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Financials 2020/21: European contributions crucial as Fieldfisher and Kennedys post resilient revenues

Thanks in part to their respective European networks, Fieldfisher and Kennedys have both posted robust 2020/21 revenues in the face of the pandemic.

There was an inevitable slowdown in growth at Fieldfisher, today unveiling a modest 6% uptick in revenues to reach £290m. It is the firm’s eighth consecutive year of growth, but it does not match double-digit increases seen in recent years. The firm chalked up the deceleration to ‘the impact of the pandemic.’

In that context a 6% rise is respectable, and the firm attributed the solid performance to double-digit revenue growth across its Brussels, German and Paris offices, an endorsement of its frantic European expansion in recent years. Its Silicon Valley hub, which acts as a gateway to European markets for US clients, increased turnover by 9%.

The firm did not disclose detailed financial results last year, so a like-for-like comparison is not possible, but profit per equity partner (PEP) hit £860,000. The figure was £805,000 in 2019.

Managing partner Michael Chissick said: ‘In a challenging year when Brexit and Covid-19 were front and centre of everybody’s agenda, I am pleased to be announcing our positive results. Activity levels over the last year reached record highs in some months and remain strong. We are back to focusing on growth. We will continue to add and promote talent to our ranks to support our growth strategy and we have started the new financial year with confidence and optimism.’

Work highlighted by the firm included its disputes team acting on the $370m Tatneft case, the longest virtual trial in the High Court, as well as the corporate team assisting Ferrero Rocher on its £246m acquisition of Fox’s Biscuits confectionery brands.

Meanwhile Kennedys managed to outstrip its 9% revenue growth from last year, today recording an 11% jump in global turnover to reach £264m. Like Fieldfisher, the firm pointed to ‘exceptional growth’ across its European offices, which collectively grew revenues 45% on the previous year.

In the UK, turnover was up 9% on the previous year, hitting £151m. The firm will have benefited from its Leeds launch at the start of the year, which saw a 36-strong insurance team arrive from Langleys.

Kennedys also reported double-digit growth in Latin America and North America, and added 25 partner appointments in the last 12 months to boost its global benches.

Senior partner Nick Thomas (pictured) hailed the positive results as the firm decided not to make any redundancies or pay cuts when the pandemic hit: ‘It gave me immense satisfaction to lead a partnership that chose to do this during what was a very challenging time.’

He added: ‘When we released strong financial results last year, we were only a couple of months into the pandemic. We did not know what the year ahead would hold. So, these results serve as a testament to the incredible professionalism and hard work of our teams across the world. I couldn’t be prouder of their efforts to support our clients and each other over the past year.’