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Reports season 2013 – Bird & Bird and Olswang post healthy revenue increases

Two international firms with strong European practices and a core media focus, Bird & Bird and Olswang, have posted solid revenue increases for the 2012/13 financial year.

Bird & Bird has announced revenue growth of 6%, from £235m to £249m, marking 25 years of continuous growth. Profit figures are yet to be released although a firm spokesperson said that the expectation is that net profits will have risen again in 2012/13.

The performance was described by the firm as solid and in line with budget ‘in the face of challenging economic conditions in our major markets’. Despite these prevailing conditions the firm has continued to invest, with two new offices, two cooperation agreements and 36 new partners – 11 of which were internal promotions. The firm also confirmed that all partner payments had been made during the year.

The top 20, 885-lawyer firm identified Asia and the Middle East as key geographical drivers of growth, along with Germany.

Meanwhile top 40 firm Olswang has reported a 3% growth in revenues, from £108m to £111.3m, slower growth than the 17% it posted last year. The 410-lawyer firm said that profit figures were subject to audit, it anticipated that its net income would be at roughly the same level as last year. However, this means average profit per equity partner will be around £510,000, down from £530,000 last year.

‘Following last year’s significant increase in revenue and profits, this year was more challenging,’ said CEO David Stewart. ‘We had a tough first half, but the firm had a better third and fourth quarter, and we’re content with the overall result given market conditions. Stand out contributions from our German, Belgian and Spanish colleagues were much appreciated, and in particular our international IP and corporate practice groups had a good year.’

‘We have budgeted for a significant rise in turnover and profits this year, as our investments in new partners and offices pay dividends, and our three year plan is ambitious: we are aiming to be in the top 20 by 2016,’ he added. ‘Our international offices have increased their overall revenue contribution by 35 % this year, and international turnover is planned to be over 40% of total revenues by 2016.’