Legal Business Blogs

Bird & Bird profits rise 2% after €17m spend on new City headquarters, accounts reveal

Bird & Bird‘s turnover increased 5% to €344.5m for the 2015/16 financial year, according to the firm’s recently filed accounts. Alongside the increase in turnover, the firm saw its profits rise by 2% to €96m and net debt tumble by 15% to €39.5m. The accounts partially attribute this downslide to the stronger Euro against Sterling.

The positive growth in profit is recorded despite the €17m cost of its new 12 Fetter Lane premises, including office equipment and computers.

The highest paid member was paid €920,000, down from €1.02m the year before, the accounts showed. This figure in LLP accounts does not necessarily equate to the highest paid equity partner and can relate to ‘golden handshakes’ to retiring members.

For the six months ending 31 October 2016, Bird & Bird saw turnover increase by 4%, but the firm said this is up 11% in underlying currencies.

Bird & Bird chief executive David Kerr told Legal Business: ‘Globally we’re seeing strong activity, certainly higher than we expected considering the political uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the US election. It’s good to see transactional and contentious work picking up across the board.’

The transfer of Bird & Bird’s London office to its new headquarters took place in September 2016, with an ambition to grow the firm’s headcount in the City by 25%.

Late last year Legal Business revealed Kerr received support from less than half the firm’s partnership as almost 30% of partners abstained from voting during the firm’s last leadership election in March

Read more on the firm in the Focus Feature: ‘David made Goliath – Kerr on Bird & Bird’s re-invention as a leading global TMT shop.’