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‘Continues to fly’: Fieldfisher true to form with 26% revenue hike as Chissick gets re-elected

Cementing its reputation as one of the UK’s highest-performing firms, Fieldfisher has recorded an above-trend 26% uptick in revenue in its half-year results for 2018/19.

The £97m turnover outstripped the £76.7m for the comparable period, the first half of last year. The revenue figure covers Fieldfisher’s UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg and Silicon Valley offices. The firm’s Swiss Verein offices in Netherlands, Italy, Spain and China are not included.

A strong showing from Fieldfisher’s German offices was credited as a key driver in the notable revenue increase, with those seeing 60% growth in turnover in the last year.

Also making impressions was the Paris office, which jumped 36% in revenue, while the firm’s new Frankfurt outpost has grown from one partner at the time of its April launch to 4 partners now.

In terms of practice groups, dispute resolution, tech, outsourcing and privacy, finance and corporate were cited by the firm as the highest performing, with each of them delivering more than 37% revenue growth in the six-month period.

Michael Chissick (pictured), Fieldfisher’s managing partner, told Legal Business: ‘It has been a very consistent three-year performance. We have had a strong run in our focused sectors, while GDPR continues to fly for us.’

Chissick says that GDPR has ‘exploded’ in the last year and the firm has benefitted from the rise in cyber security work: ‘We are doing about one cyber security incident per day for our clients. It’s an area of law which barely existed about five years ago, I find that fascinating.’

The H1 results build on similarly pacey full-year financials for 2017/18, which contributed to the firm’s winning Legal Business’ law firm of the year award in April. In June, Fieldfisher announced a sharp 24% rise in global revenue to £207m, accompanied by a healthy 17% jump in profit per equity partner (PEP) to £750,000.

Chissick’s tenure as managing partner has been characterised by fierce global expansion. In September, the firm concluded a much-anticipated tie-up in Spain with local firm JAUSAS, giving Fieldfisher access to offices in Barcelona and Madrid. According to Chissick at the time, it brought an end to the era of European expansion, at least for the time being.

Also this year, Fieldfisher established a low-cost hub in Belfast in conjunction with Donaldson Legal Consulting, to provide document negotiation and legal support from a team largely consisting of paralegals.

Chissick has also been eyeing up a post-Brexit Dublin launch. He said: ‘It’s something we’re looking at for 2019. We have a good track record of delivering on new offices.’

In May, Chissick was re-elected as managing partner for a third consecutive term. He ran unopposed, and will begin his next three-year term on 1 May 2019.