The history of the firm can be traced back almost two centuries
and its structure has changed significantly in that time. The main
mergers, which created the firm in its current form, happened
within living memory. Many of the partners and staff who originally
started with one of the legacy firms, which went on to form Field
Fisher Waterhouse, are still working for the firm.
Field Fisher Waterhouse was created in 1989 following the merger
of Waterhouse & Co and Field Fisher Martineau. Both firms moved
from their original offices and came together to the Vine Street
premises in London in June 1990.
Waterhouse & Co was originally located near St Paul's
Cathedral and in 1971 there were just nine partners. At this time
all law firms were fairly small as up until 1968 law firms were not
permitted to have more than twenty partners.
Shell was a key client of Waterhouse & Co at the time and
the firm worked on all Shell’s real estate deals, in particular its
move to the Shell building in the 1950s. It was the firm’s
relationship with Shell which led to the development of the
following a recommendation by Shell to Mitsubishi Bank.
Field Fisher Martineau was located at Lincoln’s Inn House in
Holborn, close to Red Lion Square, a very convenient location for
the law courts. In 1990, the firm moved to Minories in Aldgate.
The last major addition to the firm took place in 1998 when
Allison & Humphreys (A&H) merged with Field Fisher
A&H was a leading media and communications specialist and
therefore complemented Field Fisher Waterhouse’s technology
expertise. The BBC was one of the key clients that A&H lawyers
brought with them to the firm.