has become the first UK firm to jump into the Finnish market, tying up a merger with Helsinki firm Fennica Attorneys to boost its Nordic coverage.
Bird & Bird becomes only the second Anglo-Saxon firm to break into Finland, after White & Case launched in Helsinki in 1992.
The 10 partners at Fennica, which has a e10m (£7.66m) turnover, will be fully financially integrated into Bird & Bird. Fennica will change its name to Bird & Bird Attorneys from the start of May.
David Kerr, Bird & Bird managing partner, said: “Our model requires us to do it this way – as a single partnership. We find that a common financial interest motivates people to build a business.”
He denied that Bird & Bird client Nokia, the Finnish mobile phone manufacturer, was the main reason for opening the new office. “Certainly, no one client has led us to this decision,” stated Kerr.
Fennica is Finland’s sixth-largest firm with 33 lawyers. The firm is full service, but specialises in advice to clients in the telecommunications and IT sectors. Fennica was founded in 1999 – a year before Bird & Bird launched its first Nordic office in Sweden.
Bird & Bird’s expansive international strategy has seen it post its highest half-year revenue figures, with the firm hitting £68.5m in the first six months of 2007 – up 24 per cent on the same period the year before.
Kerr said the firm’s full-year figures were on course for the same level of growth.