Fieldfisher breaks £100m barrier with turnover of £104m

Revenue at Fieldfisher has broken through the £100m barrier for the first time hitting £104m, an increase of 9.5 per cent on £95m for 2012/13.

Fieldfisher also reported a 12 per cent rise in net profit, from £21m to £23.5m in 2013/14 – its highest point since the £26m recorded in 2007/08. Meanwhile, its average profit per equity partner (PEP) increased by 3 per cent, from £402,000 to £415,000 despite an increase in the total number of equity partners at the firm (1 July 2013).

Managing partner Michael Chissick said: “The results aren’t overwhelmingly brilliant, but it’s a solid performance for us, and we’ve pushed through the £100m barrier which we’re very pleased with.”

The financial results follow a busy year for the firm, which is currently entering the third and final year of Chissick’s three-year “transformational plan”.

Its increase in net profit comes despite heavy investment over the past year, including a landmark office move. In May, the firm united staff from its two offices near Aldgate underground station under one roof at its new riverside home on Swan Lane, EC4. The move involved cutting floor space by almost a third to 82,000 sq ft, saving the firm roughly £600,000 in rent and rates (4 April 2014).

During the past financial year, the firm has also invested in new offices in Dusseldorf and Munich. It has also been spending heavily on technology and a branding overhaul, which saw the firm’s name transformed from Field Fisher Waterhouse to Fieldfisher (11 April 2014).

Fieldfisher has also poured money into lateral partner hires, bringing in 11 new partners throughout the course of calendar year 2013. However, during the same period 17 partners exited the firm, including franchising chief Mark Abell, and partners Graeme Payne and Victoria Hobbs who left for Bird & Bird (8 May 2013).

The firm also more recently witnessed the exit of privacy and information group head Eduardo Usturan to Hogan Lovells, and partner Stewart Room to PwC Legal. Meanwhile, trademark chief Mark Holah departed for IP boutique Sipara (11 April 2014).

In February 2014, the firm bolted-on eight-partner Manchester boutique Heatons, in its first-ever regional merger. The tie up boosted Fieldfisher’s capacity in the region from one to eight partners, and bolstered the firm’s total revenue by about £4m – helping to push the firm over the £100m turnover line (7 February 2014).

Chissick cited tax as a particularly strong practice area for the firm in 2013/14, adding that the group is “punching way above its weight”. Meanwhile, “banking and finance had a stonking time” and dispute resolution helped performed with particular strength.

The firm’s Brussels office had a record-breaking year, while its Hamburg and Silicon Valley offices also contributed to its increased revenue.