Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer logo.svg
Headquarters 65 Fleet Street
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 Banking & finance
Capital Markets
International Arbitration
Private Equity
Projects & Energy
Key people Will Lawes
Senior Partner
David Aitman
Managing Partner
Stephan Eilers
Executive Partner
Revenue Increase £1.24 billion (2014/15)[3]
Profit per equity partner Increase £1.37 million (2014/15)[3]
Date founded 1743
Founder Samuel Dodd
Company type Limited liability partnership

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (informally Freshfields), founded in 1743 is a multinational law firm headquartered in London and a member of the Magic Circle of elite British law firms.

Freshfields is the oldest firm within the Magic Circle,[4] and is reputed to be the oldest international law firm in the world. [5] It can trace its origins back to the early 18th century when it was appointed solicitor to the Bank of England. It continues to advise the Bank of England today.

Freshfields is reported to have the highest reported profit margin amongst the five Magic Circle firms. [6] In 2014-15 the firm achieved total revenues of £1.24 billion and average profit per equity partner (PEP) of £1.37 million.

Freshfields continues to top the European and UK M&A league tables by value, and as of 2015 is the only magic circle firm to feature in the top five law firms in the world by deal value. [7] Freshfields topped Thomson Reuters' UK M&A charts for 2014 by value, closing 91 transactions worth over $118bn, over 50% more than the second ranked firm.

The firm 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 traces its British origins to 1743, when partner Samuel Dodd was appointed solicitor to the Bank of England.[8] Freshfields have been the Bank's legal adviser ever since.

Clients of the firm have included: William Gladstone, Sir Robert Peel and Nathan Meyer Rothschild.[9]

Bruckhaus Westrick Heller Löber traced its history back to Hamburg in 1840; at the time of its merger with Freshfields it was one of the two largest law firms in Germany.[4][10] Deringer Tessin Herrmann & Sedemund was founded in 1962 by Arved Deringer and Claus Tessin and had been based in Cologne since 1970.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was created in 2000 when U.K.-based Freshfields merged with two law firms: Germany-based Deringer, Tessin, Herrmann, & Sedemund and Germany-Austria-based Bruckhaus, Westrick, Heller, Löber.[11][12]

The firm changed its name as different partners joined or left the firm until James William Freshfield (1775–1864) was elected partner.[8] James Freshfield, his sons and grandsons worked at the firm until the last Freshfield retired in 1918.

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


"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);[13] "European M&A Legal Adviser of the Year" (Mergermarket European Awards 2014);[14] "M&A Team of the Year Asia" (Asia Legal Awards 2015);[15] "M&A Team of the Year" (British Legal Awards 2014);[16] "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.[17]

Corporate social responsibility[edit]

Freshfields was named Legal Business CSR Firm of the Year 2007[18] 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.[19]

Freshfields runs a number of programmes designed to attract applicants from non-traditional backgrounds, including TARGETchances City law,[20] Pure Potential[21] and the Sutton Trust's Pathways to Law[22] initiative.

The Freshfields Angel[edit]

James William Freshfield, the first Freshfield to join the firm, adopted the crest of John Freshfield of Norwich as his own, having seen it as a boy. It was later used as the firm's mark. The emblem represents St Michael who is depicted as an angel with a spear.[23]


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

External links[edit]