08:20, July 03 75 0

2017-07-03 08:20:11
Bird & Bird posts double digit revenue growth to £303m with surprise London boost

Bird & Bird has recorded a 10.7 per cent boost in revenue in 2016/17, growing from £273.8m to £303.2m.

In like for like currency, the firm has increased its turnover by 5 per cent, from €348.8m to €361m.

The firm has yet to report its net profit and profit per equity partner (PEP) figures for last year, although both are understood to have grown from 2015/16’s £45m and £454,000 respectively.

Bird & Bird CEO David Kerr told The Lawyer: “We were very pleased that the double digit growth – there was very strong growth in London which caught us by surprise because of Brexit.”

The firm highlighted double-digit revenue growth in corporate, IP and employment in the last year, which was boosted by the firm’s new tech-focused strategy. “It’s all quite encouraging,” Kerr commented. “I think we’ve been more pushing the strategic messages a lot more strongly. Clietns are responding warmly to that.”

Bird & Bird expects “continued serious growth” in the coming financial year, Kerr claims. “There are a lot of opportunities coming our way,” he said. “Law firms are going to make more investments in the coming years – whether it’s in bricks and mortar or technology solutions. We will do both.

“You can’t develop any business without making investment. We are always looking at whether we should expand the geographic footprint.”

The firm’s consulting arm Baseline has also had a good year, Kerr commented.

“It’s remarkable actually how much interest there is in a combined integrated consulting and legal offering,” he said. “We are very encouraged by this. We always knew it would take time to build up but the current programme of work is very encouraging.”

According to LLPs filed this year, Bird & Bird spent more than £14m – or 18 per cent of its net profit – on its new London headquarters in 2015/16. The firm has a ready-built office on New Fetter Lane, where it has consolidated its three London offices.

In 2016 partners re-elected Kerr for another three years and appointed Italian managing partner Massimiliano Mostardini as its new chairman.

In the last year, Bird & Bird has worked on strategic hires; launching an international tax disputes practice in London on the back of a five-strong team hire from PwC, which was led by partners Andy Brown and Julian Balson.

In Asia, the firm hired Creative Technology’s former global head of legal Anan Sivananthan as an IP partner in Singapore.

Bird & Bird prioritised Europe once again in its annual promotions round this year, with just one lawyer out of 16 hailing from outside the region.

A total of 15 new partners were elected across the UK and continental Europe, including six in the UK and four in Germany. The Netherlands and Spain saw two appointments each.

Just one lawyer was promoted in the Asia-Pacific region – namely intellectual property partner Troy Gurnett in Australia.