French firms lead way with 2010 financial results

French firms UGGC & Associés and Fidal have become the first European outfits to announce 2010 financial results, with respective year-on-year turnover rises of 5 per cent and 2 per cent.

The results bring UGGC’s revenue to around €36.7m (£30.5m), up from €35m (£29.1m) in 2009, subject to final confirmation. Meanwhile, Fidal reported 2010 turnover of €300m (£249m), up from €295m (£245m) in 2009.

UGGC partner Charles-Emmanuel Prieur said the results were in line with UGGC’s original strategy to form a firm where all the practice areas were of similar importance.

He described 2009 as a “crash-test year” in which the strategy successfully protected UGGC against a drop in revenue. Prieur said year-on-year UGGC expected its revenue to keep increasing by 5 to 10 per cent, regardless of market conditions.

According to Prieur approximately 85 per cent of the firm’s turnover is derived from France. The rest comes from its international offices in Belgium, Morocco, the Middle East and China.

Prieur said any future international development would be in “countries where the legal market is developing”.

He added: “It’s in these countries where our clients say they can’t find the technical expertise that they’re looking for.”

UGGC also announced it had made four Paris-based associates – Ali Bougrine, Samuel Schmidt, Franck Lepron and Philippe Hansen – up to partner.

Fidal, France’s largest law firm with over 100 regional offices, said it had hired extensively during 2010 and now had 1,345 fee-earners in total. In particular the firm has developed its tax practice and added two lawyers to its public law practice.