Noerr has continued its recent trajectory of growth by posting a global top line of €297m across 2021, up by 9% from the €271.6m recorded a year earlier.
The Munich-headquartered Euro Elite outfit, which attributes its success to mandates from listed companies, German and international private equity companies and large family-run companies, saw even stronger growth within Germany, generating revenues of €277.3m, a 10% improvement on previous figures.
Co-managing partner Tortsen Fett hailed the results: ‘We are continuing our growth story and have achieved above-average growth for the second year in a row. The most important forces driving this were group transformation, digitalisation and ESG.’
Fee-earner levels have also increased; as of the end of 2021, the firm employs 588 lawyers, tax advisers, auditors and paralegals, up from 573 the previous year. Overall staffing levels showed a modest increase too, with a total of 1,172 people employed across the firm’s 15 offices, compared to 1,166 at the end of 2020.
In addition to growth in staff numbers, the firm has been taking steps to improve its D&I statistics. Of the nine new practice heads appointed in recent months, four are female, as are three of the seven recently promoted partners.
Much of the firm’s growth is to be attributed to the corporate space, with international M&A being especially significant. This is the result of consistent development in the area over the last decade; 85% of M&A deals on which Noerr has advised in the last ten years have been international in nature.
Transactional highlights in 2021 include representing Schwarz Group on the acquisition of businesses in Spain and Portugal and advising Deutsche Börse on a strategic partnership with Commerzbank to invest in new digital marketplaces.
Litigation was also prosperous for the firm. Fett: ‘We also saw significant growth in our representation of companies in court and in international arbitration proceedings. We have set up a cross-practice cyber risk group to meet the burgeoning need for advice in connection with cybercrime.
In response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the firm has followed the trend of most international law firms by withdrawing from Russia. The firm relinquished its Moscow practice at the end of 2021, passing control over to local partners, and no longer has any Russian or Russian-controlled clients.
Going forward, co-managing partner Alexander Ritvay expects regulatory changes to be a big driver of work: ‘We are also expecting to see a rise in demand resulting from new legislation on supply chains and climate change and also on environmental, social and good governance (ESG) issues.’