Speechly ‘outgrows’ Luxembourg base following CC hire

Speechly Bircham is to move to larger offices in Luxembourg in a bid to “pursue future growth plans” in the financial services centre, a move that follows the hire of Clifford Chance corporate counsel François Lerusse as a partner.

Lerusse, who joins the firm with Clifford Chance senior associate Hélène Arvis, will become the third partner at Speechly’s Luxembourg office along with corporate and banking partner Françoise Pfeiffer, who is head of the base, and funds partner David Louis.

The London-based firm claims the office has grown “considerably” since its launch in June 2011, with managing partner Michael Lingens explaining that the team will be moving to new premises as it has outgrown its existing base. To coincide with the move it will change its name from Speechly Bircham Pfeiffer to Speechly Bircham.

The firm made its first foray into overseas markets two years ago (6 June 2011), opening offices in both Zurich and Luxembourg. The moves marked a new stage in Speechly’s development following its 2009 merger with West End firm Campbell Hooper.

That said, 2011/12 was not one of Speechly’s best years. Total revenue fell by 3 per cent, from £59.5m to £57.6m. Net profit also fell, from £14m to £11.3m, while average profit per equity partner dropped from £384,000 to £300,000. The year also saw Speechly dropped from the real estate panel of its biggest client, RBS, a development that is thought to have cost it around £2m in fee income.

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