Stibbe rides back of corporate wave with turnover up 7 per cent to €136m

Benelux firm Stibbe has announced a 7 per cent increase in turnover for the 2013 year, with revenue rising from €127m in 2012 to €136m (£113.8m).

The rise has coincided with the announcement by the firm of the election of Derk Lemstra as its new managing partner. Corporate partner Lemstra took over from Heleen Kersten in January. He has previously held management roles including London managing partner (25 February 2005).

Lemstra said Stibbe’s performance in 2013 had been driven by all the firm’s departments. However he pointed to a solid year in M&A particularly.

Mandates Stibbe advised on last year included Philips Electronics’ sale of its lifestyle entertainment business to Japanese company Funai Electric (1 February 2013), Intercontinental Exchange’s $11bn (£6.79bn) takeover of NYSE Euronext (25 November 2013), and the €7.4bn acquisition of coffee company D.E Master Blenders 1753 by an investor group.

Lemstra added that the firm’s success was due to a focus of developing each practice group as a strong, standalone unit and also developing a dialogue with clients over their needs.

Stibbe’s headcount rose last year, with the firm now employing a total of 700 people. Lemstra said it had never stopped hiring during the last few years, but had ramped up its efforts last year, particularly in Luxembourg, where it opened in 2010 (12 August 2010).

Most of the headcount growth came below partner level, although the firm did pick up partner-level laterals including White & Case’s Stefan Odeurs and Dries Hommez in Brussels (20 March 2013).

Stibbe also saw some partner departures last year too, notably to boutique launches Strelia (7 January 2013) and Rutgers & Posch (8 February 2013).

Last year was the second full year since the firm pulled out of its alliance with legacy Herbert Smith and Germany’s Gleiss Lutz (24 November 2011). Lemstra said Stibbe was committed to its independence.