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The judges agreed that Freshfields’ work advising Nomura on the acquisition of Lehman Brother’s European, Middle East and Asian arms was the standout deal of 2009. If ever a deal was designed to test the mettle of an international law firm, this was surely it. In all, 17 of Freshfields’ offices worked on the deal while the firm also co-ordinated the instruction of external counsel in another 13 jurisdictions. This all took place at the height of the credit crunch-induced financial market turmoil. The need to act quickly and decisively was an essential feature of this deal.

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