For 250 years, Freshfields has remained a
constant at the top of the U.K. legal market. Known as one of the
"Magic Circle" firms, Freshfields has developed a multifaceted
practice encompassing antitrust, international corporate work,
finance, dispute resolution, real estate, tax and intellectual
property. With 27 international offices, the firm has expanded its
reach around the globe and has become a player in the United States
thanks to the growing presence in the U.S. with offices in New York
and Washington, DC.
Established Name, Modern
Founded in 1743, Freshfields just might be the
oldest international law firm in the world. For the bulk of its
history, the firm remained relatively small, yet pedigreed. The
firm's modern evolution began with the deregulation of the London
markets in the 1980s, placing an emphasis on corporate work, and
the firm's massive global expansion in the 1990s. In 2000,
Freshfields merged with top German firms Bruckhaus Westrick Heller
Löber and Deringer Tessin Herrmann & Sedemund, creating a
pan-European behemoth. Freshfields was also one of the first
western firms in Asia and now has a sizeable presence there.
Today, Freshfields operates under what it
labels a "comprehensive global approach to business." Despite the
firm's London roots, over 70 percent of the firm's 2000+ attorneys
work outside of the U.K.
Not Born in the U.S.A. but Working
From scones to apples, Freshfields has settled
into its U.S.-based practice. The New York office specializes in
corporate, finance, tax and litigation matters, offering services
related to M&A (primarily of the cross-border variety),
infrastructure and project finance, general banking transactions,
white collar defense, international arbitration, civil litigation
and corporate tax. Its clients include banks and financial
institutions, public companies, CEOs, foreign government agencies,
private equity firms and hedge funds.
Meanwhile, down in the Beltway, Freshfields
has built a powerful U.S. antitrust practice that outstrips those
of other firms with European roots. Thanks to Freshfields'
international reach, this practice has taken on a range of
multijurisdictional antitrust matters. Among its noteworthy matters
includes the recent merger clearance of the United/Continental
Freshfields has been active in Vietnam and
China for more than 25 years. The firm operates offices in six
Asian cities, with its hub in Hong Kong. Asia-based attorneys work
on everything from corporate and securities work to finance to IP
to antitrust, with clients like Morgan Stanley, Hewlett Packard,
Pepsi, Bank of China and Warburg Pincus knocking on the firm's
door. Freshfields has had a hand in every one of the ten largest
Chinese initial public offerings, including the $22 billion IPO of
the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in 2006-one of the
world's largest IPOs.
The firm has also recently turned its sights
toward the Middle East, obtaining a license to practice in the UAE
in 2005 and Bahrain in 2007. Freshfields is one of a few foreign
firms authorized to advise clients directly in Saudi Arabia.
In Latin America, the firm has established
relationships with a number of local law firms and has successfully
handled arbitrations, investment disputes and other transactions in
the region. Some of its notable matters include its representing
Travelex on the acquisition of Grupo Confidence and advising
ConocoPhillips on a $30 billion arbitration proceeding against the
government of Venezuela.
$20 Billion (and Counting) in U.S. Deals
Freshfields announced that its U.S. corporate practice has advised
on cross-border transactions worth more than $20 billion year
through mid-April 2014, acting as counsel to clients such as Foster
Wheeler, Continental AG, Swiss Re, Invensys, and Novartis.
Say Hi to Siegel
Freshfields named Adam Siegel, a partner in the firm's litigation
practice in New York and co-head of the firm's global
investigations practice to the position of U.S. regional managing
Big Win for BG Group at the U.S. Supreme
Freshfields successfully represented BG Group in the first
investment treaty arbitration case to be addressed by the Supreme
Court of the United States, which reinstated a $185 million award
in favor of the U.K.-based oil and gas company in its long-running
dispute with the Republic of Argentina.
Not a Bad GIG
New York-based litigation partner Michael Lacovara was named
co-head of the firm's general industries (GIG) sector group this
group comprises a broad range of sectors with specialist teams
focused on automobile manufacturing and production, chemicals,
paper goods and other industrial products, as well as the work of
our professional services, family-owned business and
Cyberattacks and Stock Performance
Analysis conducted by Freshfields revealed that global listed
companies hit by a cyber attack saw a combined loss in market value
of $53 billion on the first day's trading following the revelation
of an incident and those affected took an average of 24 days to
recover pre-crisis valuations.
Freshfields ranked #1 in Law360's Global 20, the legal
news services ranking of the 20 law firms that had the largest
global presence and were involved in the biggest, most complex and
most diverse array of cross-border matters over the past year.