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02 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer welcomed new senior partner Edward Braham, part of the new global leadership team in January 2016. Speaking on his appointment, Braham said “clients are increasingly turning to the firm for high-value advice wherever they need it, especially when the international angle matters”. The firm is looking to continue developing in a way that best serves its clients.

One such development was the opening of Freshfields Global Centre (Europe) in Manchester in July 2015 following a strategic review of its operational models and business processes. Two further sites are planned – one in the US and another in the Asia-Pacific – to give lawyers worldwide 24/7 support. The focus will be on repetitive legal work and business services, and puts Freshfields in line with many of its competitors who have made similar moves in recent years.

Total Listings 260
No. Partners 429
Firm Size Over 2,500
Home Jurisdiction UK/ Germany
Established 2000
No. Offices 29
  • England
  • Germany
  • Competition

PEOPLE AND PRACTICES

For the 12th time running Freshfields is our competition law firm of the year. Its practice spans Asia, Europe and the US, and is home to seven-time competition lawyer of the year Frank Montag. Based in Brussels, Montag is considered a “dynamic lawyer” whose “expertise is unrivalled”. Co-head of the firm’s antitrust, competition and trade group David Broomhall is “superb” and he works for high-profile clients including ConocoPhillips, Rosneft and Kodak.

Freshfields’ corporate tax practice encompasses leading advisory and controversy lawyers. Head of the London and international tax disputes team Helen Buchanan is a “formidable litigator” who clients rely on for their most complex tax problems including corporate and employment taxes. Murray Clayson is of “high repute” and impresses with his “creative approach”.

The corporate M&A team had a busy 2015, with deals such as advising PetroChina on its $43 billion pipeline asset consolidation; Tesco on the £4.2 billion sale of Homeplus in Asia’ largest sale to private equity; and Blackstone on its sale of Center Parcs to Brookfield. Mark Rawlinson is a well-known transactional lawyer who can be relied on to assist with sensitive governance issues. He is currently advising AB InBev on its £71 billion recommended acquisition of SABMiller and also BG Group on the £47 billion recommended offer from Royal Dutch Shell.

On the energy front, Alan Rae Smith heads the energy project finance team and is lauded as a “technically gifted lawyer”. Gavin MacLaren in Singapore heads the Asia-Pacific energy and natural resources practice and is particularly recommended for his experience in advising governments and energy companies in connection with overlapping international boundary claims.

Freshfields has a strong dispute resolution group consisting of leading lawyers in the arbitration, litigation and mediation fields. Nigel Rawding was recently appointed QC and heads the firm’s international arbitration practice. He sits as counsel, as well as arbitrator and is a “distinguished player” in the market. The firm is also building a growing reputation for its global investigations work. Key names in the practice include New York-based Aaron Marcu and Adam Siegel. Marcu is head of the firm’s US litigations practice and a specialist in conducting internal corporate investigations, while Siegel is co-head of the firm’s global investigations practice and defends clients in investigations involving alleged violations of the FCPA, insider trading, stock option backdating and off-label pharmaceutical products promotion.

PRO BONO

Pro bono work at Freshfields takes many forms, from one-off interventions to supporting global NGOs. In 2013-14 the firm clocked up over 56,000 hours and worked on 483 matters for 292 clients. Highlights of the practice include acting as legal adviser to Save the Children International, staffing a housing law clinic at Tower Hamlets Law Centre, and working with Shelter on casework involving homeless children and in strategic interventions at the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court. 

DIVERSITY

Freshfields aims to create a welcoming and supportive environment in which all can flourish. It works across the firm to increase the number of women at senior levels, broaden the firm’s representation among different races and ethnicities, and be an employer of choice for LGBT people. The firm supports several employee-led networks, including the Families’ Network and the Multicultural Employee Network. 

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W11 1QQ, UK