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Cross Borders With Confidence

Making high-impact business decisions has never been more challenging.

The stakes are higher and the risks run deeper. The speed at which critical decisions need to be made in our global, interconnected world makes it increasingly difficult to operate with confidence. 

We create positive impacts on business outcomes by providing you with the intelligence, expertise, and experience you need to make the right decision—confidently.

Our market-leading lawyers in the US and around the world can assemble and collaborate to solve your most consequential issues, offering global perspective, regional expertise, and sophisticated advice that crosses jurisdictions.

Cross borders with confidence. Cross borders with Freshfields.

Recent US achievements

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s International Arbitration practice topped the rankings of Who’s Who Legal and Global Arbitration Review’s 2018 list of leading practitioners in the field, with more lawyers recognized in the Arbitration category than any other firm.

The editors cited Freshfields’ global strength as a reason for the strong ranking, stating that “as well as featuring as one of the leading firms in the European market, Freshfields also illustrates its strong US presence in our research this year.” Overall, 36 of the firm’s partners, associates, and counsel—representing offices in Washington, DC,  New York, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Vienna, Dubai, Singapore, and Hong Kong—were named to the 2018 list.

The firm’s global head of the international arbitration, Nigel Blackaby, was named as one of eight “Thought Leaders” in North America and was cited for his “immense depth of knowledge” and for being “a zealous advocate for his clients”. Two of his Washington, DC colleagues—partner Caroline Richard and counsel Alexander Wilbraham—were also named to the Arbitration list.

New York partners Elliot Friedman, Brian King (“one of the go-to names” in arbitration), and Noiana Marigo (“She understands damages issues incredibly well”) were recognized on the Arbitration list, while associate Ben Love, “a rock star in his field,” was ranked as one of the top “Most Highly Regarded” non-partners on  the Future Leaders list.

Three London partners, Reza Mohtashami (“a top practitioner…pragmatic and technically strong”), Sylvia Noury (“a true expert in the field…the depth of her knowledge is immense”) and Nigel Rawding QC were named to both the Thought Leaders and Arbitration lists, while London partner Will Thomas (“clearly a rising star…a delight to work with, technically excellent and incredibly user-friendly”), , andsenior associates Leilah Bruton, Michael Kotrly, and Oliver Marsden were recognized as Future Leaders.

Paris-based partners Elie Kleiman, Noah Rubins (“One of the most experienced practitioners in the field”), and Peter Turner QC (“Extremely impressive”) were named to both the Thought Leaders and Arbitration lists, and partner Ben Juratowitch QC (“The best advocate I have come across in my career”), counsel Shaparak Saleh, and senior associates James Shaerf, Gisele Stephens-Chu, and Alexandra van der Meulen were named to the Future Leaders list.

Three Frankfurt partners, Christian Duve, Boris Kasolowsky (“a star” in the arbitration space), and Rolf Trittmann, were named to the Arbitration list, with the latter two recognized on the Thought Leaders list as well. Frankfurt principal associate Martin Mekat was named a Future Leader. Hamburg partner Hans-Patrick Schroeder (“a very clever advocate”) was named a Future Leader. In Vienna, partners Günther Horvath (“one of the most prominent Austrian arbitration lawyers,” also named a Thought Leader) and Jenny Power were recognized for Arbitration, and principal associate Eliane Fischer (“patient and cool in cross-examinations, but always spot on”) was named a Future Leader.  

In Dubai, partners Erin Miller Rankin and Sami Tannous were recognized in Arbitration and counsel Kim Rosenberg was cited as a Future Leader, as was Hong Kong partner John Choong,”an excellent lawyer and an expert in international arbitration.” Singapore partner Nicholas Lingard was named to the Arbitration list, and counsel Robert Kirkness to the Future Leaders list.

Click for the complete lists with commentary for both arbitration and future leaders.

Freshfields’ US offices dominated the rankings in the just-released 2018 Best Law Firms list, co-administered by Best Lawyers and US News & World Report. We earned a total of 25 mentions, with practice groups ranked both nationally and individually in two US markets, New York City and Washington, DC.

Our Tier 1-ranked practice groups included Bankruptcy and Creditor Debtor Rights / Insolvency and Reorganization Law (New York)—a new practice this year for Freshfields US—as well as Litigation-Antitrust (National); Commercial Litigation and Criminal Defense: White Collar (New York); and Antitrust Law, Arbitration, International Arbitration – Commercial, and Litigation-Antitrust (Washington, DC).

Other categories in which Freshfields US practice groups were singled out for recognition include Banking and Finance Law, Corporate Compliance Law, Corporate Governance Law, Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Securities/Capital Markets Law, and Tax Law.

Freshfields was recognized for its exceptional cross-border abilities with the award for “Private Equity Team of the Year” at the 2017 Transatlantic Legal Awards. The awards, presented by Legal Week and American Lawyer, celebrate firms and in-house teams with strong presences in both the US and the UK, taking into account notable transatlantic deals, overall firm strategy and individual achievement.

The award recognized Freshfields for advising Formula One Group (F1) and CVC Capital Partners on the sale of F1 to Liberty Media, a transaction with an enterprise value for F1 of $8 billion and an equity value of $4.4 billion.

Valerie Ford Jacob led the deal from the US side and Charles Hayes from the UK side. Congratulations to both, and to their teams on both sides of the Atlantic, for their delivery of outstanding cross-border client results.

Freshfields’ recent representation of Smiths Group in its $723.7m acquisition of Morpho Detection demonstrates our strength in advising global clients in highly complex, multijurisdictional transactions. Smiths Group is a global technology and engineering firm originally established in the UK in 1851, and its subsidiary Smiths Detection is a leader in products and services that detect explosive, chemical and radioactive materials, and contraband. Smiths Detection sells its products in virtually every country in the world, and has approximately 2,300 employees. Morpho Detection, a California-based subsidiary of Safran Group, a French public company, manufactures and supplies detection systems and services to improve mission-critical security at airports, borders and other high-risk critical infrastructure sites such as nuclear power plants, military installations and government buildings. Also a global business, Morpho Detection derives nearly 40 percent of its revenues outside the United States and sees its technology used in more than 175 countries.

Smiths succeeded in the acquisition, signing the deal in April 2016. Then Freshfields’ leading antitrust team helped Smiths navigate regulatory approvals, which involved investment and/or antitrust filings in eight jurisdictions. Both the European Commission and US antitrust authorities viewed the acquisition as eliminating competition in certain parts of the threat detection industry. In January 2017 we secured approval from the European Commission allowing the transaction to close conditional on a post-close divestment of Morpho Detection’s explosive trace detection business. The firm then turned to approvals from the United States, where we received a similar conditional clearance in March 2017, which allowed Smiths to complete the acquisition of the Morpho Detection Business. Finally, we advised Smiths in the sale of the Trace Business to OSI Systems, Inc. This sale was conditional upon regulatory approval in Portugal as well as the approval by the EC and DOJ of OSI as a suitable purchaser. On July 7, 2017 Smiths completed the sale of the Trace Business to OSI for $75.5m.

The Freshfields team was led by M&A partner Mitchell Presser and also included Tax partner Robert Scarborough, Employment and Benefits partner Howard Klein, and Antitrust partner Mary Lehner.

US senior associate Natalia Zibibbo has been named a “Rising Star” by Law360 in the category of International Arbitration. The distinction is reserved for lawyers under 40 years old whose “accomplishments transcend their age.”

Natalia joined Freshfields in 2008 and has worked on more than 15 high-profile commercial and investment treaty arbitrations, primarily in Latin America. You can read the complete list of 2017 Rising Stars here.