Europe giants Fidal and Noerr report revenue rises

France’s largest law firm, Fidal, has reported a 2.5 per cent increase in revenue for the 2011/12 financial year, with turnover rising from €309.8m in 2010/11 to €317.7m (£278m) last year.

The firm’s financial year ends on 30 September, but the figures were provided ahead of The Lawyer’s annual European 100 survey, which ranks Continental European firms by turnover.

Meanwhile, German firm Noerr said its turnover was up by 7 per cent, the most significant increase of any large European firm so far. Revenues hit €170m (£148.6m) for the 2012 year, up from €159.3m in 2011.

The firm, which is an LLP, said its profits were also up by a similar margin, from €54.7m in 2011 to €58.4m last year.

Despite its turnover growth FIDAL’s overall headcount shrank slightly. In 2011/12 the firm reported total headcount of 2,130 people including 1,274 fee-earners and 1,144 qualified lawyers – compared to 1,176 lawyers, 1,319 fee-earners and 2,218 staff in 2010/11. However, the firm added a net total of nine partners to its roster, bringing the total number of partners to 615, and increased its equity from 296 in 2010/11 to 312 in 2011/12.

Meanwhile, Noerr’s headcount also went up, with total staff numbers growing from 818 people in 2011 to 864 last year. The firm employed 406 fee-earners, up from 380, and 355 qualified lawyers, up from 337. A net total of four partners were recruited or promoted, although Noerr’s equity partnership remained static at 74.

Both results compare favourably with other figures reported by large European firms for the most recent financial year. Of Spain’s ‘big three’ firms only Cuatrecasas Gonçalves Pereira reported revenue growth, of just 1.2 per cent (7 February 2013). Garrigues, which remains the largest independent firm in Europe, announced a turnover drop of 5 per cent for 2011/12 (30 October 2012) and Slaughter and May best friend Uría Menéndez said its revenues had fallen 4.5 per cent (1 March 2013).

The Lawyer European 100 2013 will be published later in the year.