Freshfields bosses vow to focus on fee-earning

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s senior management team has emphasised its commitment to client work by pledging that all partners in management positions will spend a ­significant proportion of their time on fee-earning.

Ted Burke
Ted Burke

New senior partner Will Lawes and executive partner Stephan Eilers are both understood to want to ­dedicate up to half their time to fee-earning. The commitment follows the replacement of joint senior partners Konstantin Mettenheimer and Guy Morton with a three-man team featuring managing partner Ted Burke alongside Lawes and Eilers.

Burke told The Lawyer that the new structure allows greater flexibility with regard to client-facing work.

“[This commitment] is part of the thinking behind the new team,” he said. “We had internal issues to deal with five years ago, but now anyone in management can focus on our clients and our people.”

Burke will continue to take on the lion’s share of the day-to-day management duties, as he did when he was chief executive in the previous regime.

He is not expected to commit to extensive client work, but will continue his role as relationship partner with some clients.