Freshfields profits from crunch advice

Partners at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer bill up to £715 an hour for their work advising the Bank of England, The Lawyer has discovered after requesting the information under the Freedom of Information Act.

Freshfields billed the bank a total of £4.5m during 2008, including £3.3m in December, shortly after the bank launched its £200bn liquidity scheme.

Head of financial institutions Michael Raffan leads the relationship, having advised on the nationalisation of Northern Rock and the Government’s asset ­protection scheme.

Pre-discount rates for Freshfields partners advising the Bank of England range from £525 to £715 an hour, depending on seniority. Where discounts apply, Freshfields partners earn £445 to £550 an hour.

The bank said the £3.3m bill in December was likely to have included work undertaken over several months.

In 2009, the firm billed £463,000 in January and £572,000 in February.

In March, a Freedom of Information inquiry form revealed that Slaughter and May had billed the Government £22m, including £4m in November 2008.