Belfast at Night over the River Lagan, Belfast City, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom (UK). Photo: James Kennedy NI/Shutterstock.com

Police conducting a drug investigation recently raided the Belfast office of Herbert Smith Freehills, according to The Irish News.

The newspaper reported Saturday that detectives from the organized crime branch of the Police Service of Northern Ireland conducted a search last week of Herbert Smith Freehills’ office at Cromac Quay in Belfast.

A police spokesman said that a “number of items were removed for further examination” as part of a search “in connection with the arrest of a 30-year-old man in the Ladybrook area of west Belfast on suspicion of possession of Class A drugs.”

The unidentified man was interviewed and subsequently released on bail pending a further inquiry by local law enforcement.

“We can confirm the police are investigating an incident in our Belfast office,” a Herbert Smith Freehills spokeswoman told The American Lawyer. “We are not able to comment further at this point due to the ongoing investigation.”

The spokeswoman confirmed that the office in question is a back office operations center in Belfast set up by Herbert Smith Freehills in 2011 to handle document review and disputes work. The 1,956-lawyer firm, formed in late 2012 through a combination between London-based Herbert Smith and Australia’s Freehills, also has legal operations centers in Shanghai, Melbourne and another facility set to open this summer in Johannesburg.

Earlier this year, Munich prosecutors raided Jones Day’s office in the city as part of a probe into Volkswagen AG. Jones Day, which filed a complaint over the seizure of materials related to its auto giant client, has appealed the matter to Germany’s highest court.

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