A 24% hike in staff wages depressed profits at Fieldfisher last year, but the European firm still posted a small increase in the trading surplus shared by partners.

Fieldfisher LLP filed accounts at Companies House last week. In the year to 30 April, the firm posted profit before members’ remuneration and profit share of £140.6m, up from £138.4m in 2022. Turnover climbed 10%, from £282m to £311m.

The group’s staff pay bill, including bonus, topped £84m in 2022-23, a 24% increase (£67.6m). Headcount rose from 1,111 to 1,201.

In the members’ report, the firm blamed the modest increase in operating profit on ‘the impact of high salary increases seen across the legal sector’, a return to more normal trading post-Covid, and investment in infrastructure. Fieldfisher ended the year with £41m in the bank, a rise of £7m attributed to ‘continued strong focus on managing lock-up and improving cash collections’.

London City

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The firm’s top earner, whom the firm declined to name, received £6,319,000 in 2022-23, down from £7,072,000 in the previous 12 months.

Looking ahead, the firm said transactional work has continued to decline in 2023-24, though overall income is in line with expectations. Profit margins ‘are expected to be more challenging’ due to cost and salary inflation.

Fieldfisher LLP’s accounts exclude the results of members of Fieldfisher Global, a separate verein registered in Zurich. Last summer the firm disclosed that group profit per equity partner slipped 11% to £930,000 in 2022-23.

In December 2023 the firm renewed the lease on its City of London premises for another nine years.


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