Fieldfisher’s recent frenetic push into key European markets has culminated on 25 September with a much-anticipated tie-up in Spain with local firm JAUSAS.
The combination, which will operate under the firm’s Swiss Verein structure, gives Fieldfisher access to offices in Barcelona and Madrid under the name Fieldfisher JAUSAS, a long-stated ambition of managing partner Michael Chissick.
JAUSAS was formed 52 years ago and comprises of 60 lawyers, 14 of which are partners. It generated €8.4m in turnover during the last financial year, and is led by managing partner Agustín Bou. Key practice areas are corporate, competition, life sciences, dispute resolution, employment and IP. The firm’s corporate team also branches out into investment management and private equity and boasts a China desk serving Chinese investors.
Chissick told Legal Business: ‘I spent years working on this; it hasn’t been easy to find the perfect Spanish partner. Getting them to take the plunge and give up their independence wasn’t easy. They’re the pre-eminent life sciences firm in Spain.’
The merger, which went live on 26 September, will bring Fieldfisher’s total office count to 24. This comes after a concerted campaign of European expansion: the firm opened offices in both Luxembourg and Frankfurt earlier this year.
Fieldfisher also opened a high-volume hub in Belfast in August, and, more further afield, established its third Chinese office in Guangzhou during the same month.
After a sustained period of expansion, Chissick said it is time for Fieldfisher to cool down: ‘We wanted to be in all the major commercial centres of Europe and we’ve done that now. Now’s the time for integration and bedding down, I wouldn’t expect another major European launch for a while.’
Fieldfisher – named Legal Business Law Firm of the Year in 2018 – has been one of the highest-performing firms in the UK legal market in recent years, and it maintained its form in June by unveiling a 24% uptick in turnover to £207m while profits per equity partner grew by a healthy 17% to £750,000.