Freshfields boosts US with ex-DOJ criminal division chief

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has hired Department of Justice (DoJ) former acting criminal division head, Matthew Friedrich, as partner in its Washington DC base. 

Friedrich joins the firm from US firm Boies Schiller & Flexner, which he joined in 2009 after spending 13 years at the DoJ.

The hire brings the number of partners in the US litigation practice up 16, with Friedrich becoming the sixth partner in the white collar crime group.

Global litigation head, Christopher Pugh, said the hire meant “new expertise in the fields of national security and foreign investment.”

US litigation practice Aaron Marcu commented: “[Matt] will work closely with [Washington DC litigation partner] Tim Coleman in our DC office and our white collar team in New York to ensure that we can handle the large and complicated investigations that significant corporate and financial institutions increasingly are confronting.”

Freshfields launched the US litigation practice in 2009 after hiring a trio of partners from Covington & Burling and Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Linklaters became the last of the magic circle, exluding Slaughter and May, to make an entrance in Washington DC after it reopened in the city last year (28 November 2012), a decade after closing its representative base in the US capital.

Allen & Overy (A&O) launched there in 2011 with a team hired from O’Melveny & Myers (29 June 2011).

Between 2010/11 and 2011/12, staff costs at Freshfields rose 10.2 per cent, from £480.4m to £529.6m. In a year when the firm’s turnover was effectively flat at £1.117bn, profit for the financial year was down almost 5 per cent, from £366.6m to £349m. In 2011/12 the average number of partners at the firm was 350, down from 355 the previous year.