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Head of Manhattan – Adam Siegel takes over as Freshfields US managing partner

One of the more successful of the Magic Circle practices in Wall Street, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has appointed Adam Siegel to take over as its new US managing partner when current US head Julian Pritchard steps down on April 30. Siegel’s term will run for three years.

Siegel joined from Covington & Burling in 2009 with colleague Aaron Marcu and Willkie Farr & Gallagher partner Benito Romano to spearhead Freshfields’ litigation drive in the US, with the firm perceived as having established a credible disputes offering, particularly in arbitration and investigations work.

The 2,332-lawyer firm is understood to generate nearly 10% of its revenues in the US, with over half the practice being litigation or arbitration.

Freshfields has invested cautiously into the US, but is perceived to be one of the most successful out of Magic Circle rivals Clifford Chance, Allen & Overy and Linklaters, having broken into US law in 1998 with a team from Millbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.

With 171 lawyers spread between offices in New York and Washington, Freshfields offers M&A, project and structured finance, litigation, international arbitration, antitrust and tax, although it has yet to break into the type of corporate work its global standing and reputation would dictate.

Pritchard, a corporate partner, was appointed in 2009 and his replacement comes amid a firmwide reshuffle that sees London managing partner Mark Rawlinson replaced by Julian Long.

‘Adam is not only an outstanding litigator, but a natural leader too. He has been one of the architects of our highly successful global investigations practice and has been an integral part of the recent growth of our disputes practice in the US and beyond,’ said Will Lawes, senior partner at the firm.

Siegel added: ‘Our clients, both in the US and abroad, are facing significant new opportunities and challenges in a fast-changing legal and regulatory landscape and I am very much looking forward to helping our US offices meet their needs, as well as continuing with my client work.’

For an in-depth analysis of the Magic Circle’s performance in Wall Street see Taking Manhattan – can the Wall Street elite hold out in the age of the $5bn law firm?