2022 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“The challenging, international work.”
“The people are engaged, interesting, and friendly.”
“Really, really busy right now.”
“Time zone difference can be difficult.”
About Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
For more than 250 years, Freshfields has remained a constant at the top of the U.K. and European legal market. With 27 international offices, the firm has expanded its reach around the globe and recently has become a player in the United States with growing offices in New York; Silicon Valley; and Washington, DC. Its U.S.-qualified team is now 380 strong, with roughly a third of the U.S. partnership and associate team having joined since the start of 2019.
Established Name, Modern Growth
Founded in 1743, Freshfields just might be the oldest international law firm in the world. Its first client was the Bank of England, which remains a firm client to this day. In 1801, the first Freshfield, James William Freshfield, joined the firm as a partner. Successive generations of lawyers in the Freshfields family would go on to work at the firm through the 1910s.
Freshfields opened its first U.S. office in New York in 1977, and opened its Washington, DC, office in 1998. In 2000, Freshfields merged with top German firms Bruckhaus Westrick Heller Löber and Deringer Tessin Herrmann & Sedemund, expanding the depth and breadth of its reach across Europe. Freshfields was also among the first western firms in Asia and now has a sizable presence there. Today, the firm boasts 2,800 lawyers in 28 offices around the world.
Given its international scope, it is no surprise that Freshfields has a knack for tackling cross-border work. The firm also takes a multi-disciplinary approach to its work, approaching matters with an eye toward regulatory and risk management and collaborating across practices, helping clients with their most complex matters.
In the U.S. specifically, the firm works across more than a dozen industries, including automotive, chemicals, consumer goods, energy and natural resources, financial institutions, financial sponsors, government and public sector, infrastructure and transport, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and health care, professional and business services, real estate, and technology.
The New York office specializes in corporate, domestic and cross-border M&A, capital markets and corporate governance, international arbitration, white collar defense, civil litigation and securities litigation, executive compensation and employee benefits, finance, intellectual property, life science transactions, restructuring & insolvency, tax, and tech transactions. Meanwhile, the Washington, DC, office hosts a powerful U.S. antitrust practice that is seamlessly integrated into Freshfields’ number one global antitrust practice and a leading CFIUS practice. The office also houses preeminent international trade, white collar defense, and international arbitration teams.
On the opposite coast, the growing Silicon Valley office serves the region’s innovative client base by bringing the firm’s expertise in areas including corporate, domestic and cross-border M&A, capital markets and corporate governance, securities litigation, executive compensation & employee benefits, intellectual property, life science transactions, and tech transactions.
Focus on Others
Pro bono is ingrained in Freshfields’ culture, and the firm does not distinguish between pro bono hours and client hours. According to the firm, “At Freshfields, we endeavor to make a positive impact through pro bono work promoting access to justice and access to opportunity.” The firm’s recent pro bono work has included representing individual victims of human trafficking, as well as southern border crisis work and COVID-19 small business advice. In 2020, Freshfields U.S. gave over 61,000 hours of pro bono advice.
For the 2020 summer, Freshfields hosted an eight-week virtual summer program due to the coronavirus pandemic. Freshfields Counsel Andrea Basham and Partner Paul Tiger sat down with Vault for a video interview to discuss what the firm’s 2020 virtual summer associate program would look like—including which factors informed the firm's planning and how the firm planned to handle networking and social events. Click here to watch Vault's video interview with Freshfields.
For the 2021 summer, Freshfields once again hosted a virtual program, this time for 10 weeks, and offered substantive work for premier clients, pro bono work, trainings, and virtual events to keep summer associates energetically engaged.
News & Awards
- Advised AstraZeneca on its $39 billion acquisition of Alexion Pharmaceuticals—the largest acquisition of a U.S. company and largest acquisition financing of 2020—and related $7 billion multi-tranche debt offering to finance the acquisition; also advising AstraZeneca, its CEO, and several other executives in a securities class action challenging statements regarding clinical trial of its COVID-19 vaccine.
- Represented Evonik on its landmark win against the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which had sued to block Evonik’s acquisition of PeroxyChem.
- Advised Zymergen on its $575 million IPO and listing on Nasdaq and conversion to a public benefit corporation—among the first-ever PBC conversions.
- Advised Marriott on the global coordination of its response to a database security incident.
- 11 practice and 32 individual U.S. rankings across corporate, litigation, and regulatory, 2021—Chambers USA
- Band 1 globally across six major practice areas: M&A, antitrust, litigation, tax, international arbitration, and public international law, 2021—Chambers Global
- Six partners named to “Hall of Fame” for Capital Markets, Corporate Governance, International Arbitration, M&A Litigation: Defense, Merger Control and Tax—Legal 500
- Founding Member and Top Global Employer, 2015-2020—Stonewall Global Diversity Champions Program
- Gold Standard Certified, 2020—Women in Law Empowerment Forum
Why Work Here
Who We Are
More than 2,800 lawyers who work in 150+ countries and speak over 70 languages. Freshfields combines the entrepreneurial and collaborative environment of a boutique firm with the top clients, scale, mandates, resources, benefits and training of one of the oldest and largest international firms in the world.
With top-tier lawyers in the U.S. in M&A, corporate governance, securities and shareholder litigation, antitrust, white-collar defense and investigations, restructuring, technology and CFIUS, we offer clients the ability to work with the world’s first “jurisdictionally agnostic” firm, capable of delivering elite legal advice in every major practice area and in every corner of the world. We help clients navigate their most complex business issues and capitalize on their most significant opportunities. This work involves executing complex cross-border transactions, dealing with the most challenging multijurisdictional litigations and global investigations, and handling arbitrations and regulatory issues involving multiple countries.
601 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 277-4000
Senior Partner: Georgia Dawson
Regional Managing Partner, U.S.: Matthew Herman
Hiring Attorney: Jerome Ranawake (New York)
Total No. Attorneys (2021):
2.5K - 3K
No. of Partners Named 2021:
Class of 2021: $202,500
Class of 2020: $205,000
Class of 2019: $215,000
Class of 2018: $240,000
Class of 2017: $275,000
Class of 2016: $305,000
Class of 2015: $330,000
Class of 2014: $350,000
Class of 2013: $365,000
Senior Manager, Talent Acquisition, US
General Recruiting email: email@example.com
No. of U.S. Offices: 3
No. of International Offices: 25
New York, NY
Silicon Valley, CA
Washington, DC | Abu Dhabi
Ho Chi Minh City
Antitrust, Competition & Trade
Corporate Governance and Activism
Executive Compensation & Employee Benefits
International Arbitration, Litigation, White Collar
Life Science Transactions
Mergers & Acquisitions
Restructuring & Insolvency
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.