Bird & Bird soars high on back of European growth

Bird & Bird soars high on back of European growth” />Bird & Bird has had a record year, boosting both turnover and profit per equity partner (PEP) by 20 per cent.

The firm is close to breaching the £100m mark for the first time, with turnover reaching £96.5m, up from £80m the previous year. Profitability showed a similar rise, with PEP now standing at £413,000, representing a £69,000 rise.

The principal driver of the firm’s growth has been its ambitious European expansion plan. In the past 12 months the firm opened new offices in Madrid, Lyon, Frankfurt and Rome.

David Kerr, managing partner at Bird & Bird, told The Lawyer: “We’re very pleased that the new offices have done so well for us in the past 12 months.”

The new offices have helped the firm branch out from IP and IT, its core practice areas, into the corporate and banking sectors.

Bird & Bird opened its office in Frankfurt in August last year with a view to breaking into the lucrative financial services sector. “We’ve seen strong growth in almost all areas, in particular corporate, commercial and IP this year, which stands out,” said Kerr.

The IP department has still been a key driver of fee income for the firm, scooping a win for Dutch pharmaceutical company Synthon against SmithKline Beecham in the House of Lords last October.

Kerr expects the firm’s growth to continue. “It’s been a strong year for us,” he said. “We’re expecting considerable growth in the next 12 months on the back of the platform we’ve built internationally.”

Bird & Bird has doubled its turnover in the past five years, growing it from £48.6m in 2001 to £96.5m this year.