Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP at a Glance

Uppers

  • “International and welcoming culture”
  • “Good work-life balance”
  • “Challenging cross-border mandates”

Downers

  • “Prospect of making partner”
  • “Technology is pretty abysmal”
  • “Lack of mentorship”

About Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

For over 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 Growth

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 2,500+ attorneys work outside of the U.K.

Not Born in the U.S.A. but Working Hard Here

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, inside the Beltway, Freshfields has built a powerful U.S. antitrust practice that outstrips those of other firms with European roots. Its recent headline-grabbing matters include advising Smiths Group on its acquisition of Morpho from Safran, Johnson & Johnson on its $30bn acquisition of Actelion Ltd (J&J's largest-ever acquisition and the first pharma mega deal of 2017), Rexam on the $6.9bn takeover by US rival Ball Corporation, Anheuser-Busch InBev on its $108bn acquisition of SABMiller, and Intel on its $16.7bn acquisition of Altera.

And Beyond

Freshfields has been active in Asia for more than 30 years, and now offers the most extensive regional legal service network across Asia-with offices in Beijing, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, and Tokyo. The firm's long-standing presence in Asia has enabled it to develop a deep knowledge of the political and regulatory context which, in turn, means better support on investments in the region. Asia-based attorneys work on everything from corporate and securities work to finance to IP to antitrust, with clients like Deutsche Bank, HP, CK Hutchison, Pepsi, Bank of China, and Warburg Pincus knocking on the firm's door.

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. Its notable matters include representing Repsol and Repsol Butano before ICSID in a dispute against Argentina following the expropriation of their controlling stake in YPF S.A., Argentina's largest oil company, which was successfully settled for an amount in excess of $5bn; the Diniz Group of Brazil in two ICC arbitrations in São Paulo arising from a dispute over the control of Brazil's supermarket giant Pão de Açucar, both successfully settled and landed the Latin Lawyer "Deal of the Year" Award; and Phillips 66 in an ICC arbitration brought by subsidiaries of a Latin American state-owned oil company in relation to the termination of a joint venture, as well as confirmation proceedings in the Southern District of New York and the Second Circuit.

Freshfields has augmented its U.S. practice with the arrival of its newest partners, Mark Liscio, Madlyn Primoff, and Scott Talmadge, who join the firm's New York restructuring and insolvency team based from Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer. They have been a team for more than a decade, representing institutional lenders, funds, and creditors in connection with some of the most prominent and complex bankruptcy and restructuring matters in the market.

IN THE NEWS

Ongoing
Global Guidance

Freshfields advised HSBC in white collar criminal and regulatory enforcement investigations in multiple countries, and in parallel civil antitrust class action lawsuits, regarding alleged price fixing and market manipulation in global markets for precious metals.

June 2017
Racing to a Win

Freshfields was recognized for its exceptional cross-border abilities with the award for "Private Equity Team of the Year" at the 2017 Transatlantic Legal Awards. The awards, presented by Legal Week and American Lawyer, celebrate firms with strong presences in both the US and the UK. The award recognized Freshfields for advising Formula One Group (F1) and CVC Capital Partners on the sale of F1 to Liberty Media, a transaction with an enterprise value for F1 of $8bn and an equity value of $4.4bn. Valerie Ford Jacob led the deal from the US side and Charles Hayes from the UK side. 

April 2017
Aircraft Advice

Dubai Aerospace tapped Freshfields' US team to advise on the acquisition of AWAS in a competitive PE auction sale from Terra Firma and CPPIB. The pending combination creates a Top 10 aircraft leasing platform for DAE with an owned, managed, and committed fleet of 394 aircraft, valued at more than $14bn.

 

Wheeler and Dealer

Freshfields and Columbia University's Richard Paul Richman Center for Business, Law, and Public Policy, a collaboration between Columbia Business School and Columbia Law School, hosted their 2nd annual Global Business Forum. The 2017 Forum brought more than 350 business leaders together to share insights on how technology is changing the way we do business, and how the M&A environment will likely be changed by a new regulatory regime being enacted by the current administration. Tom Wheeler, the former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission under President Barack Obama, delivered the keynote address.

January 2017
Fahrvergnügen

Freshfields represented Volkswagen Group on the settlement reached with the US government to resolve criminal and federal environmental and other civil claims against the company relating to the diesel emissions matter. Volkswagen agreed to pay penalties and fines totaling $4.3bn and to a series of measures to further strengthen its compliance and control systems, including the appointment of an independent monitor for a period of three years.

August 2016
Mandarin Metal

Freshfields' M&A, antitrust and CFIUS teams advised Zhongwang on its $2.33bn acquisition of Aleris Corporation, which is one of the most significant China/US investments in recent years and the largest entry by a Chinese company into the US aluminum industry

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Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

601 Lexington Avenue
31st Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 277-4000

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • Managing Partner: Christopher Pugh
  • Regional Managing Partner, U.S.: Peter Lyons
  • Hiring Attorney: Jerome Ranawake (New York)
  • Total No. Attorneys 2017: 2,600

  • Base Salary
    U.S. Offices
    1st year: $180,000
    2nd year: $190,000
    3rd year: $210,000
    4th year: $235,000
    5th year: $260,000
    6th year: $280,000
    7th year: $300,000
    8th year: $315,000
    Summer associate: $3,460/week

  • Summer Associate Offers
    25 out of 25 (2Ls) (2016)

  • Major Departments & Practices

    Antitrust, Competition & Trade • Bankruptcy & Insolvency • M&A • International Arbitration, Litigation, White Collar • Finance • Employee Pensions & Benefits • Intellectual Property/Information Technology • Tax 

Major Office Locations

  • New York, NY • Washington, DC Abu Dhabi • Amsterdam • Bahrain • Beijing • Berlin • Brussels • Dubai • Düsseldorf • Frankfurt • Hamburg • Hanoi • Ho Chi Minh City • Hong Kong • London • Madrid • Manchester • Milan • Moscow • Munich • Paris • Rome • Shanghai • Singapore • Tokyo • Vienna