Bird & Bird is celebrating its 30th year of consecutive revenue growth, adding 10% to its top line to £445.6m in 2021/22, up from £405.6m last year. In euro terms, this is a 15% hike to €525.3m from €455m last year.
The tech-focused firm’s net profit is also up by 22%, while PEP is up 11% to €767,000. This is the second year of rebounded growth after a dip in 2020 profits. Meanwhile, it reported net cash of €1.6m, up from net debt of €10.4m and €30.7m as of 30 April 2021 and 2020 respectively.
Christian Bartsch, who succeeded longstanding CEO David Kerr on 31 March 2022, credits his predecessor as the ‘driving force’ behind the firm’s success and resulting consistent growth across all practices in the past year.
‘It’s great that against a very challenging backdrop we continue to do so well. Our focus on technological change continues to be very attractive and this year we saw that all of our practices are supercharged and performing very well,’ he said. One area seeing particular growth in activity is its digital rights and assets group, which is capitalising on the activity in the tokens and NFT space.
Highlights of the year include representing 12 Bitcoin developers in litigation relating to ownership rights of Bitcoin, and acting for Airport Development Company Kadeco in a high-profile infrastructure project in Iceland. It also acted for leading trade association Digital Europe, whose members include 35,000 businesses including 76 global leading corporations and 40 national trade associations across Europe, on a project monitoring the implementation of the European Electronic Communications Code in all EU Member States.
In the last year, the firm also invested in people with 24 lateral hires globally, 21 partner promotions and the launch of its Dublin office in June.
While optimistic about its pipeline, the firm is alive to the challenges ahead, commented chief financial officer Richard Olver: ‘We have got to be nimble and reactive, but I am confident that the challenges ahead will provide opportunities for us.’
Bartsch echoed his optimism, crediting the firm’s strategic focus on tech and transformation for his sanguine outlook. ‘Tech isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It is only becoming more important across all sectors,’ he noted. ‘If you look at the automotive sector, for example, we are seeing a lot of technological change. In the energy sector, particularly in terms of the issues going on at the moment, the way that the crisis is going to be solved is really through the use of technology as well. So, while there are challenges ahead, we are well positioned to take advantage of new opportunities.’