Herbert Smith Freehills

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Herbert Smith Freehills is an international law firm co-headquartered in London and with offices in more than 16 countries.

It has a longstanding relationship with nuclear giant EDF Energy and close links to energy companies such as Centrica and BP.

Brexit lobbying

Brexit badge.png Part of the Powerbase Brexit Portal.

Herbert Smith Freehills says it is advising a 'variety of private and public sector clients across a wide range of sectors to meet the challenges and opportunities of Brexit'.[1]

Brexit partners

Herbert Smith Freehills counts three firms as 'Brexit partners'.[2]

  • Hanbury Strategy: it says it has brought in the UK lobbying firm, Hanbury Strategy to provide it with policy advice in connection with the impact of Brexit on their clients businesses'.[3]
  • Global Counsel, the 'strategic advisory firm' founded by Lord Peter Mandelson, who is a former European Trade Commissioner. HSF says it has been working with Mandelson's firm to provide its European and Australian clients with a 'holistic perspective on Brexit'.[4]
  • Boston Consulting Group. HSF published a joint paper with the Boston Consulting Group and Global Counsel on 'Trade Post-Brexit: Charting a New Course'. They published a further report on the impact on the energy sector.

Brexit team

  • Eric White, in December 2016, White joined Herbert Smith Freehills' International Trade and European Union law practice as a consultant, 'to help clients understand the implications of Brexit for their businesses and to plan'. White was previously a member of the European Commission's Legal Service between 1985 and 2016, where he led the Trade Policy and WTO team.[5]
  • Paul Butcher Brexit director


  • Former UK climate and energy secretary Ed Davey's older brother, Henry Davey, is a corporate partner and energy expert at Herbert Smith.
  • Julie Vaughan, senior associate, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP; has advised Cuadrilla Resources on 'environmental permitting for shale gas exploration sites in Lancashire'[6]
  • Senior Herbert Smith associate Alastair Young left the company in early 2013 to join US energy law specialist Bracewell & Giuliani as a partner in its newly expanded London office.


The firm is a member of the Nuclear Industry Association lobby group. [7] Its website declares it is ‘proud to be at the vanguard of next generation nuclear in the UK’.


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These include:

Energy and nuclear

  • EDF Energy
  • Centrica
  • BP
  • Sumitomo Corporation and Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO): advising alongside Abu Dhabi Water & Electricity Authority (ADWEA) and the special purpose company Shuweihat Asia Power Company PJSC (SAPCO) on the US$1.5 billion financing of the 1.6 GW Shuweihat 3 power plant
  • Sinopec: advising on its agreement to acquire a 49% stake in Canadian company Talisman Energy Inc's UK North Sea business for US$1.5 billion
  • Visagino Atominė Elektrinė: advising on its plans to finance, construct, operate and decommission a new nuclear plant in Lithuania in joint venture with Estonian and Latvian utilities and a strategic investor
  • Santos and GLNG: advising in relation to the development of the Gladstone LNG Project (including upstream coal seam gas fields, pipeline, LNG trains and port development)
  • Energy Development Corporation: advising Energy Development Corporation in its acquisition of a 70% interest in Hot Rock Limited’s geothermal projects in South America: the Calerias and Longavi projects in Chile and the Quellaapacheta and Chocopata projects in Peru


The firm practices in the UK, in London, through Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC310989. It is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors' Regulation Authority of England and Wales.

Exchange House
Primrose Street
London EC2A 2EG
Phone +44 20 7374 8000
Fax +44 20 7374 0888
3 Cromac Quay
Ormeau Gasworks
Belfast BT7 2JD
Phone +44 28 9025 8200
Fax +44 28 9025 8201



  1. [https://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:eVIsX1bkCZEJ:https://www.herbertsmithfreehills.com/hsfpdf/news/a-view-from-germany-what-should-business-expect-from-brexit%3Fpdf%3D1+&cd=8&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=uk&client=firefox-b-ab 'A View From...', HSF website, accessed Jan 2018
  2. Herbert Smith Freehills appoints Paul Butcher to new role of Brexit Director, HSF website, 12 July 2017
  3. Hanbury Strategy has been taken on by two major law firms, plus Deliveroo and pharma titan GSK, PR Week, 4 April 2017
  4. Herbert Smith Freehills brings Lord Mandelson to Australia HSF website, 3 October 2017
  5. Senior trade and EU lawyer Eric White joins Herbert Smith Freehills from the European Commission, HSF press release, December 2016
  6. Julie Vaughan, profile on HSF website, accessed Nov 2017
  7. Nuclear Industry Association Our members, accessed 5 September 2012.