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Freshfields launches Freshfields Lab to develop digital solutions with clients

•    New collaborative space to accelerate innovation;
•    The Freshfields Lab is a core part of the Firm’s digitization strategy;
•    The Lab’s first location in Berlin, a prominent centre for European start-ups, will sit at the heart of the Firm’s global Lab offering.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (‘Freshfields’) officially opened its first Freshfields Lab today in Berlin. The global law Firm is working collaboratively with clients in the space to develop technology-based solutions that tackle the challenges and opportunities stemming from digitization across the legal sector and clients’ own industry sectors. Based in Berlin’s community of innovators known as the Factory Berlin, this is the first location for the Firm’s global Lab offering. Other locations are planned.

Today’s mass claims litigation, global investigations, cyber risk, and complex competition issues mean that clients need a combination of sophisticated legal advice and bespoke technology-based solutions. At the Lab, Freshfields combines its world class legal advice and technological expertise to improve its unique approach to client experience.

Commenting on the launch of the Freshfields Lab, Matthias Koch, partner and head of Freshfields’ Digital Advisory Board, said:

“The Freshfields Lab is a vital part of our response to the challenges presented by a fast-moving digital landscape, ensuring that we can continue to support our clients and transform our own business in the face of digitization. Legal Tech and digitization sit at the heart of our client offering. The Lab will further strengthen the Firm’s expertise in both areas, and will enhance the processes adopted to develop ideas and products.”

Initial client projects, focused on the development of bespoke technology-based products that can deliver better outcomes on large and complex matters, are underway at the Freshfields Lab.

The activities in the Lab are led by multidisciplinary teams, including Freshfields lawyers, client representatives in legal and IT roles, as well as external digital experts, software providers and academics. A number of Freshfields’ lawyers split their time between working on Lab projects and traditional client work, thus embedding the Lab approach across the Firm.

The Lab is led by Freshfields Counsel Gerrit Beckhaus and Felix Netzer as well as Chief Legal Innovation officer Isabel Parker.

The Lab forms a part of Freshfields’ digitization strategy and reflects its connected approach to innovation, which sits at the heart of the Firm’s global client offering. The space enables the Firm to collaborate with clients, while drawing on the combined power of people, processes and new technology, in order to drive innovation and develop new models for service delivery. The Lab is a further example of Freshfields’ approach to innovation, with past examples including the Firm’s associate intrapreneurship programme and the Freshfields Hub, which was formerly known as the Legal Services Centre.


Notes for editors

Quotes from the Lab Leadership Team to mark the launch of the Lab

Isabel Parker, chief legal innovation officer at Freshfields and co-head of the Lab, said:
“The location [of the Lab] ensures that our innovation activities are embedded in a dynamic and collaborative ecosystem. It allows us to learn new skills from industries beyond legal services, and to bring our own legal expertise to the community.”

Felix Netzer, Freshfields counsel and co-head of the Freshfields Lab, commented:
“Berlin is the epicentre of the European start-up scene. From here the Firm will start to build the Freshfields Lab as a truly global initiative.”

Gerrit Beckhaus, Freshfields counsel and co-head of the Freshfields Lab, noted:
“We will be better able to help clients embrace the opportunities created by digitization and to respond to the increasingly complex challenges of mass claims, global transactions, investigations and cyber risks.”

About Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is a global law firm with a long-standing track record of successfully supporting the world's leading national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments on ground-breaking and business-critical mandates. Our 2,800 plus lawyers deliver results worldwide through our own offices and alongside leading local firms. Our commitment, local and multi-national expertise and business know-how means our clients rely on us when it matters most.