Norton Rose chief optimistic after flat first half

The top 10 firm brought in £142m in fees in the six months to November, compared with £141.5m last year. Martyr (pictured) added that he was “quite happy” with the results, despite posting an 11 per cent rise at the same stage last year.

Of the other firms in the top 10 to have revealed their figures, only Lovells saw income remain flat with the others seeing a drop of at least six per cent.

Martyr also said that he expected the second half of the year to show a marked improvement, with the transactional side of the business beginning to pick up.

“This year you would hope that the second half would be at least as strong as the first half, if not stronger, so I’m cautiously optimistic.” he said.

“Deals are still few and far between and they’re still difficult to close, but in activity terms we’re happy with the last couple of months.”

Martyr added that Norton Rose’s international activity had meant it had been hurt less by the downturn.