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FIRM OF THE YEAR 2014
FIRM OF THE YEAR – ENGLAND, GERMANY, ARBITRATION, COMPETITION, M&A
This year, our research once again recognises Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as the law firm of the year; the firm receives a further five awards for its excellence in particular practice areas and jurisdictions, and it garners more listings across our research than any other firm. In tandem with its continued expansion throughout the US over the past year, in March 2014 Freshfields appointed Adam Siegel, a respected litigator, as its regional managing partner for the US. The firm also named corporate partner Julian Long as the new managing partner of its London office.
|FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER|
|Arbitration||13||Labour & Employment||8|
|Asset Recovery||2||Life Sciences||9|
|Business Crime Defence||2||Patents||4|
|Capital Markets||13||Private Client||1|
|Commerical Litigation||10||Private Funds||3|
|Competition||44||Product Liability Defence||5|
|Corporate Governance||10||Public Procurement||2|
|Corporate Tax||22||Real Estate||10|
|Energy||7||Telecoms and Media||7|
|Environment||1||Trade & Customs||1|
|Insolvency & Restructuring||7||Trademarks||1|
The firm is committed to the retention and development of specialists throughout its international network, as demonstrated by the recent election of 15 counsel across a number of practice areas including competition, corporate, dispute resolution, real estate and tax. Freshfields is always looking to grow its international capital markets, M&A and corporate advisory practice, and bolstered its Paris corporate team in 2014 with a notable hire, increasing the number of partners at the office to 25. The firm also recently announced a new co-head of the global financial investors department, as well as a joint sector group leader of the transport and infrastructure group.
|Total Listings in WWL||223||Established||2000|
|Home jurisdiction||UK and Germany||Total size of firm||over 2,500|
|Number of partners||over 450||Number of offices||28|
PEOPLE AND PRACTICES
Freshfields has an “internationally acclaimed” competition practice and is recognised in our research as the antitrust firm of the year for the tenth year in succession. With more than 50 competition partners based throughout Asia, Europe and the US, the firm advises on the full range of competition matters including merger control, restrictive practices and cartel investigations. Frank Montag emerges as our competition lawyer of the year for the fifth time and is described by peers as a “truly outstanding” lawyer. He has “unparalleled knowledge” of the world’s competition law regimes and defends high-profile clients in EU and cross-border investigations. David Aitman is the global managing partner of the firm and maintains a “stellar reputation” in the field of competition law. He is recognised by sources as a “regulatory expert” and is active across a broad range of commercial sectors, with clients full of praise for his “concise and business-oriented advice”. David Broomhall is co-head of the firm’s antitrust, competition and trade group and specialises in competition issues affecting mergers and acquisitions, regulatory compliance and cartel investigations across a number of industries. Described by peers as a “real authority” in the field, he acts for a number of high-profile clients including ConocoPhillips, Mars and Kodak. Tobias Klose is the managing partner of the Düsseldorf office and focuses his practice on competition issues in the energy, chemical and automotive industries. He regularly represents clients before the European Commission, the Federal Cartel Office and domestic courts and is acknowledged as a “leading name” in EU competition law. Joining him is Martin Klusmann, an “immensely talented” practitioner with experience in all areas of German, European and global competition law. The “highly esteemed” Michael Han leads the antitrust, competition and trade practice in China and specialises in the competition and regulatory aspects of China-related direct foreign investment and cross-border mergers and acquisitions. Jérôme Philippe heads the Paris-based antitrust, competition and trade practice and is able to draw on his “superb” knowledge as a qualified economist in advising on complex competition cases with technical economic and legal considerations. Onno Brouwer is head of the Amsterdam antitrust, competition and trade group and is lauded as an “exceptional advocate”, with “extensive experience” in EU litigation and all areas of European and Dutch competition law. John Davies is a “favourite among clients”, who value his “practical and creative advice” on all aspects of European competition law. A former head of the firm’s global competition practice and founder of the firm’s Brussels office, he is held “in the very highest regard” by peers and clients alike.
Our research also recognised Freshfields as the leading global arbitration firm of the year, and the firm acts in industry-specific arbitrations across a wide range of sectors including construction, banking and finance and M&A. Lucy Reed is global head of the international arbitration group and a “major player” in the field. Praised for her “direct and intelligent approach”, she represents multinational clients in high-profile international arbitrations, with a particular focus on strategy and advocacy. The “greatly respected” Nigel Blackaby heads the US and Latin America international arbitration groups and is recognised as “one of the foremost” lawyers and arbitrators in the region. He regularly represents states and foreign investors under a wide range of arbitral rules including the ICC, LCIA, AAA and UNCITRAL. Noah Rubins is a “key figure” in eastern European arbitration and heads the worldwide Russia/CIS dispute resolution group. He is recommended for his expertise in cross-border disputes and has a “strong reputation” for international commercial and investment treaty arbitration. The “terrific” Peter Turner heads the international arbitration group in Paris and has acted and sat as counsel in more than 100 arbitrations, while Nigel Rawding is a “top-notch” solicitor-advocate with a focus on the energy and telecommunications sectors.
Freshfields receives a third practice area award for its “first-rate” M&A department. The firm advises on some of the largest and most high-profile transactions worldwide, acting for buyers, sellers, financial investors and management. The “internationally renowned” Edward Braham heads the worldwide corporate practice and is “vastly experienced” in domestic and international, public and private mergers and acquisitions, including infrastructure and private equity transactions. In Hong Kong, Robert Ashworth is the Asia managing partner with a “highly visible and respected” practice encompassing all aspects of Asian and international M&A, while the “superb” Christoph von Bülow focuses on public takeovers and the acquisition of minority shareholdings in listed companies.
Freshfields proactively uses its legal expertise for the public good, and to provide access to justice for those who cannot otherwise afford legal representation. From 2012 to 2013, the firm worked on 431 matters for 253 clients and recorded 43,212 pro bono hours, an all-time record for the firm. Freshfields has been innovative in responding to cuts to legal aid and government funding for UK legal advice – the firm proposed an online case management tool called CourtNav (designed to help those who cannot afford a lawyer in navigating the UK court system) to its pro bono client, the Royal Courts of Justice Advice Bureau. The CourtNav prototype secured Ministry of Justice funding in 2013.
The firm is dedicated to the promotion and maintenance of a diverse and inclusive working environment. Freshfields supports a number of initiatives including the London Gay Games bid and leading lesbian, gay and bisexual rights charity Stonewall. The firm also formed a partnership with the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust in order to help UK companies benefit from a more diverse talent pool, and in 2014 announced the selection of six outstanding candidates to join the first year of the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship programme.
In 2014 Freshfields will continue with its mission to deliver practical and commercially minded solutions to clients in light of their specific business challenges. Through continual expansion of its international teams and practice areas, the firm aims to ensure that its clients have access to comprehensive, tailored and multi-faceted legal advice, at short notice and wherever it is required.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.