City law firm Field Fisher in merger talks worth £200m

Elizabeth Fournier
FIELD Fisher Waterhouse, the City law firm based close to Tower Hill, is in merger talks with up to three other firms that could results in a tie-up worth up to £200m, it emerged yesterday.

Field Fisher, which called off more advanced talks with rival Lawrence Graham earlier in the summer, is believed to have held early stage discussion with firms including Osborne Clarke.

Based on the two firms’ latest financial results, a merger would result in combined revenues close to £200m.

Field Fisher’s fee income for 2011-12 was £97.5m, while average profit per equity partner (PEP) fell from £510,000 to £504,000. Osborne Clarke, meanwhile, grew turnover by eight per cent to £97.7m, and boosted PEP slightly to £406,000.

Osborne Clarke combined with Italian firm SLA Studio Legale Associato and Spanish firm Osborne Clarke Spain in late July.

“It is well known that merger is on Field Fisher Waterhouse’s agenda as potentially one way of achieving our ambitious growth plans and strategic objectives,” the firm said in a statement. “We will not be commenting on individual talks unless they reach an appropriate stage,” it added.