Legal Business

‘Continuing our growth story’: Noerr sees 9% growth as revenue reaches €297m

‘Continuing our growth story’: Noerr sees 9% growth as revenue reaches €297m

Noerr has continued its recent trajectory of growth by posting a global top line of €297m across 2021, up by 9% from the €271.6m recorded a year earlier.

The Munich-headquartered  Euro Elite outfit, which attributes its success to mandates from listed companies, German and international private equity companies and large family-run companies, saw even stronger growth within Germany, generating revenues of €277.3m, a 10% improvement on previous figures.

Co-managing partner Tortsen Fett hailed the results: ‘We are continuing our growth story and have achieved above-average growth for the second year in a row. The most important forces driving this were group transformation, digitalisation and ESG.’

Fee-earner levels have also increased; as of the end of 2021, the firm employs 588 lawyers, tax advisers, auditors and paralegals, up from 573 the previous year. Overall staffing levels showed a modest increase too, with a total of 1,172 people employed across the firm’s 15 offices, compared to 1,166 at the end of 2020.

In addition to growth in staff numbers, the firm has been taking steps to improve its D&I statistics. Of the nine new practice heads appointed in recent months, four are female, as are three of the seven recently promoted partners.

Much of the firm’s growth is to be attributed to the corporate space, with international M&A being especially significant. This is the result of consistent development in the area over the last decade; 85% of M&A deals on which Noerr has advised in the last ten years have been international in nature.

Transactional highlights in 2021 include representing Schwarz Group on the acquisition of businesses in Spain and Portugal and advising Deutsche Börse on a strategic partnership with Commerzbank to invest in new digital marketplaces.

Litigation was also prosperous for the firm. Fett: ‘We also saw significant growth in our representation of companies in court and in international arbitration proceedings. We have set up a cross-practice cyber risk group to meet the burgeoning need for advice in connection with cybercrime.

In response to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, the firm has followed the trend of most international law firms by withdrawing from Russia. The firm relinquished its Moscow practice at the end of 2021, passing control over to local partners, and no longer has any Russian or Russian-controlled clients.

Going forward, co-managing partner Alexander Ritvay expects regulatory changes to be a big driver of work: ‘We are also expecting to see a rise in demand resulting from new legislation on supply chains and climate change and also on environmental, social and good governance (ESG) issues.’

Legal Business

Legal Business Awards 2020 – International Firm of the Year

Legal Business Awards 2020 – International Firm of the Year

The entries have been assessed and our research completed: we are now delighted to reveal our International Firm of the Year for the 2020 Legal Business Awards.

This award acknowledges leading independent non-UK or US law firms – operating onshore or offshore – in mainland Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Asia, Australasia, the Middle East and Africa. Key factors taken into account by our judges include a clear demonstration of growing market share, a well-conceived business strategy, stellar financial performance, strong management, a successful recruitment and retention strategy and a significant client development programme.




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Winner – BonelliErede

Slaughter and May’s Italian ally, BonelliErede, laid claim to moving ahead of its competitors with a key strategic move last summer – taking over litigation and corporate independent, Lombardi e Associati.

It was undoubtedly a significant move in an Italian legal market traditionally used to schisms. The merger sees Bonelli strengthen its position as the largest of the country’s three champions, growing its lawyer headcount by 70 to more than 500. It almost doubles Bonelli’s disputes ranks, adding 40 lawyers to hit 100. The rest of the legacy Lombardi team is split across restructuring, M&A, intellectual property, administrative law and banking.

Management at Bonelli – led by president Stefano Simontacchi – is now bullish about its prospects in a market where the litigation scene has traditionally been dominated by small boutiques, claiming that a general counsel or a company that has a major litigation issue will make Bonelli its first port of call. For Lombardi – a highly regarded disputes boutique – tying up with an institution secures its future in an Italian legal market that is consolidating fast.

In a static market where the big three firms are to an extent dominated by patriarchs, Bonelli has emerged with a clear strategy of innovation and internationalisation. While it is clear to point out that it is not pursuing growth at all costs its recent moves have demonstrated an ambition that could move it ahead of its competitors.

Highly commended – Noerr

Well respected by peers and a previous winner in this category, German market-leader Noerr has a solid track record of revenue growth over the last decade, having more than doubled its turnover from €105.8m in 2009. Its most recent financial performance was particularly strong, increasing turnover by 13% to €229.4m while revenue per lawyer rose 6% to €542,000.

To drive its goals of remaining at the forefront of its home market, Noerr has continued to invest significantly over the past 18 months, especially through strengthening in corporate, litigation and regulatory through partner promotions and lateral hires, as well as pressing ahead with the modernisation of the infrastructure and digitalisation of the firm.


Other nominees

BDGS Associés

BDGS was formed in 2013 by four former Gide Loyrette Nouel partners who believed that a small, transactions-focused player had more chance of success than a large firm. The 35-lawyer practice has quickly established itself as the strongest domestic challenger to local leaders Bredin Prat and Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier.

De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek

Considered the top independent law firm in the Netherlands, De Brauw turned over €174m in 2018, thanks to the contribution of key players such as corporate head Arne Grimme and working with the likes of Slaughter and May on’s $10bn acquisition of Just Eat.

Mason Hayes & Curran

As the only elite Irish firm to disclose its financial performance, Mason Hayes has doubled turnover in six years to December 2018, with revenue growing 8% to €82m. Evidence of growing market share in Dublin can be seen from eight lateral hires from direct competitors in two years.


A serious challenger to the Spanish legal elite, Pérez-Llorca is recognises by local and international firms in Madrid as an important competitor, not just for Spanish clients. The numbers confirm this: the firm grew revenue by 30% to €52m in 2018, following a 20% growth the previous year.

Uría Menéndez

Cementing its position as the top Spanish independent firm, recent mandates included advising Abertis on the $19bn takeover by Atlantia – the fourth-largest European deal in 2018, contributing to the firm hitting €240m in global revenues in 2018.



Legal Business

Noerr cites uptick in cross-border work for revenue growth of 12.3% to €190.8m


German independent Noerr has posted a record turnover of €190.8m for 2013. The Munich-headquartered firm’s revenue grew by 12.3% from €170m in 2012, although turnover in its Central and Eastern European offices fell by around 3% to €26.3m, the firm said today (26 March).

Noerr, which won international law firm of the year at The Legal Business Awards 2014, saw its global headcount rise slightly by 1.2% to 488 from 482, growing 4.1% in Germany to a total of 376 heads, up from 361 in 2012.

The results follow the firm’s recent launch into Brussels earlier this month (13 March) to focus on advising on antitrust and state aid law, distribution law and the regulated industries. Dominik Wendel relocated from the firm’s Frankfurt office to head the new base.

The firm said its cross-border work along with the development of key strategic business, particularly corporate/M&A, litigation, media IP & IT, were the main drivers for its growth. Regulated industries such as banks, energy, insurance and telecommunication companies, were also robust areas.

Some recent examples of key deals include advising Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) on the €8.7bn merger of its thermal power stations divisions with Hitachi; acting for Deutsche Telekom on the takeover of the eastern European broadband provider GTS; representing ABN Amro on the acquisition of the German private banking business of Credit Suisse; and acting for Deutsche Annington in the takeover of a total of 41,000 residential units of the Vitus group worth €1.4bn and DeWAG worth €970m.

Noerr corporate partner Tobias Bürgers says: ‘In recent years, we invested particularly strongly in our strategic business areas. The great demand of clients confirms our strategy. Cross-border business, in particular, continues to expand.’

For more on the German market see How the dust settles – Germany’s profession is forever changed but singular still