Legal Business Blogs

‘Good growth in a challenging market’: Bird & Bird notches 31st consecutive year of growth as turnover hits £495m

Bird & Bird today (3 August) posted a strong set of financial results showing growth in revenue, profit, and PEP. Turnover went up by 10% to hit £495m. This is in line with last year’s growth, though currency fluctuations mean the increase is less impressive in euros: up 9% to hit €573m, compared to euro growth of 15% last year.

Net profit increased by 8% when measured in sterling and 7% in euros, to £108.4m/€125.4m. PEP, too, ticked up slightly, increasing by 2% in sterling to £669,000 (1% in euros, to €774,000).

The firm made 19 lateral hires and 29 internal partner promotions in the last year – the firm’s largest ever promotions round.

‘The firm has achieved good growth in a challenging market,’ said CEO Christian Bartsch. ‘Our strategic focus on tech-led digital change remains attractive across many sectors and jurisdictions.’

CFO Richard Olver made a similar point: ‘It wasn’t the easiest year, so we’re very pleased to maintain our momentum.’

The automotive and energy sectors remain core area of focus. ‘Life sciences has performed exceptionally strongly, too’, noted Bartsch. ‘ESG has been another growth area, especially since we formed our global client-facing ESG group.

‘There’s huge potential in generative AI, both internally and in advice to clients. We’re really exploring that as a firm, looking at how to train our people so they have the skills they’ll need in five or ten years as this technology becomes more and more important.’

While the firm has no plans to open new offices, Bartsch was enthusiastic about international expansion in the medium to longer-term. ‘There’s a lot of opportunity in Asia and the ASEAN region. I’ve been going to India twice a year for about 15 years now, and the relaxing of restrictions there is very interesting to us. In the Middle East, too, there are lots of businesses looking to expand in areas that are key to our business.’ The firm’s Dublin office, which opened in June 2022, remains another area of focus.

Overall, on Olver’s view, ‘The momentum is continuing. In Q1 we were up on last year in the same way that we were up on the previous year last year.’

‘I don’t want to fall into the trap of coming in as CEO and doing too much too soon,’ said Bartsch, who took over from 26-year incumbent David Kerr on 31 March 2022. ‘But I’m very enthusiastic about the future.’