O’Brien takes reins at Freshfields corporate group

O'Brien takes reins at Freshfields corporate groupFreshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Barry O’Brien has taken over responsibility for one of the firm’s four core corporate groups, replacing Mark Rawlinson, who is now overall head of corporate.

As The Lawyer revealed this week (28 April), O’Brien has been voted back into the firm’s partnership after two years in a consultancy role. He has now taken over the chairmanship of corporate Group C, which broadly focuses on general M&A.

Rawlinson said: “It’s great to have Barry back in the middle of things. He was the natural choice given his popularity and standing within the team and the department.

“He is a larger than life character and there is no one better if you are up against it,” he added.

O’Brien, whose client list includes Mars, Tesco, Smith & Nephew, HSBC and Merrill Lynch, joins Will Lawes, Ed Braham and Julian Long, who chair groups A, B and D respectively, on the department’s management team. Although there is some crossover between the groups, A broadly focuses on financial institutions, B on private equity and D on M&A as well as US securities.

As reported in The Lawyer (31 March) Rawlinson took over management of the corporate practice after Tim Jones stood down to focus on his role as London office head. Rawlinson has revamped the practice’s management team to give responsibility to up to 12 partners, including the group chairs.