Fieldfisher reports 9 per cent revenue rise at half year as it eyes Dutch launch

Fieldfisher has recorded a revenue of £54.3m for the first six months of the 2014/15 financial year.

The figure demonstrated an uptick of 9 per cent on its figure of £49.9m at the same point last year (13 November 2013). 

“We’re very, very pleased to announce our good statistics,” said the firm’s managing partner Michael Chissick. “Especially for the UK part of the firm.” 

He also revealed that Fieldfisher is in the preliminary stages of launching a presence in the Netherlands – a strategy that would bring the firm’s tally of offices up to 10 globally. 

The move, which is yet to be approved by a partner vote, would likely see the firm open its doors in the new jurisdiction in the first quarter of 2015. 

“We’re in Belgium, France and Germany,” said Chissick. “Looking at the map, it’s the obvious next place for us to go.” 

He added: “The Dutch economy is pretty strong, and there are lots of Anglo-Dutch including Shell and Unilever. We analysed where we send and receive work, and it also fits in well with our sectors.” 

Fieldfisher would be the third foreign firm to launch in the Netherlands in as many years, following in the wake of Jones Day (1 October 2012) and Osborne Clarke (2 June 2014).

Of its existing offices, Chissick said that the firm’s London and Manchester offices were standout performers during the first six months of the 2014/15 financial year. He also cited its Paris, Brussels, Munich, Düsseldorf and San Francisco offices as enjoying a particularly successful half-year. 

The period marks the first full half-year results since Fieldfisher bolted on eight-partner Manchester boutique Heatons in April 2014 (7 February 2014). 

Chissick told The Lawyer that the office is “going incredibly well, and making a good contribution” to the wider firm. 

Since the tie-up, the firm has hired insolvency partner Michelle Shean, formerly of Pannone, to bulk up its partner headcount in the office. The firm plans to increase this total in the near future, and is currently in talks with potential recruits. 

During the first six months of 2014/15, Fieldfisher’s privacy team enjoyed a strong period – partially thanks to the leadership of new head Hazel Grant, who joined in August 2014 from Bristows (29 July 2014). Grant replaced former privacy chief Eduardo Ustaran, who quit for Hogan Lovells in October 2013 (10 October 2013).

Chissick said that the firm’s IP disputes offering proved to be a particular sweet spot, while its trademark and corporate groups also contributed to Fieldfisher’s half-year revenue increase.