Lovells has reported fee income of £225m for the first half of the 2007-08 financial year, a rise of 10 per cent on last year’s figures.

At the half way stage last year the firm reported a year on year rise of 4 per cent. While this year’s growth figure is a significant improvement on that, Lovells’ gains are still some way behind other firms’. As reported in The Lawyer (5 November) Herbert Smith has been leading the way so far, reporting a 25 per cent rise in turnover compared with the same period last year.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has seen an increase of 19 per cent on last year while Allen & Overy’s turnover has risen by 18 per cent. Ashurst and Norton Rose have reported rises of 25 per cent and 23 per cent respectively.

According to Lovells managing partner David Harris the firm’s corporate, commercial and real estate pratices have driven overall growth with dispute resolution and capital markets also putting in a robust performance.

“The credit crunch is creating real opportunities for the counter-cyclical sides of our practice, particularly dispute resolution and BRI as well as capital markets,” said Harris.

“Our exposure on highly leveraged and more speculative transactions is relatively low so we see client work with a strong strategic underpinning continuing without much disruption, especially in the corporate, commerce and real estate sectors. Our counter-cyclical strength and international reach means we expect to see changes in the economy working in our favour.”