Olswang has reported a 40 per cent growth in fee income for the past financial year, making it second only to Garretts of all the law firms that have reported growth rates this year.
This is the first time the 16-year-old firm has reported fee income growth. Olswang marketing director Kim Tasso said that the high figure was the reason. However, she added, “We would hope to have a figure that is just as good next year.”
She highlighted the fact that the firm has not just grown in the area in which it is known – media law. Corporate work now accounts for the largest chunk of the firm's income – 39 per cent. And nine of the firm's 26 partners are in the corporate group. Entertainment, media and communications accounts for 23 per cent, litigation 24 per cent and property 14 per cent of fee income, although most of this work stems from media clients.
The firm's largest-value transaction in the year was advising BBC Worldwide on its £300m joint venture with Flextech, a cable television production company.
Its highest-profile client was The Guardian, which it successfully defended against Neil Hamilton and Ian Greer's libel action.
“Our media litigators did significant work both keeping information in [through lifting reporting restrictions] and out of the papers during the year,” said partner Geraldine Proudler, who handled the Guardian case.
The Lawyer Top 100 survey of law firms published in May had Garretts at the top with a 135 per cent growth in fee income and Irwin Mitchell in second place with 36 per cent.