This firm appears in the Who's Who Legal 100 2012
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Firm of the Year – Arbitration, Competition, M&A, England, Germany, Global
Securing our Global Law Firm of the Year award for the sixth time in our research, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is home to more of the world’s leading lawyers than any other law firm in our research. The firm collects further honours in the arbitration, competition and M&A sections, putting in a market-leading performance in each, as well as earning the mantle of law firm of the year in its native England. The firm’s “unassailable” position in its home jurisdiction is evidenced in its retention by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games as the official legal services provider to the 2012 Games, while its international profile is amply demonstrated by a client list that includes Morgan Stanley, ConocoPhillips, AstraZeneca, PepsiCo and The Walt Disney Company.
|FRESHFIELDS BRUCKHAUS DERINGER LLP|
|TOTAL LAWYERS LISTED IN WHO’S WHO LEGAL: 210|
|Practice Area Breakdown|
|Business Crime||2||Oil & Gas||3|
|Corporate Governance||10||Project Finance||4|
|Labour & Employment||8||Trade||1|
Freshfields lawyers appear 210 times across 28 of our 31 featured practice areas, a cross-section of which are explored in more detail below.
By far the firm’s strongest suit in the research, the competition section is home to 41 of its lawyers. In Brussels, Frank Montag is named competition lawyer of the year for the second year running in our research. He is globally recognised as “the best in the field” with “a very thorough knowledge of the entire environment in Brussels”.
Managing partner of the Brussels office and head of the local practice group, David Broomhall combines his management duties with an active practice advising on EU regulation relating to merger control, anti-competitive agreements in the energy sector and public procurement compliance. Laurent Garzaniti is “very business-minded and has gained an impressive knowledge of the natural resources field”. He also features in the regulatory communications section for his focus on the telecommunications, media and technology industries.
Thomas Janssens is “highly recommended” as a EU and Belgian competition lawyer with particular expertise in the telecommunications, media and technology, energy, consumer products and health-care sectors. He appears in both the competition and regulatory communications chapters. In Amsterdam, Onno Brouwer has significant experience acting on behalf of energy, transport and natural resources clients before the national courts, competition authorities and European Commission, as does litigator Winfred Knibbeler, who is considered “tier-one” for his antitrust work. He additionally appears in the oil and gas chapter, alongside Bernd Kunth and Jonathan Rees.
In Germany, the firm is well represented with nine lawyers in the competition chapter, and offers notable talent in the Düsseldorf office. Tobias Klose is the chair of the firm’s chemical’s sector group and managing partner of that office, and a specialist on cartels in that industry. He is “very experienced and has good judgement on cartel cases”. Alongside him is Peter Niggemann who has a much experience advising companies on merger control regulations and procedures, cartel investigations and damages. He is “highly recommended” and has acted for Deutsche Bahn, Goldman Sachs and Air Berlin. At the same office, Martin Klusmann is the global co-head of the antitrust, competition and trade group and focuses on merger and cartel matters, particularly in the chemical and natural metals industries.
The firm’s London office boasts eight leading lawyers such as Simon Priddis,“one of the best at the firm”, and is recommended for his representation of leading companies on merger control matters, such as the London Stock Exchange on its proposed acquisition of Turquoise Trading. Nicholas French divides his time between Beijing and London and is the co-chair of the firm’s antitrust, competition and trade group. He counts Air China, Morgan Stanley and Rolls-Royce as clients. David Aitman is “one of the best at the office” and received many international votes for his work on investigations and complaints.
In Beijing, Michael Han represents the firm on foreign investment competition issues and merger reviews. He is “hard to beat” according to a contributor. In Tokyo, Akinori Uesugi is a senior consultant and was previously the director general of the Investigations Bureau and of Economic Affairs. He brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the firm. Freshfields enjoys further key listings, such as the head of the Spanish competition and trade practice Francisco Cantos and the “first-rate” Paul Yde in Washington, DC.
This year, the firm’s tax inclusions form 10 per cent of their total listings in the research – 22 names are included in this chapter from Europe and the US. The London office is a “major competitor in this area”, fielding talent such as Richard Ballard – “my number-one English tax lawyer”, according to a contributor – and the “very good” banking and securitisation law expert Murray Clayson. Sarah Falk is “among the best” and focuses her practice on restructuring, while Colin Hargreaves is “top on structured finance”, and David Taylor and Jonathan Cooklin are both “top 10” tax lawyers. From Germany, executive partner and global head of the tax group Stephen Eilers received numerous votes and is praised for his auditing and disputes work. In Washington, DC, Gregory May is “terrific”, and in New York Robert Scarborough is “fabulously talented”.
Freshfields is highly specialised in providing advice in the capital markets practice area where it has 14 listings. Vincent Macq in Brussels assists issuers and underwriters in connection with IPOs, secondary offerings, securities and bond offerings. Andreas König in Frankfurt has over 20 years’ experience counselling clients on banking and capital markets work with a special focus on ECM transactions and IPOs in the German market. He is joined by Christoph Gleske, a regulatory lawyer with a focus on banking and insurance, as is Rich van Aerssen. Teresa Ko is the chairperson of the China practice and has earned an excellent reputation in leading IPOs, such as the representation of Canadian-owned Sunshine Oilsands on its $578 million global offering and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in March, which was sponsored by Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley.
David Trott and Marcus Mackenzie are stand-out capital markets lawyers in the London office, where they guide clients on multimillion-pound deals, such as the refinancing and development
of Center Parcs by The Royal Bank of Scotland in March of this year. As part of a team of over 25 lawyers, they advised on the whole business securitisation and bond issuing, worth a combined value of over £1 billion.
One of the foremost practices at the firm is M&A, which overlaps with its corporate governance services. Freshfields has represented major clients in important deals this year, including the takeover of the Hong Kong-listed Little Sheep Group by US-owned Yum! in February, led by the managing partner for Asia Robert Ashworth and supported by Michal Han on antitrust issues. In Hong Kong, Ashworth advises clients on M&A and private equity financing and has a notable presence in the regional legal market. He is also highly praised for his corporate governance work and features in both chapters. Pervez Akhtar in Dubai is a “competent, business development-savvy lawyer”. He acts on private equity deals for Middle Eastern and Asian companies in a range of industries.
The managing partner of the London office, Mark Rawlinson concentrates on high-profile M&A and is a “definite inclusion”. “Top lawyer” William Lawes stands out for his work on Northern Rock, as does the head of the corporate finance practice Barry O’Brien. Global head of the corporate practice group, Edward Braham combines his managerial duties with advising private equity firms, an M&A practice and representing transport and infrastructure clients.
In Vienna, Willibald Plesser is “definitely a correct choice for inclusion. He is very diligent, hard-working and quick-thinking.” He has an additional listing in the corporate governance section. In Düsseldorf, Axel Epe is highly praised for his work in corporate compliance and is considered “one of the go-to guys at Freshfields”. He enjoys a dual listing in our M&A and governance chapters.
With a host of first-class lawyers in a further 22 practice areas, Freshfields is the most prominent firm in the Who’s Who Legal 100.
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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.