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Fieldfisher acquires Birmingham presence with £6m boutique takeover

Fieldfisher has merged with Birmingham practice Hill Hofstetter in a deal that will add £6m to its top line.

Hill Hofstetter is an 18-partner commercial firm with a focus on corporate, litigation, real estate and employment law. It was formed in 2008 after around 25 lawyers spun off from the Midlands practice of Reed Smith. Both Fieldfisher and Hill Hofstetter say they will move to a modern Birmingham office in April 2017.

Fieldfisher managing partner Michael Chissick said: ‘Currently over 80% of Hill Hofstetter’s work is generated by companies with European and international headquarters. Its outstanding experience of high-level corporate and commercial European work means the team will fit seamlessly into the Fieldfisher brand.’

Chissick added that expansion throughout Europe is a focus of the firm’s new strategy, which Fieldfisher launched in June. Later that month, Fieldfisher entered Italy through a merger with 21-partner firm Studio Associato Servizi Professionali Integrati (SASPI), which has offices in Milan, Rome, Venice and Turin. The firm still has the Netherlands and Spain in its sights according to the three-year business plan.

As part of the strategy, the firm is placing an emphasis on technology, energy & natural resources and finance & financial services as its three ‘accelerated’ focuses.

For 2015/16 the firm posted a 7% increase in firmwide revenues, up to £121.5m from £113.3m. The result comes after the firm posted an 8% rise in revenue at the half-year point in November 2015.

The firm also reported an increased in profit per equity partner (PEP) of 9% to £550k this year, up from £506k the year before. This is the firm’s highest PEP figure since 2009/10, although still some way off the £722,000 achieved in 2007/08.

Other firms to move to Birmingham in recent years include Hogan Lovells in 2014 for a nearshoring venture, and Trowers & Hamlins, which also has a back office in the region.