Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Logo 1.svg
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
No. of offices 27
No. of lawyers Approx. 2,500[1]
No. of employees 5,500
Major practice areas General practice
Revenue ₤1.14 billion[2]
Date founded 2000 (merger), 1743 London, 1840 Hamburg.
Company type Limited liability partnership
Website
www.freshfields.com

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (informally Freshfields) is a global law firm headquartered in London, United Kingdom and a member of the 'Magic Circle' of leading English law firms.[2] It is the second-largest law firm in the world measured by revenues.[3] In 2010-11 it achieved total revenues of £1.14 billion and profits per equity partner of £1.308 million.[4] It has 27 offices in 16 countries across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America and employs around 2,500 legal advisers.[1] It advises national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments.

Will Lawes is the firm's senior partner and Ted Burke is managing partner.

Contents

History

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was created on 1 August 2000 when the UK-based Freshfields merged with Germany-based Deringer Tessin Herrmann & Sedemund and Bruckhaus Westrick Heller Löber.[5][6]

Freshfields traced its origins back to at least 1743 in London, when Samuel Dodd, one of its partners, was appointed solicitor to the Bank of England. The law firm changed its name with different partners until James William Freshfield (1775-1864) was elected partner. A symbol of the archangel Michael, part of the Freshfields family crest since the middle of the 18th century, also became the law firm's symbol.[7] James Freshfield, his sons and grandsons continued in the service of the firm until the last Freshfield retired in 1918.[8] Bruckhaus' history began in 1840 in Hamburg, while Deringer Tessin Herrmann & Sedemund was founded in 1962 by Arved Deringer and Claus Tessin and had been based in Cologne since 1970. The three-way merger in 2000 represented the ambition of all three firms of becoming an international law firm, and was described by the UK's Financial Times as "probably the most significant pan-European merger to date in the restructuring of Europe’s legal services."

In 2007, the firm went through a restructuring of its business, which involved slimming down the size of its equity partnership. The changes were made with the aim of increasing the firm's competitiveness and profitability, and were similar to moves made previously by other competitor firms.[9] Separately, the firm also reformed the partners' pension scheme with the aim of making the scheme fairer for all partners. The changes resulted in a number of departures and three claims, two of which were dropped, while the third was dismissed by the Central London Employment Tribunal.[10][11]

On 1 May 2008, Freshfields converted to a limited liability partnership (LLP). In February 2009, it was announced that Freshfields had been chosen as the official legal services provider to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.[12][13]

Main practice areas

  • Antitrust, competition and trade
  • Corporate
  • Dispute resolution
  • Employment, pensions and benefits
  • Finance
  • IP/IT
  • Real estate
  • Tax[14]

Awards and rankings

Recent awards by Freshfields include: "M&A team of the year" (IFLR European Awards 2010); "M&A team of the year" (British Legal Awards 2009 and 2008); "Germany law firm of the year" and "UK law firm of the year" (Chambers Europe Awards for Excellence 2009); "Most innovative law firm" (Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Awards 2009); "Global law firm of the year" (Who's Who Legal Awards 2009); "Law firm of the year" (The Lawyer Awards 2008); "International law firm of the year" (PLC Which Lawyer? Awards 2008).

Corporate social responsibility

Freshfields was named Legal Business CSR Firm of the Year 2007 [15] for being the first international law firm to produce an externally audited corporate social responsibility report under the Global Reporting Initiative's sustainability reporting framework. In 2009, the firm yet again won the CSR Programme of the Year award by Legal Business.[16]

In January 2008, the firm followed this London-focused report with an externally assured report on activities across all of its then 26 offices for the year 2006/7, covering the themes of law and ethics, people and diversity, climate change and the environment, and community and pro bono legal advice.[17] Freshfields runs a number of programmes designed to attract applicants from non-traditional backgrounds, including TARGETchances City law,[18] Pure Potential[19] and the Sutton Trust's Pathways to Law[20] initiative.

Offices

Freshfields has 27 offices in 16 countries across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America.[21]

References

  1. ^ a b "Annual review 2009". Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. http://www.freshfields.com/_download/aboutus/annualreport/Annual_review_2009.pdf. Retrieved 24 October 2010. 
  2. ^ a b "Clifford Chance Is Top U.K. Law Firm as Revenue Falls". Bloomberg Businessweek. 8 July 2010. http://www.businessweek.com/news/2010-07-08/clifford-chance-is-top-u-k-law-firm-as-revenue-falls.html. Retrieved 22 October 2010. 
  3. ^ "The Global 100: Most Revenue 2009". American Lawyer. http://www.law.com/jsp/tal/PubArticleTAL.jsp?id=1202433980888. Retrieved 13 August 2010. 
  4. ^ "Magic circle figures: Freshfields top on PEP as A&O closes turnover gap". http://www.thelawyer.com/magic-circle-figures-freshfields-top-on-pep-as-ao-closes-turnover-gap/1008543.article. 
  5. ^ 29 March 2004 (2004-03-29). "TheLawyer.com". TheLawyer.com. http://www.thelawyer.com/freshfields-kings-of-europe/109427.article. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  6. ^ "Chambers and Partners Firm Profile". Chambersandpartners.com. http://www.chambersandpartners.com/Europe/Firms/147-34969. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  7. ^ Slinn, Judy (1993), Freshfields, 1743-1993, London: Freshfields
  8. ^ Slinn, Judy (1984). A History of Freshfields. London: Freshfields. OCLC 59021160. 
  9. ^ "Freshfields reaches end of sweeping equity overhaul". legalweek.com.com. 2007-03-08. http://www.legalweek.com/Articles/1014047/Freshfields+reaches+end+of+sweeping+equity+overhaul.html. 
  10. ^ "Freshfields wins Bloxham age discrimination battle". legalweek.com. 2007-10-10. http://www.legalweek.com/Articles/1059742/Freshfields+wins+Bloxham+age+discrimination+battle.html. 
  11. ^ "Shearman's Moore withdraws Freshfields claim". thelawyer.com. 2007-11-08. http://www.thelawyer.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=129843&d=415&h=417&f=416. 
  12. ^ "London2012.com". London2012.com. http://www.london2012.com/news/archive/2009-02/london-2012-appoints-freshfields-as-tier-three-provider.php. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  13. ^ "Timesonline.com". Business.timesonline.co.uk. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/law/article5649505.ece. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  14. ^ "Practices - Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP". Freshfields.com. http://www.freshfields.com/practices/. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  15. ^ "CSR Firm of the Year" (PDF). http://awards.legalbusiness.co.uk/media/lbawards/2007/LBA07%20Supplement%20pages%2027.pdf. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  16. ^ "Freshfields CSR report - Pastures new". ethicalcorp.com. 2006-02-17. http://www.ethicalcorp.com/content.asp?ContentID=4102. 
  17. ^ "Freshfields Launches CSR Report". developmentcrossing.com. 2008-01-30. http://www.developmentcrossing.com/development_crossing/2008/01/freshfields-lau.html. 
  18. ^ "TARGETchances City law". Target-events.co.uk. http://target-events.co.uk/targetchancescitylaw. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  19. ^ "Pure Potential". Pure Potential. http://www.purepotential.org/. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  20. ^ "Pathways to Law". Pathways to Law. http://www.pathwaystolaw.org/. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  21. ^ "Locations". Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. http://www.freshfields.com/locations/. Retrieved 24 October 2010. 

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