Freshfields mourns death of German co-founder Arved Deringer

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer German co-founder and name partner Arved Deringer has died, aged 98.

Arved Deringer
Arved Deringer

Deringer was born in 1913 in what is now Ukraine, fleeing to Germany with his parents in 1918 following the Russian Revolution. He studied theology and law in Tübingen, Berlin, Kiel and Geneva, and passed the bar exam in 1942.

During World War Two Deringer served in the German navy and spent time as a prisoner of war in France until 1947, before working as a telephonist and supervisor at German Youth Activities for the US Army.

Deringer originally practised as a lawyer in 1953, in partnership with Gleiss Lutz founder Alfred Gleiss in Stuttgart. He specialised in competition, media and European law. He founded his own firm with Claus Tessin in Bonn in 1962, and the firm expanded to become Deringer Tessin Herrman & Sedemund in 1970.

In 2000, 90-lawyer, four-office Deringer Tessin merged with Freshfields and Bruckhaus Westrick Heller Löber to form Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Freshfields executive partner Stephan Eilers said in a statement: “Professor Deringer was a true pioneer of modern law who lived in a century of phenomenal socio-political change. His work significantly influenced European competition law and EC law more generally. He was a truly rounded personality – a lawyer, politician, entrepreneur and, above all else, a family man.”

In parallel with his legal career, Deringer also had a flourishing political life. He was a member of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and sat as a member of the German parliament, the Bundestag, from 1957 to 1969. Deringer was also a member of the European Parliament from 1958 to 1970, chairing the Legal Affairs Committee and influencing the development of European competition law.

Although Deringer retired as a partner in 1992, he acted as a consultant with Deringer Tessin for a number of years, advising on Eastern European issues.

Deringer is survived by his wife Erika and their five children.