Legal Business Blogs

Maintaining growth: Bird & Bird keeps pace with 6% revenue hike

Bird & Bird has reported another year of solid growth, with revenue up 6% to €343.8m from €325.5m for the 2015/16 financial year.

The firm, which reports in euros, said allowing for currency fluctuations turnover was up from £259m to £273.8m in sterling. It has kept pace with its growth in 2014/15, when it also reported a 6% rise in revenues, hitting €325.5m. Profit per equity partner (PEP) saw a slight bump up to £454,000, a 1% increase on the £448,000 reported last year.

Chief executive David Kerr told Legal Business:’Overall it has been quite a solid year, it’s good to see continued growth, it has been quite widely spread in Europe and Asia is holding up well as well as the UK.’

He added the firm’s focus on technology and its international reach had helped keep growth up during the general market malaise in the build up to the EU referendum and that the firm would continue to pursue a growth focusing on its core markets: ‘We are obviously wanting to keep fulfilling our strategy. We are not proposing a major change in the course of direction we have been following, we just want to do it better.’ Kerr (pictured), was re-elected in March for a further three-year term.

Around a third of revenues come from its London headquarters, with the firm expected to move its three London offices to a new combined office on Fetter Lane later this summer.

The firm has undergone rapid international expansion in recent years, opening in Australia by merging with Sydney-based Truman Hoyle in 2014. Its international strategy has included co-operation agreements in Indonesia, Turkey and Korea, on top of Australian and Danish mergers over the past three years.

The technology-focused firm also launched a new office in Luxembourg in early 2016, to work in the new Unified Patent Court, becoming its 28th worldwide office.

Speaking to Legal Business last month, Kerr said IP remained the ‘crown jewels’ of the firm, but its work with banks and other institutions was being transformed by its specialist knowledge of technology: ‘It’s growing like crazy because our heartland was IT and media, and now increasingly it is the industries which are being transformed by tech.’

Competitor firms with a technology focus have seen varied results so far. Osborne Clarke reported in May that the firm had boosted revenues by 23% to €236.3m, while Taylor Wessing saw global growth stay flat, with turnover up 1% to £254.4m.

For more on David Kerr’s leadership and Bird & Bird’s strategy, see ‘David made Goliath – Kerr on Bird & Bird’s re-invention as a leading global TMT shop’.