‘Mean and lean’ Derks shows 9 per cent boost in revenue

CMS Derks Star Busmann beat its estimates in both revenue and profit last year as it commited itself to continuing its full-service strategy.

Total 2005 revenue for the Dutch mid-tier firm stood at e62m (£43m), an increase of 9 per cent, while average profit per equity partner rose 11 per cent to e400,000 (£277,000).

Managing partner Marek Guensberg told The Lawyer that Derks had become more “mean and lean” throughout 2005 and had focused particularly on increasing its revenue per lawyer. Last year, the 60-partner firm cut its total number of fee-earners by 30, from 250 to 220, but profit and revenue both grew. The firmwide billable hours target of 1,400 remained the same for 2005.

“We managed the same job with fewer people and better people,” said Guensberg. He said the firm had not cut any business lines and fully intended to remain full service. “We handle profitable and less profitable work, and this will continue,” he said.

Derks has lined up what Guensberg called a “special annual meeting” of the partnership for 24 March, during which the firm’s strategic goals for the next three years will be outlined. However, Guensberg said he anticipated no significant deviation from the full-service focus.