Bird & Bird sees stellar year with £27m turnover boost

<a class=Bird & Bird sees stellar year with £27m turnover boost” /> Bird & Bird has emerged as one of the fastest-growing technology and media outfits in the top 100 firms, outstripping its peers with a 23.7 per cent increase in turnover to reach £143m.

The firm added more than £27m onto last year’s haul of £115.6m, posting its highest revenue growth in three years.

Bird & Bird managing partner David Kerr attributed the strong performance to an expansionist international strategy.

Kerr said Bird & Bird’s international presence helped the firm get a head-start on its rivals. “We’re certainly much bigger internationally and we do benefit from that much more now,” he added.

Over the past 12 months the firm launched a Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) practice with the hire of former Linklaters CEE technology head Stephen Kines; it opened in Finland via a merger with Fennica Attorneys; and the firm opened an Indian practice with the hire of White & Case partner Nipun Gupta.

Kerr said branching out from the firm’s core practice areas of IP and technology, media and telecoms (TMT) into areas such as corporate had helped boost revenue. “We’re 60 per cent transactional-based now and 40 per cent contentious. Corporate has seen significant growth,” said Kerr.

Field Fisher Waterhouse still managed to beat Bird & Bird’s 23.7 per cent to grow by 30 per cent, hitting £88m this year, with the firm also attributing the growth to the increase in international work.

That rate doubles the respectable 15 per cent posted by Osborne Clarke, which made a total of £95m. Osborne Clarke picked up some big UK deals within the past 12 months, including winning a lead role on the £502m sale of Datamonitor to Informa.

Meanwhile, Olswang and Taylor Wessing were the slowest-growing firms of the group, with both posting revenue rises of 11 per cent to reach totals of £92.4m and £180m respectively.

For more on the financial results at all the top firms as they come in, see our Top of the PEPs 2008 blog here