Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields logo.png
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
No. of offices 27
No. of lawyers

Partners: 427

Associates: 1,611[1]
No. of employees Approx. 4,859[2]
Major practice areas General practice
Key people Will Lawes
Senior Partner
David Aitman
Managing Partner
Stephan Eilers
Executive Partner
Revenue Increase £1.232 billion (2013/14)[3]
Profit per equity partner Increase £1.48 million (2013/14)[3]
Date founded 1743
(Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer)
Founder Samuel Dodd
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 elite British law firms. Freshfields was founded in 1743.

In 2013-14 it achieved total revenues of £1.232 billion and average profit per equity partner (PEP) of £1.48 million.[4]

It has 27 offices in 17 jurisdictions across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. It advises national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments.

Freshfields is the oldest firm within the Magic Circle.[5]

Freshfields is reported to be the most profitable firm amongst its peer group, with the highest reported profit margin amongst the five magic circle firms.[6]


Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was created in 2000 when the UK-based Freshfields merged with Germany-based Deringer Tessin Herrmann & Sedemund and the German-Austrian law firm Bruckhaus Westrick Heller Löber.[7][8]

Freshfields traces its origins in London back to 1743, when its partner Samuel Dodd was appointed solicitor to the Bank of England.[9] Freshfields have been the Bank's legal adviser ever since. The firm changed its name as different partners joined or left the firm until James William Freshfield (1775–1864) was elected partner. [10] James Freshfield, his sons and grandsons worked at the firm until the last Freshfield retired in 1918. Historic clients of the firm include: William Gladstone, Sir Robert Peel and Nathan Meyer Rothschild.[11]

Bruckhaus Westrick Heller Löber traced its history back to Hamburg in 1840; at the time of the merger it was one of the two largest law firms in Germany.[12][13]

Deringer Tessin Herrmann & Sedemund was founded in 1962 by Arved Deringer and Claus Tessin and had been based in Cologne since 1970.

In 2007, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer went through a restructuring of its business, including changing the firms partners pension scheme and reducing the number of equity partnerships. In 2008 the firm converted to a limited liability partnership (LLP).

Awards and rankings[edit]

"Global Law Firm of the Year" (Who's Who Legal Awards 2013, 2014 ); "Most Highly Regarded M&A Law Firm in the World" (Who's Who Legal 2012, 2013 and 2014);[14] "European M&A Legal Adviser of the Year" (Mergermarket European Awards 2014); [15] "M&A Team of the Year Asia" (Asia Legal Awards 2015); [16] "M&A Team of the Year" (British Legal Awards 2014); [17] "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"; "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 has been the top ranked firm in the world for expertise in Antitrust and Competition Law in the Global Competition Law "Global Elite Law Firms Index" for a number of years.[18]

Corporate social responsibility[edit]

Freshfields was named Legal Business CSR Firm of the Year 2007[19] 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.[20]

Freshfields runs a number of programmes designed to attract applicants from non-traditional backgrounds, including TARGETchances City law,[21] Pure Potential[22] and the Sutton Trust's Pathways to Law[23] initiative.

The Freshfields Angel[edit]

James William Freshfield, the first Freshfield to be a partner in the firm, adopted the crest of John Freshfield of Norwich as his own, having seen it as a boy, and it was later used as the firm's mark. It represents St Michael who is depicted as a angel with a spear.[24]


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  7. ^ 29 March 2004 (2004-03-29). "". Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  8. ^ "Chambers and Partners Firm Profile". Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  9. ^ Slinn, Judy (1993), Freshfields, 1743-1993, London: Freshfields
  10. ^ Slinn, Judy (1993), Freshfields, 1743-1993, London: Freshfields
  11. ^ Slinn, Judy (1984). A History of Freshfields. London: Freshfields. OCLC 59021160. 
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  19. ^ "CSR Firm of the Year" (PDF). Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  20. ^ "Freshfields CSR report - Pastures new". 2006-02-17. [dead link]
  21. ^ "TARGETchances City law". Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  22. ^ "Pure Potential". Pure Potential. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  23. ^ "Pathways to Law". Pathways to Law. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  24. ^

External links[edit]