Fieldfisher grows revenue 10% as PEP sees modest increase

European firm grows profits per equity partner 4% to £966k in year to end of March following previous year’s 11% decline

Robert Shooter Image courtesy of Fieldfisher

Fieldfisher has reported 10% revenue growth in its latest financial results, hitting £359m against a modest 4% rise in profits per equity partner (PEP) to £966k. 

The rise in PEP follows an 11% fall in FY23, meaning that it remains significantly short of the £1.05m PEP the firm recorded in FY22.

Fieldfisher’s latest figures cover the 11 months of trading to 31 March 2024 – the firm’s new year-end date – and compare them against the same period in the previous financial year. 

Fieldfisher’s managing partner, Robert Shooter, said it had been a year of “significant progress” for the firm.   

“Our strategy focused on European expansion, collaboration and ESG is gaining a real momentum,” he said. “All our teams delivered outstanding results, despite challenging market conditions. We also continued to expand and strengthen our international footprint, increasing our presence in key markets.”

The firm said growth was spread across all its practices, most of which achieved a double-digit increase in revenue. Its 400-lawyer dispute resolution team, its largest practice, grew its top line by 17% and achieved a successful outcome for Eurasian Natural Resources Corporation in the longest-running investigation in the Serious Fraud Office’s history. 

The practice is also acting in the largest-value fraud trial ever brought in the Commercial Court, advising Mikhail Rabinovich as a defendant in a $14bn case.  

Meantime, the firm’s regulatory practice grew revenue by 36%, the personal injury and medical negligence practice by 15% and its financial markets and products practice by 14%. Despite the market slowdown, the corporate team also upped revenue 10%, fuelled by the equity capital markets team’s work on two of the year’s biggest deals on AIM – SigmaRoc’s $1.1bn acquisition of CRH’s European lime and limestone business, and a placing and subscription by international multi-brand franchisor Franchise Brands raising £97m. 

In terms of the UK’s regions, there were strong revenue increases in Manchester (14%), Birmingham (16%) and London (14%). Fieldfisher said a mix of local and international work, conducted by the regional teams, continued to be a successful formula for the UK’s growth agenda. 

Outside of the UK, the firm’s five-office Germany practice has grown to become its fastest growing international operation, with revenue climbing 20% on the previous year. Elsewhere in Europe revenue grew by 10% in Ireland and by 81% in Luxembourg, which the firm said was fuelled in part by the transition from “acting on predominantly local, domestic work to advising multinational clients on cross-border matters, providing a one-stop shop for clients”.

It added that the Vienna office it launched last summer had “significantly bolstered” its regional position, opening a direct route to Eastern Europe that offered additional growth prospects. 

Elsewhere in Europe, the firm cut ties with longstanding Italian partner firm Studio Associato Servizi Professionali Integrati and in early April announced it had relaunched its Italian operation as a fully integrated part of its network. The firm opened with a team of 26 lawyers including five from its former ally and has since grown the team to 32 professionals across Milan and Bologna. 

Over the course of the year the firm hired 22 lawyers, including an eight-strong competition litigation team in London from US boutique Constantine Cannon. It also hired two arbitration specialists in Spain and the Netherlands, three technology and data partners in London, Paris and Dublin – where the firm hired Ciara Burke from Facebook parent Meta to lead its data protection team – and a media team in Germany from SKW Schwarz

The firm also ramped up its commitment to ESG with the hire of Nicole Bigby as its first ESG director from BCLP and also created a new partner collaboration framework as part of the collaboration element of its 2025 strategy. 

Firms that have published their numbers so far as this year’s financial reporting season gets underway indicate a more robust set of results for the top 50 UK firms, with Osborne Clarke, Kennedys, Stephenson Harwood and HFW reporting double digit revenue gains against PEP increases – among those that report the metric – of 7% to 11%.

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