Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
|Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP|
|Headquarters||London, United Kingdom|
|No. of offices||28|
|No. of lawyers||Approx. 2,500|
|No. of employees||Approx. 5,500|
|Major practice areas||General practice|
|Key people||Will Lawes
|Revenue||£1.221 billion (2012/13)|
|Profit per equity partner||£1.398 million (2012/13)|
(Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer)
|Company type||Limited liability partnership|
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (informally Freshfields) is a multinational law firm headquartered in London and a member of the Magic Circle of leading British law firms. In 2012-13 it achieved total revenues of £1.221 billion and average profit per equity partner (PEP) of £1.398 million. It has 28 offices in 17 jurisdictions across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America and employs over 2,500 legal advisers. It advises national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments.
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. James Freshfield, his sons and grandsons continued in the service of the firm until the last Freshfield retired in 1918. 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. 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.
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.
Awards and rankings
Recent awards by Freshfields include: "Global Law Firm of the Year" (Who's Who Legal Awards 2013); "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); "Law firm of the year" (The Lawyer Awards 2008); "International law firm of the year" (PLC Which Lawyer? Awards 2008).
Freshfields was named Legal Business CSR Firm of the Year 2007 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.
Freshfields runs a number of programmes designed to attract applicants from non-traditional backgrounds, including TARGETchances City law, Pure Potential and the Sutton Trust's Pathways to Law initiative.
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