Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer logo.svg
HeadquartersFleet Street
London, EC4
United Kingdom
No. of offices28
No. of lawyersPartners: 427 Associates: 1,611[1]
Major practice areasBanking & finance
Capital Markets
International Arbitration
Private Equity
Projects & Energy
Key peopleEdward Braham
Senior Partner
Stephan Eilers
Managing Partner
RevenueIncrease £1.33 billion (2015/16)[2]
Profit per equity partnerIncrease £1.47 million (2015/16)[2]
Date founded1743
FounderSamuel Dodd and James William Freshfield
Company typeLimited liability partnership

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (informally Freshfields, or FBD), considered to have been 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 and is reported to be the oldest international law firm in the world.[3] Its origins can be traced back to the early 18th century, when it was appointed solicitor to the Bank of England, which it continues to advise today.


Freshfields traces its British origins to 1743, when partner Samuel Dodd was appointed solicitor to the Bank of England.[4] Freshfields have been the bank's legal adviser ever since.

The firm changed its name as different partners joined or left the firm until the first Freshfield to join the firm was elected partner.[4] James William Freshfield (1775–1864) adopted the crest of John Freshfield of Norwich as his own, having seen it as a boy. It was subsequently used as the firm's emblem. It represents St Michael, depicted as an angel with a spear.

Bruckhaus Westrick Heller Löber traces its birth back to Hamburg in 1840; at the time of its 2000 merger with Freshfields it was one of the two largest law firms in Germany.[3][5]

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

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was created in 2000 when U.K.-based Freshfields merged with the two law firms, Germany-based Deringer, Tessin, Herrmann, & Sedemund and Germany-Austria-based Bruckhaus, Westrick, Heller, Löber.[6][7]

James Freshfield, his sons, and grandsons, worked at the firm until the last Freshfield retired in 1918.


The firm has 28 offices in 17 jurisdictions across Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. It advises national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments. Freshfields recent mandates include: advising the Bank of England, Northern Rock and German Government throughout the 2008 financial crisis; and advising the UK Government on the privatisations of Royal Mail, Northern Rock, Lloyds Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Eurostar. Clients of the firm have included: William Gladstone, Sir Robert Peel and Nathan Meyer Rothschild.[8]


As of 2017, Freshfields is the top ranked law firm for European, UK and Asia-Pacific M&A.[9] As of 2015, it is the only magic-circle firm to feature in the top five law firms in the world by deal value. It is the highest ranked law firm by value in European mergers and acquisitions.[10] According to Thomson Reuters' UK M&A charts for 2014, Freshfields closed 91 transactions worth over $118 billion, over 50% more by value than the 2nd ranked law firm.

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.[11]


  • "M&A Team of the Year Asia" (Asia Legal Awards 2015);[12]


  1. ^ "Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP - True Picture". Chambers Student.
  2. ^ a b Kinder, Tabby (7 July 2016). "Freshfields tops magic circle PEP with 8% rise to £1.47m". The Lawyer.
  3. ^ a b "Freshfields Brockhaus Deringer". Legal Week. 14 December 2009.
  4. ^ a b Slinn, Judy (1993). Freshfields, 1743-1993, London: Freshfields
  5. ^ "Sights set on the big three". The Lawyer. 28 February 2000.
  6. ^ "Freshfields: Kings of Europe". The Lawyer. 29 March 2004.
  7. ^ "Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP: Firm Profile". Chambers and partners. Retrieved 8 August 2008.
  8. ^ Slinn, Judy (1984). A History of Freshfields. London: Freshfields. OCLC 59021160.
  9. ^ Walker, Rose (6 October 2015). "Freshfields, Skadden and DLA Piper top M&A rankings as deal volumes hit two year low". Legal Week.
  10. ^ Moloney, Rachel (2 July 2015). "Skadden reigns again in worldwide M&A deal rankings after losing out to Weil last year".
  11. ^ "Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer". 0Global Competition Review. The outstanding antitrust team at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has again found its way to the top of the Global Elite table.
  12. ^ "Winners Announced for Asia Legal Awards 2015". International Law. 4 March 2015.

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