the strategy was paying off. He said further growth in all three was likely in the future.

“We’re just in a very good market position, and we can unlock our potential in a very different manner,” he said.

According to fellow co-managing partner Tobias Bürgers, Noerr has managed to increase its hourly rates consistently over the past decade, while at the same time improving its efficiency with the use of more junior lawyers and paralegals.

Bürgers and Ritvay said the decline in revenue from the CEE was due primarily to a drop-off in deal activity, as well as a slight impact from the firm’s decision last summer to close its Kiev office (26 July 2013). Nevertheless, Noerr remained committed to the region.

“We’re still very happy to be on the ground,” said Ritvay, noting that Noerr would continue to monitor activity in the region.

The duo said 2014 was likely to be another year in which the firm would consolidate its strategy. Having recently launched in Brussels (3 May 2013), there were no current plans for more international expansion. 

“It’s an evolution more than a revolution,” Ritvay concluded.