Our expertise

As global leaders in our field, we work with the world’s biggest organisations on their most important cases and deals. We maintain our position at the cutting edge of the industry through an organisation-wide commitment to innovation, a trailblazing expertise in dispute resolution and corporate, and a pioneering approach to client’s issues. The work we do and the way we do it means we continue to shape the future of law.

Our work covers a variety of different sectors and trainees are involved in every part of it. Listen to our podcast series where our lawyers who worked on a project together speak about their experiences to understand what you could accomplish when you join us.

The criminal trial of Barclays executives: A landmark case

Hear the inside story as one of the Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) Disputes teams successfully defended one of the three former Barclays executives charged with conspiracy to commit fraud. This high-profile case arose from a seven-year investigation and represented the first criminal prosecution in Britain of senior financiers at a major bank over credit crisis-era conduct. Find out more about HSF's pivotal role from Jessica Chappatte and Will Merry who worked on the case.

Unite Group: The acquisition of Liberty Living Group

Discover how members of the Herbert Smith Freehills Corporate team advised Unite, a UK student accommodation company, on its acquisition of Liberty Living Group, in a £1.4 billion takeover. Hear from Sophie Stevens and Charles Steward on the multitude of different elements involved, from M&A to CMA and shares.

Innovative lawyers: A global legal hackathon challenge

Bringing together 2,500 legal professionals, software developers, designers and businesspeople, the Financial Times’ Innovative Lawyers 2020 Global Legal Hackathon challenged teams to develop answers to problems trigged by the pandemic. Hear from Jamie Bell and Fiona Linn, part of the Herbert Smith Freehills team who took part, about what they designed and why.

Innovation

“Over the past three years we have embedded a culture of innovation across the firm to ensure that we create value and deliver the best outcomes for our clients and our people” - Andrew Pike, Executive Partner

The future of law is here 

As trusted advisors, we need to be ahead of the curve. At Herbert Smith Freehills, innovation is a key part of our global strategy and we’re focused on building a progressive organisation ready to do truly pioneering work.

We partner with our clients to understand and respond to rapidly evolving opportunities and challenges. We embrace innovation and technology to transform our own ways of working and continually improve how we serve our clients.

The work we do and the way we work

As a leading global law firm, our work requires innovative thinking. From technology to tax, you’ll work across a variety of legal disciplines that break new ground. The role of a lawyer and the legal industry also continues to evolve as businesses undergo significant digital transformations.

Our people are curious, critical thinkers, who collaborate across multidisciplinary teams to continually review and improve ways of working. They make best use of enabling technology, to better serve our clients and our business. Embedding a culture of innovation across our business is a key part of our strategy and we’re committed to embracing diversity of thought and empowering our people to challenge the status quo. We cultivate creativity and fresh thinking, enabling change. 

Here are some of the changes we’ve implemented so far:

  • We’ve established an Innovation Bridge in order to source and incubate ideas that respond to business and client needs
  • We’ve established the HSF Digital Law Group, who support the evolving needs of our clients and help drive law into the digital age
  • We’ve recruited, and continue to recruit, technologists and computer scientists into our teams

Innovation in action

We’re working hard to improve how we operate, and exploring how we harness technology to open up new possibilities and widen the types of challenges we can solve. For example, we’ve designed a ‘Decision Analysis for Disputes’ tool to help clients quantify risks and make informed, commercial decisions. We also have several initiatives, such as Innovation 10, which enables our lawyers to spend up to 10 days per year working on initiatives that create lasting benefits for the firm and our clients.

See more latest thinking here

Pro bono & citizenship

Pro bono and citizenship initiatives represent some of our most interesting and impactful projects, covering individuals, charities and national governments. Whether it’s a multi-jurisdictional pro bono legal matter, fundraising for a worthy cause, improving our supply chain, or improving our environmental performance - you’ll have a range of opportunities to get involved in projects that mean something to you.

We treat pro bono as equal to billable client work: to find out more about our work in this area, case studies on our impact and our latest thinking, visit our Pro Bono and Citizenship pages and watch the video below.

More on pro bono and citizenship

£7.2 Million contributed to pro bono in London 2019 and 22,869 hours of legal advice.

Pro Bono and Citizenship Case

Rebecca, Fair Deal Sierra Leone

Fair Deal Sierra Leone is our flagship international development programme. Our Associate, Rebecca, explains how she partnered with two clients to produce an investor’s guide to the country and become a trusted advisor to the country’s government. Hear how she found the experience of pro bono secondment and why she’d recommend other trainees to get involved in this sort of opportunity. 

Awards

Disputes Best for commercial dispute resolution - The Times Best Law Firms 2019, 2020
IP Litigation Team of the Year - Legal Week Commercial Litigation & Arbitration Awards 2019
Corporate Team of the Year - British Legal Awards 2019
Energy Law Firm of the Year - Who's Who Legal Awards 2018-2019

Any Questions?

You can view a selection of frequently asked questions about life at the firm and our range of opportunities via the button below.