Freshfields’ leaky partnership pours cold water on restructuring boasts

Partner departures have in recent months become a regular feature of life at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, with several leaving 65 Fleet Street to take advantage of favourable pension terms.

But even the magic circle firm’s management couldn’t have predicted the shock resignation of banking star David Ereira, who is leaving to join arch-rival Linklaters (see story). Adding to the blow, the firm has also lost structured finance partners Peter Green and Jeremy Jennings-Mares, who are leaving to join US firm Morrison & Foerster.

Senior Freshfields partners were recently overheard boasting about completing their controversial restructuring programme without any collateral damage. But have the firm’s fortunes taken a turn for the worse?

After all, losing one partner is unfortunate, but losing three looks like carelessness. And the fact that finance partners are leaving rather looks as if Freshfields is reverting to its core – read corporate – values.