Bird & Bird PPP hints

Bird & Bird has made it third time lucky with its first average profits per partner rise in three years.

Average profits at the expansionist firm this year halted their downward trajectory and showed an increase of 4 per cent, from £317,000 to £327,000. This is still some way off the firm’s 2001 peak of £398,000. However, the results are at least a partial vindication of Bird & Bird’s strategy of investing in an international network, which now stretches across 10 offices. The last calendar year saw another two offices open, in Munich in October and in Milan in February. The firm is also due to open in Beijing later this year.

The expanding international reach is also increasingly reflected in its global practice groups, such as data protection and, most recently, public sector. The latter will be boosted in Paris next month when partner Ariane Mole joins from French IT boutique Bensoussan. Bird & Bird is also looking to export its leading position in the public sector by advising governments, notably in France and Germany, on major IT and outsourcing projects.

Despite a six-month hit in Hong Kong that the firm put down to the effects of the Sars virus, and which saw turnover drop by around 30 per cent, overall revenues were up by 14 per cent. Last year, they rose from £62.5m to £71.2m.