2020 Vault Rankings
At a Glance
“International presence and experience.”
“I think the people at Freshfields are welcoming and want to help you succeed.”
“We get a lot of substantive experience.”
“Lack of transparency.”
“Lack of advancement opportunities.”
About Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP
For more than 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 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. 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 work at the firm through the 1910s.
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. Despite the firm’s London roots, more than 70 percent of the firm’s 2,500+ attorneys work outside of the U.K.
If You Can Make It There, You’ll Make It Anywhere
Freshfields jumped the pond in 1977 to seek its fortunes in the Big Apple. The New York office specializes in corporate, finance, tax, restructuring, capital markets, 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.
Freshfields opened its second U.S. office when it expanded into the Beltway in 1998. The Washington, DC, office houses a powerful U.S. antitrust practice that outstrips those of other firms with European roots. Among its notable work is advising Anheuser-Busch InBev on its $108 billion acquisition of SABMiller, combining the largest and the second largest breweries in the world.
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. Asia-based attorneys work on everything from corporate and securities work to finance to IP to antitrust for clients like Deutsche Bank, HP, CK Hutchison, Pepsi, Bank of China, and Warburg Pincus.
News & Awards
Freshfields announced the appointment of Timothy Wilkins as Global Partner for Client Sustainability, as part of a new drive to help organizations around the world assess and respond to the growing number of environmental, social and governance (ESG) risks and opportunities. The wider team supporting Timothy includes partners from across Freshfields’ global offices who will advise clients on both local and multi-jurisdictional sustainability issues.
Freshfields announced that Aimen Mir, who for nearly a decade led the interagency Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, joined the firm as a partner in its expanding Washington, DC, office as the leader of our CFIUS practice. Aimen joined a large global team of experienced and specialized foreign investment partners and counsel, some of whom were also enforcers before joining Freshfields. This appointment builds on Freshfields’ momentum from a series of high-profile hires in 2018, including most recently: Eric Mahr, former director of litigation at the U.S. Department of Justice; Andrew Ewalt, former counsel to the director of litigation at the DOJ; and Eric Bruce, also a former high-ranking DOJ official and one of the country’s leading white collar lawyers.
Freshfields named New York-based partner Noiana Marigo, a recognized leader in the field of arbitration, as the new head of the firm’s market-leading U.S. international arbitration group. Noiana took over the leadership of the practice from Washington, DC-based partner Nigel Blackaby, who is focusing on his role as the firm’s global co-head of international arbitration. In her role, Noiana is responsible for guiding the US international arbitration group as it continues to expand its footprint throughout the Americas.
- Freshfields advised Starbucks Corporation on its $7.15bn global coffee alliance with Nestlé S.A.
- Freshfields advised Johnson & Johnson on its $30bn acquisition of Actelion Pharmaceuticals—the largest acquisition in its history.
- Freshfields represented Crystallex in its landmark $1.4bn victory against Venezuela—one of the largest-ever ICSID Additional Facility awards—which arose from Venezuela’s unlawful expropriation of Crystallex’s investment in the Las Cristinas gold mine.
- Freshfields represented Volkswagen Group in the resolution of its criminal and regulatory investigations in the U.S. arising from its diesel emissions issues and in connection with related civil and regulatory investigations in dozens of other countries.
- Global Finance Deal of the Year: Structured Finance (The American Lawyer Global Legal Awards 2017)
- Litigation of the Year: No-Cartel Defense (Global Competition Review Awards 2018)
- Int’l Arbitration Group of the Year (Law360 Awards 2018)
- Competition Law Firm of the Year (Who’s Who Legal 2019)
- Transatlantic Law Firm of the Year (The American Lawyer 2015)
Why Work Here
Top of the market for pay and perks. Our recruits get a market-leading compensation and benefits package. First-year associates earn $190,000 plus bonuses. They also get 20 days of vacation a year in addition to the U.S. holidays.
A big-firm feel with small-firm characteristics. We combine the entrepreneurial and collaborative environment of a smaller boutique firm with the top clients, mandates, resources, benefits and training of one the largest firms in the world. Associates say the firm is collegial not stodgy, cutting-edge not cut-throat. The non-hierarchical environment promotes tremendous interaction among partners and associates. People are rewarded for what they can do, not how long they’ve been doing it.
601 Lexington Avenue
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 277-4000
Senior Partner: Edward Braham
Regional Managing Partner, U.S.: Peter Lyons
Hiring Attorney: Jerome Ranawake (New York)
Total No. Attorneys 2019:
2.5K - 3K
1st year: $190,000
2nd year: $200,000
3rd year: $220,000
4th year: $255,000
5th year: $280,000
6th year: $305,000
7th year: $325,000
8th year: $340,000
Summer associate: $3,650/week
No. of Summer Associates:
18 total (All 2Ls) (2019)
Legal Recruiting & Personnel Senior Manager
New York, NY
Ho Chi Minh City
Antitrust, Competition, & Trade
Bankruptcy & Insolvency
International Arbitration, Litigation, White Collar
Employee Pensions & Benefits
Intellectual Property/Information Technology
*See firm website for complete list of practice areas and industries.