Freshfields launches massive corporate overhaul

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has radically overhauled its London corporate group in a tacit admission that the team has lost ground over the last four years.

The shake-up will see the group restructured along four sector lines instead of the previous seven groups. The new teams are financial institutions; private equity; energy and transport; and leisure, TMT and pharmaceuticals.

The change is the result of a nine-month practice review that reported in February 2005 and has been implemented over the summer.

The three-pronged aim of the review was to identify the type of work Freshfields should be handling, the clients it wanted to act for and the range of projects it would undertake. “It was time to throw the blinkers away,” said London’s head of corporate Tim Jones.

Each of the four teams is chaired by a partner. Will Lawes chairs the financial institutions team, Ed Braham leads the private equity group, Mark Rawlinson has been placed in charge of energy and transport and Tim Jones chairs the leisure, TMT and pharmaceuticals sector.

The partners’ roles will include mentoring and co-working with the partners in each of the groups. The global sector group leader roles are unaffected by the new London corporate developments.

Since the introduction of the new structure Jones claimed that corporate revenues in London were up 18 per cent. “We believe that 20 per cent over the next two years is feasible,” he added. A partner involved with the review said, “Freshfields needs a kickstart. I hope this is it.”