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Herbert Smith Freehills named Global Law Firm of the Year in Europe

17 January 2022 | Global
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Herbert Smith Freehills has been named Global Law Firm of the Year in Europe at The Lawyer European Awards 2021.

Showcased by the judges for having an exceptional year in Europe, the firm was also highlighted for making a real impact in Diversity & Inclusion and on the wellbeing of its people.

The firm has achieved many 'firsts' over the past 12 months, making it the standout winner for Global Law Firm of the Year. After eight years of solid growth, the firm's revenue eclipsed £1 billion for the first time thanks to strong client demand and increased market share. This included securing key landmark mandates that caused its revenue to jump by 5% from £989.9 million to £1.038 billion. 

The firm continued to grow and expand its footprint right across EMEA, making six significant lateral hires including: Huneiza Goolam, who joined the firm's market-leading global corporate practice as a partner in Johannesburg; Sarosh Mewawalla and Christopher Cross, who joined the firm's Dubai office in Project Finance and Projects respectively; Jan Eltzschig and Heike Schmitz, who joined as Corporate partners based in the firm's Düsseldorf office; and Michaël Armandou, who joined the firm's Paris office as a partner in Project Finance.

Clients also turned to the firm's teams' right across EMEA to work on their most complex and stand-out matters, with highlights including: 

  • Acting for ENGIE on the proposed sale and prior reorganisation of Equans, a global multi-technical services leader, to Bouygues for €7.1bn; 
  • Representing SIBUR Holding, the largest petrochemicals company in Russia, on the acquisition of 50% plus one share of TAIF, a major regional petrochemical company in Tatarstan, in exchange for the newly issued SIBUR shares, for US$ 3.7bn; 
  • Working for DIF Infrastructure on the €400m acquisition of Itevelesa, the second largest private Spanish provider of vehicle periodic technical inspection (PTI) services, with 72 inspection centres and 20 mobile units in 11 regions; 
  • Advising a leading international investor in two parallel and related high stake international commercial arbitrations relating to an investment in francophone West Africa. These arbitrations involve complex procedural issues as well as novel issues of OHADA corporate law; 
  • Advising a leading international investor in two parallel and related high stake international commercial arbitrations relating to an investment in francophone West Africa. These arbitrations involve complex procedural issues as well as novel issues of OHADA corporate law; 
  • Acting for Nord Stream 2 (owned by Gazprom) on its landmark legal challenge of an EU Directive extending EU gas law to the Nord Stream 2 pipeline (while excluding all other similar pipelines) – this involves a challenge in the EU courts and the first ever investor-state arbitration procedure against the EU under the Energy Charter Treaty; 
  • Acting for Oya Energy (G7), Mulilo/Total, ACWA, EDF and Scatec, in relation to eight projects which are subject to South African judicial review proceedings. We are representing our clients in their defence to a challenge against their appointment as preferred bidders under the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPP), which aims to procure 2GW of power to bridge a looming supply gap.

A key part of the firm's strategy has also been to foster greater diversity. Over the past 12 months Herbert Smith Freehills has continued unabated to commit to bold targets through its 10 Actions for Change aimed at boosting D&I across its global network. 

Since launching its first gender targets in 2014, the number of women in Herbert Smith Freehills' partnership has increased by 67%. To date, the firm has 28% women partners and 25% in partner leadership roles, cementing the firm as one of the leading law firms for gender diversity.

The firm was also recognised for its effort in reducing its carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. The commitment will see the firm reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions, by first reducing the emissions that it produces and then balancing that lower figure with emissions removed from the earth’s atmosphere to reach a net sum of zero.

Alexei Roudiak, Managing Partner for the EMEA region, said: 

"Our resilience and growth in this most difficult of years is due to our clients, our people and our careful stewardship of the business. Clients turned to us to advise them on major landmark deals and cases, and to help them navigate the increasingly complex regulatory and business landscape. Of course this year's success is also down to our people – they continue to perform at the highest level and I want to thank our teams across EMEA delivering for our business and our clients."

Media Contact

For further information on this news article, please contact:

Corinne McPartland, Head of Communications, UK & US

London
Tel: 
+44 20 7466 2057
Mob: 
+44 7912 394 304