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‘Strategic guidance’: Freshfields widens leadership pool with three new sector heads

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has appointed three new sector group leaders in London, New York and Brussels as part of a wider strategy overhaul.

The firm currently has eight sector groups (see full list below) which are in place to develop and maintain close relationship with clients.

London-based corporate partner Natasha Good is now co-sector group leader of the telecoms, media and technology (TMT) group. She will lead alongside partner and co-sector group leader Laurent Garzaniti who is based in Brussels.

New York-based corporate partner Valerie Ford Jacob is appointed as co-sector group head of the financial institutions group and will work with existing co-sector heads Frankfurt corporate partner Christoph Gleske and City corporate partner Claire Wills.

Lastly, the firm has appointed Brussels-based competition partner Rafique Bachour as co-sector group leader of the general industries group, where he will serve alongside co-sector group leader and Munich corporate partner Barbara Keil.

The move to grow its leadership band is part of a wider firm strategy where the firm has voiced its intent on material growth.

The strategy is to build a top M&A capability on a par with its European practice; build its US finance offering; and expand its litigation and white-collar capability in Washington DC. So far, the US arm of Freshfields has seen considerable progress in its global investigations, disputes, antitrust and M&A practices, while its LatAm arbitration practice is also very well regarded.

In a statement the firm said: ‘Through the groups, [firm] lawyers are better equipped to understand the key challenges and opportunities that exist for clients in their respective sectors.’

‘The sector groups also allow the firm to provide strategic guidance based on what has been learned in other work in the relevant sector to the maximum advantage of the client.’

For more on Freshfields’ strategy, see The last champions – meet the leaders intent on sealing Freshfields’ place in the global elite

Freshfields sector group leadership:

Heiner Braun and Jonathan Isted: consumer and health

Laurie McFadden: energy and natural resources

Valerie Ford Jacob, Christoph Gleske, and Claire Wills: financial Institutions

David Higgins and Markus Paul: global financial investors

Rafique Bachour and Barbara Keil, general industries

Martin Nelson Jones and Alan Ryan: infrastructure and transport

Mark Wheelhouse: real estate

Laurent Garzaniti and Natasha Good: TMT