Antitrust, Competition & Trade:
Freshfields has an unrivalled market share of in-depth Phase II merger investigations by the European Commission. It advises financial institutions, governments and other clients worldwide through complex remedy negotiations across all sectors on all competition issues, including:
■ Merger control
■ Abuse of dominance
■ Cartel investigations
■ Follow-on and other antitrust litigation
■ State aid
■ Public procurement
In the last five years, Freshfields has advised on more cross-border M&A deals than any other law firm in the world. It has also topped the European, Asia-Pacific and UK league tables over the same period. Highlights for 2016 include advising: AB InBev on its £71bn acquisition of SABMiller; Henderson Capital on its all-share merger with Janus Capital; Softbank on its acquisition of ARM Holdings; Formula 1 Group and CVC Capital on the sale of Formula1; and Hewlett Packard Enterprise on the ‘spin merger’ of its software business segment into Micro Focus International.
With disputes lawyers from over 50 nationalities, Freshfields has advised on the most high-profile disputes, multi-jurisdictional investigations, competition claims, patent litigation and politically sensitive arbitrations in recent history. The team’s highlights for 2016 include securing a US$967.8m award for Rusoro Mining, and a US$1.39bn award on behalf of Canadian gold mining company Crystallex at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes. Freshfields is the market leader for arbitration, competition, intellectual property, investigations, regulation and complex commercial litigation. The firm has been particularly active in the technology, banking, energy and environmental sectors, with major mandates for clients including KPMG, Smith & Nephew and ConocoPhillips.
Employment, Pensions & Benefits:
Landmark cases for Freshfields include acting for the trustee of the Aggregate Industries Pension Plan in negotiating a bulk annuity buy-in with Just Retirement Ltd; advising AB InBev on the negotiation of the complex employee and incentives provisions of the main transaction documents in the context of its merger with SABMiller, as well as advising on the implications of this transaction from an employee information and consultation perspective across the globe; advising the German Football Association on the various labour law and data protection law questions arising from the headline-catching internal investigation on the conditions under which the 2006 World Cup was awarded to the country; and advising Sports Direct on defending a High Court breach of contract claim that was brought by former and current workers who are or were engaged on zero hours contracts.
Freshfields has recently advised the Monarch Group, a leading UK independent airline group, on its continued turnaround; HDFC on the first ever corporate issuance of Synthetic INR Notes, otherwise known as ‘Masala Bonds’; and Zero Bypass Limited on construction of Slovakia’s D4 Highway and R7 Expressway. This deal, which is in excess of €1.7 billion, was one of the largest European PPP projects of 2016. The firm has finance lawyers worldwide, covering restructuring and insolvency, banking, structured finance, derivatives and capital markets, asset finance and project finance.
Clients: Rothschild, Blackstone, CVC, EBRD and Deloitte
The real estate practice has advised on some of the largest and highest profile real estate transactions, including advising IVG Immobilien on the sale of its subsidiary OFFICEFIRST, and advising TPG Real Estate and its partner Ivanhoé Cambridge on the sale of P3 Logistic Parks, for which Freshfields acted on the entire cycle of ownership of P3
Clients: AXA, Blackstone, CPP Investment Board, Deutsche AWM, KKR, Land Securities, Norges, TPG.
The tax practice advises clients across all sectors on their most exacting deals, tax investigations and disputes, and consultancy tax matters, worldwide. The practice has recently advised RWE/Essent in its litigation against the Dutch government on a measure which would impose a tax on use of coal in coal-fired electricity plants.