Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer logo.svg
HeadquartersFleet Street
London, EC4
United Kingdom
No. of offices27
No. of lawyersPartners: 427
Associates: 1,611[1]
No. of employees4959
Major practice areasBanking & finance
Capital Markets
International Arbitration
Private Equity
Projects & Energy
Key peopleStephan Eilers
(Managing Partner)
Edward Braham
(Senior Partner)
RevenueIncrease £1.4 billion (2016/17)[2]
Profit per equity partnerIncrease £1.73 million (2016/17)[2]
Date founded1743
FounderSamuel Dodd and James William Freshfield
Company typeLimited liability partnership

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (informally Freshfields), which traces its history to 1743,[3] is one of the largest and most prestigious multinational law firms in the world. Headquartered in London, it is a member of the Magic Circle of elite British law firms. Freshfields is the oldest firm within the Magic Circle, and is the oldest international law firm in the world.[4] Its origins lie in the early 18th century, when it was appointed solicitor to the Bank of England, which it continues to advise today.


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.[5][6]


Freshfields' origins arguably go back to c.1716, when Thomas Woodford began to practise law. Woodford was succeeded in his practice in 1730 by William Wall, who was succeeded in turn in 1743 by Samuel Dodd.[7] In that same year, Dodd was appointed attorney to the Bank of England.[8] Freshfields (in the firm's various incarnations) have been the bank's legal advisers ever since. Dodd's appointment is treated by Freshfields as the firm's foundation date.[3]

The firm changed its name on numerous occasions as different partners joined or left. In 1801 James William Freshfield (1775–1864) was the first member of the Freshfield family to become a partner, and the firm became known as Winter, Kaye, Beckwith & Freshfield. Following further name changes, it became Freshfield & Son in 1825, and eventually Freshfields 1868–76, Freshfields & Williams 1876–98, Freshfields 1899–1918, Freshfields & Leese 1918–21, Freshfields, Leese & Munns 1921–45, and Freshfields 1946–2000.[8][7] The last member of the Freshfield family to be a partner, another James William Freshfield, retired in 1927.[9][10]

Bruckhaus Westrick Heller Löber[edit]

Bruckhaus Westrick Heller Löber traces its origins to Hamburg in 1840. At the time of its 2000 merger with Freshfields it was one of the two largest law firms in Germany.[4][11]

Deringer Tessin Herrmann & Sedemund[edit]

Deringer Tessin Herrmann & Sedemund was founded in 1962 by Arved Deringer and Claus Tessin. It was based in Cologne from 1970 onwards.


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. </ref>


The first 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.


  1. ^ "Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP - True Picture". Chambers Student.
  2. ^ a b Moloney, Rachel (5 July 2018). "Freshfields returns to form as PEP reaches record levels". The Lawyer. Retrieved 6 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Our History: Old hands at hands at new ideas". Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Freshfields Brockhaus Deringer". Legal Week. 14 December 2009.
  5. ^ "Freshfields: Kings of Europe". The Lawyer. 29 March 2004.
  6. ^ "Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP: Firm Profile". Chambers and partners. Retrieved 8 August 2008.
  7. ^ a b Slinn 1984, p. 177.
  8. ^ a b Slinn, Judy (1993). Freshfields, 1743–1993, London: Freshfields
  9. ^ Slinn 2007.
  10. ^ Slinn 1984, pp. 177–78.
  11. ^ "Sights set on the big three". The Lawyer. 28 February 2000.

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