Noerr stays on course for further growth
Turnover rises to 197 million euro/Focus on the digital shift
The law firm Noerr successfully closed the 2014 business year with a further increase in turnover. It thus continues the long-term growth that has allowed its turnover to increase by 41 per cent since 2010.
Across the firm, Noerr generated a total of 197.2 million euro in 2014 (previous year: 184.5 million euro). Turnover thus rose by 7 per cent. Growth in German legal advice was even stronger: with a 9-percent increase, the firm achieved turnover of 177.9 million euro (previous year: 163.3 million euro). At its offices in Central and Eastern Europe, however, the difficult situation in Russia and the Ukraine affected business with turnover in the region falling by 9 per cent to 19.3 million euro (previous year: 21.2 million euro).
Confirmation of the strategy
“We took the positive momentum from 2013 with us into 2014”, said Alexander Ritvay, Noerr’s Co-Speaker, pointing out that the firm had once again successfully consolidated last year’s increase in turnover and grown further. “This validates our approach of primarily investing in the qualitative expansion of our business.”
For several years, Noerr has concentrated on qualitative growth in strategic growth areas. In corporate, one of the most prominent cases was the advisory activities for Bigfoot GmbH on the establishment of a global fashion holding: a Noerr team assisted Bigfoot, coordinating the merger of five leading international internet fashion companies into the “Global Fashion Holding”, valued at 2.7 billion euro. The advice to the global building materials group, Cemex, on an international shareholding swap with its competitor, Holcim, was one of the other major cases of the year.
Tax, litigation and distribution, as well as real estate also contributed significantly to the growth in turnover in 2014. The Noerr Real Estate Investment Group continued its success of previous years and led the market in Germany by participating in four of the top 10 transactions (source: Thomas Daily).
Above-average demand for the firm’s advisory services was also seen in the Litigation practice group. In 2014, Noerr successfully represented the water utility company Kommunale Wasserwerke Leipzig before the High Court in London. The dispute over credit debt obligations (CDOs) was listed by the journal “The Lawyer” as one of last year’s top 20 London cases.
The business year was also a success for the Distribution practice group which successfully secured Daimler and Fiat Group as new clients in automotive distribution law. The firm also developed a pioneering omni-channel retailing system for an international fashion manufacturer. Finally, in tax, both compliance advice and international transaction business generated well-above-average growth in turnover.
“The success at international level, in particular, proves yet again that independent law firms focusing on advice in the high-end segment meet with keen demand from clients”, said Co-Speaker Tobias Bürgers. Noerr takes a demand-oriented, integrated approach to advice with the added value of experts from a range of fields providing solutions and project management from a single source.
Prepared for the digital shift in business
“In addition to increasing internationalisation, we expect the digital shift in business to ensure an ever greater need for advice”, emphasised Tobias Bürgers, “as technological progress changes companies’ structures and value chains.” Alexander Ritvay added: “In the light of these major technological revolutions, clients expect law firms to provide all-embracing advice. Our integrated approach to advice including areas such as data protection, IP and IT law ensures that even today, we already have an excellent market position.”
In the 2014 business year, Noerr also reinforced its commitment to the Berlin start-up scene. Together with the DAX-listed groups, Henkel and RWE, the firm founded the German Tech Entrepreneurship Center (GTEC). The new start-up platform is based at the ESMT European School of Management and Technology. Other co-founders are the Siegmund Kiener Foundation and the Globumbus Foundation. “We have been successfully active in the area of venture capital for a number of years. Our involvement in GTEC and our commitment to Berlin as a business location are particularly important to us”, said Alexander Ritvay.
The firm saw a moderate increase in personnel in 2014. By 31 December 2014, the number of Professionals throughout the firm had risen by 3.7 per cent to 506 (previous year: 488). In Germany, there were 407 Professionals (previous year: 376) – an increase of 8.2 per cent. The total number of employees increased by 4.1 per cent to 1,083 (previous year: 1,040) and in Germany by 7.1 per cent to 904 (previous year: 844).
The trade press again acknowledged this successful development with several awards. The JUVE publishing house named Noerr – among other things – “Law Firm of the Year” and “Law Firm of the Year for M&A”, whilst Legal Business voted the firm “International Firm of the Year“ and The Lawyer voted Noerr “Law Firm of Year 2015: Germany”.
For the 2015 business year, Noerr expects further growth in midsingle figures.