Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

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Brexit badge.png Part of the Powerbase Brexit Portal.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is an international law firm.

It has 27 offices around the world and employs 2,400 lawyers with clients that range from multinational corporations, governments and financial institutions. [1]

Brexit services

Freshfields says it is already 'answering client queries about Brexit, helping reduce uncertainties, assess risks and seize opportunities'.[2]

Brexit insider recruits

  • Jonathan Hill, former European Commissioner for Financial Services. The firm hired Hill, the UK’s most senior European diplomat in March 2017. Hill will advise the firm and its clients on Brexit-related matters.
  • Anthony Parry, former legal adviser to the Treasury. Freshfields hired Parry in September 2016 as a senior consultant advising clients and the firm on Brexit, EU Law and International Trade.


Brussels lobbying

In 2003 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer was recognised as one of the most active law firm lobbyists in Europe.

Freshfields had five lawyers listed as accredited advisers and lobbyists allowed special access to the European Parliament. The lobbying lawyers were Elizabeth Crossick, Alexander Fricke, Gail Orton, Catherine Schmitz and Marianna Settimi.[3]

They offer lobbying as one of their services to clients "Freshfield can devise and execute lobbying campaigns that elevate the profile of your organisation and work in tandem with our media relations expertise to make a powerful, compelling programme" [4]

Elizabeth Crossick provides some clarification on the differences between a lawyer and a lobbyist in an interview with EurActive "A lawyer who is acting as a lawyer is not a lobbyist. A lawyer who is inputting into the decision-making process by representing a client in a piece of legislation, is doing lobbying. You can wear many hats. So it is not the person that makes the definition, but the issue" [5]

Meetings with UK ministers

Between 2010 and 2011, FBD met twice with the UK Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) Jonathan Marland to discuss 'energy issues'. [6]

Chemicals Industry

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer commissioned research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research that assessed the impact of revisions to the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme, designed to help the EU improve environmental standards. Freshfields used the report to warn businesses, particularly petrochemicals, of the dangers to their profits and shareholder returns if higher environmental standards were demanded. Freshfields set out how they can help firms affected by the tighter EU rules, they can ensure help with compliance on the new rules if they become law. However, while the revised standards are moving through the legislative process Freshfield's are offering a lobbying strategy for large firms and trade associations.[7]



In 2012-13 FBD was ranked number two out of the top 10 consultancies used by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), which paid FBD £587,922 in 2012-13.

Banking and financial services

  • The German Federal Government called upon the services of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to advise them on drawing up the Financial Market Stabilisation Act. The emergency action saw partners from the law firm called to develop the financial rescue programme on Thursday the 9th of October 2008 and had only 48 hours to develop the strategy in order for Angela Merkel to announce the plan before the markets opened on the following Monday morning. [8]
  • Northern Rock were advised by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in relation to a strategic review prompted by its enforced nationalisation. The firm admit that this was difficult "...the complexity of nationalising an institutionwith a £110bn balance sheet, combined with the political ramifications of the roles played by the government and the Bank of England in the rescue,made this one of the most demanding and difficult restructuring operations in history". FBD continue to advise what is left of the bank. "on its capital and business restructuring which has recently received EU state aid approval" [9]
  • The financial situation in Spain resulted in more clients desperate to protect themselves: Inmobiliaria Colonial were advised on restructuring its €7bn syndicated debt facilities; Reyal Urbis on the restructuring of long-term secured financial indebtedness incurred when they took over Inmobiliaria Urbis in 2006; and Metrovacesa and its shareholders sought advice on restructuring €3.2bn with Royal Bank of Scotland
  • On behalf of Nomura secured the takeover of any viable interests of Lehman Brothers following its collapse.
  • The Bank of England hired FBD to develop the legal structure to enable their "Special Liquidity Scheme" that made £185bn of additional liquidity by February 2009.
  • Goldman Sachs, CSFB, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley are also clients. [10]

Food and Drink

Foodspin badge.png This article is part of the Foodspin project of Spinwatch.
  • Tesco were successfully represented by FBD in their dispute with the UK Competition Commission in 2009.
  • Mars acquisition of Wrigley's chewing gum was overseen by FBD. The negotiations were complicated, the deal was partly financed ($23billion) by Berkshire Hathaway, the investment firm led by Warren Buffett. The deal involved aggregating some of Mars's existing "sugar business" that includes products such as Skittles and Starburst into the Wrigley's that would become a new strand of Mars's business. This involved FBD working with Mars anti-trust team, McDermott Will & Emery their US advisers and Skadden a Wrigley’s company.
  • Danone were sucessfully represented by FBD in their long running multi-jurisdiction dispute with Wahaha over the use of the Wahaha name on drinks.
Alcohol badge.jpg This article is part of the Spinwatch public health oriented Alcohol Portal project.

Alcohol Industry

Oil and Military

  • Paradigm a specialist in military grade satellite communication technology they provide NATO and UK military services.
  • ConocoPhillips is currently involved in a huge legal battle in an attempt to retrieve $30 billion worth of assets seized by the Venezuelan government. They also assisted ConocoPhillips in a fight against Ecuador's decision to increase taxation on oil, FBD advised their client to pay the tax into an offshore account until the litigation was finalised. In Vietnam too FBD helped ConocoPhillips successfully fight the government over increases in oil tax.


Nuclear spin.png This article is part of the Nuclear Spin project of Spinwatch.

FBD has worked closely with the nuclear industry since the 1950s, working alongside the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority since its inception, and later advising British Nuclear Fuels Limited. They also have a strong relationship with the German nuclear industry and also advise many other nuclear energy companies and governments in their energy strategies. They consider nuclear a green option and important for future energy shortages.

  • Bahrain government employs the firm to assist in the development of a nuclear power policy.
  • Westinghouse are advised on a range of nuclear fuel issues.
  • They lead the European Nuclear Energy Forum’s Anti-Trust and State Aid Working Group
  • Act on behalf of applicants to build new nuclear power stations in the UK and as such work closely the government’s Office for Nuclear Development.
  • Urenco, E.ON, RWE, and Hyperion all have nuclear energy interests represented by FBD


  • London 2012 Olympic Games FBD were the official legal service providers

Pro-bono Clients


FrackWell.png This article is part of the Spinwatch Fracking Portal and project
  • Daniel Lawrence, Counsel (Environment, Planning and Regulatory Practice Group). Lawrence produced a written submission for the Royal Society's June 2012 report 'Shale gas extraction in the UK: a review of hydraulic fracturing'

Lobbyists and PR firms

Corporate Social Responsibility

They are members of The HEC Foundation.


Freshfields is one of the oldest law firms in England, with a history dating back to 1743 when it became the legal representatives for The Bank of England. Obviously as a company with such a long history it has undergone several changes. The shape and nature of the business as it stands today work is recognisably a result of the deregulation of London's financial markets in the 1986 [16] and subsequent liberalisation of banking and financial service industries.

According to the Law Firm magazine: "During this period a group of go-getting corporate partners - particularly Anthony Salz, Gavin Darlington, Barry O'Brien, James Davis and Alan Peck - lobbied for the firm to target investment banks to win more of the corporate takeover work that was sweeping the City. The move was controversial internally given Freshfields' lead adviser role to the Bank of England, which was at the time responsible for bank regulation. However, it proved highly successful, cementing Freshfields' position in the rapidly-consolidating legal elite, which in the 1990s became known as the magic circle" [17]



Address: 65 Fleet Street, London ECDY 1HS


  1. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, About Us accessed 26th October 2011
  2. Brexit Zone, Freshfields website, accessed Nov 2017
  3. Anthony Collins, Freshfields and DLA top Euro lobbyist list, Legal Week, 29th May 2003, accessed 31st October 2011
  4. Freshfields Marketing Communication, Services: Public Affairs accessed 31st October 2011
  5. EurActive, Interview with Elizabeth Crossick on the transparency initiative 28th June 2006
  6. Who's Lobbying, Jonathan Marland, undated, acc 21 June 2012
  7. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Extending the EU ETS: implications for the EU petrochemicals industry June 2008, accessed 31st November 2011
  8. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Annual Review 2009 accessed 26th October 2011
  9. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Annual Review 2009 accessed 26th October 2011
  10. Legal Week, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 14th December 2009, accessed 26th October 2011
  11. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Pubs Overview accessed 27th October 2011
  12. House of Commons Register of All-Party Groups (as at 8th September 2011) and as at 30 September 2010 acc 27 October 2011
  13. APPC Register Entry for 1 December 2010 to 28 February 2011 (NB register states 2010 but this is an error)
  14. APPC Register Entry for 1 March 2011 to 31 May 2011
  15. APPC Register Entry for 1 September 2010 to 30 November 2010
  16. Legal Week, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 14th December 2009, accessed 26th October 2011
  17. Legal Week, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer 14th December 2009, accessed 26th October 2011