Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer logo.svg
Headquarters Fleet Street
London, EC4
United Kingdom
No. of offices 28
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 Edward Braham
Senior Partner
Chris Pugh
Joint Managing Partner
Stephan Eilers
Joint Managing Partner
Revenue Increase £1.33 billion (2015/16)[3]
Profit per equity partner Increase £1.47 million (2015/16)[3]
Date founded 1743
Founder Samuel Dodd and James William Freshfield
Company type Limited liability partnership

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (informally Freshfields, or FBD), 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.[4] Its origins can be traced 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 the top ranked law firm for European, UK and Asia-Pacific M&A.[5] As of 2015, it is the only magic circle firm to feature in the top five law firms in the world by deal value and is the highest ranked law firm by value in European M&A.[6] In Thomson Reuters' UK M&A charts for 2014, Freshfields closed 91 transactions worth over $118 billion, over 50% more by value than the second ranked law firm.


Freshfields traces its British origins to 1743, when partner Samuel Dodd was appointed solicitor to the Bank of England.[7] Freshfields have been the bank's legal adviser ever since.

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. 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.

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.[8]

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


  • "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]


  1. ^ "Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP - True Picture". Chambers Student. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b "Freshfields tops magic circle PEP with 8% rise to £1.47m". The Lawyer. 
  4. ^ a b "Freshfields Brockhaus Deringer". Legal Week. 14 December 2009. 
  5. ^ Walker, Rose (6 October 2015). "Freshfields, Skadden and DLA Piper top M&A rankings as deal volumes hit two year low". Legal Week. 
  6. ^ "Skadden reigns again in worldwide M&A deal rankings after losing out to Weil last year". 
  7. ^ a b Slinn, Judy (1993), Freshfields, 1743-1993, London: Freshfields
  8. ^ "UK Graduates - Home". Freshfields. 
  9. ^ Slinn, Judy (1984). A History of Freshfields. London: Freshfields. OCLC 59021160. 
  10. ^ "Sights set on the big three". The Lawyer. 28 February 2000. 
  11. ^ "Freshfields: Kings of Europe". 29 March 2004. Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  12. ^ "Chambers and Partners Firm Profile". Retrieved 2011-08-08. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Mergermarket European M&A Awards 2015". Mergermarket Group Digital. 
  15. ^ "Winners Announced for Asia Legal Awards 2015". International. 4 March 2015. 
  16. ^ "Winners - The British Legal Awards 2016". 
  17. ^ "01. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer". Global Competition Review. 

External links

  • Official website
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