Osborne Clarke is an international legal practice headquartered in London, England with offices in the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, France, the Netherlands, China, Hong Kong, India, Singapore and the United States. The firm has over 250 partners and 1,600 employees and is the 21st largest law firm in the UK[4] and the 41st largest law firms in Germany by revenues.[5]

The firm played a significant role in the development of the railways in Southern England through its historic relationship with Isambard Kingdom Brunel and the Great Western Railway.[6] Today, the firm's high profile in the media and technology sector has made them the legal firm of choice for firms including Facebook, Dell, Nintendo, News International and Vodafone.[7]

Osborne Clarke was awarded with the TMT Law firm of the Year awarded at The Lawyer Awards June 2012, for their work in advising mobile provider Everything Everywhere on launching the first mobile payments product.[8]

In 2015 Osborne Clarke were awarded law firm of the year awards by both The Lawyer and Legal Business.[9]


Osborne Clarke was founded in Bristol, England, in 1748 by Jeremiah Osborne. In 1987 Osborne Clarke opened its first London office. Over the next decade the firm opened offices in Reading, Cologne, Munich and Silicon Valley.

The law firm played a significant part in the development of the railways in the UK when it was appointed to represent the Great Western Railway Company, working closely with Isambard Kingdom Brunel on the establishment of the Great Western Main Line route from London Paddington to Bristol and the West Country.[10] The nature of the relationship between Osborne Clarke and Brunel is best highlighted by one notable occasion when Jeremiah Osborne the Third (grandson to the founder) is said to have personally rowed Brunel down the River Avon to survey the bank for the route of the Great Western Railway.[11]

The partnership's recent history has been characterised by two strands of development. Firstly, they have undertaken significant international expansion, particularly into the United States and Germany where they are now the 41st largest law firm.[5] On 9 July 2012 the firm announced that two European firms, SLA Studio Legale Associato in Italy and Spanish firm Osborne Clarke Spain, had become part of Osborne Clarke.[12]

Secondly the firm has seen considerable expansion in the media and technology sectors, in which they are considered a tier 1 firm.[7] Notable clients in this sector include Yahoo! and Facebook.[13]

Key dates


After expanding significantly through the dot-com bubble of the late nineties and early 2000s, the firm has undergone a comprehensive restructure. The firm retains a comprehensive range of departments, however Osborne Clarke is considered a first tier firm in both the Media and Entertainment and Brand Management sectors.[13]


International Council chairman Stefan Rizor has been re-elected for a second term. Simon Beswick has been confirmed to be Osborne Clarke international chief executive and the firm's head of markets internationally.[28]

Key industry sectors

The firm has established a reputation for working in a number of sectors, but references the following list on their corporate website:

Notable cases

  • Osborne Clarke acted on behalf of Carphone Warehouse on the £2 billion demerger of its fixed line business TalkTalk.[29][30]
  • Osborne Clarke advised London & Continental Railways and Eurostar International Limited on the development of St Pancras station, London as an international rail terminal.[31]
  • Osborne Clarke advised Babcock Marine on £1 billion defence contracts, including the £560 million extension of the Warship Support Modernisation Initiative.[32][33]
  • Osborne Clarke advised Grand Central on its sale to Arriva.[34]
  • Osborne Clarke advised CBRE Global Investors on the £161.5m sale and leaseback of Park Plaza London Waterloo[35]
  • Osborne Clarke acted for the management team of Odeon & UCI Cinema Group in December 2016 on the £921m sale of Odeon & UCI by private equity firm Terra Firma.[36]
  • Osborne Clarke advised Grifols on a $6.3bn refinancing; the second largest refinancing of a Spanish company in history[37].

Corporate social responsibility

Osborne Clarke undertakes a number of corporate social responsibility activities including getting their workforce to undertake 28 hours a year of volunteering, 2,000 hours of pro-bono activities each year[38], and a commitment to environmental issues through extensive recycling and environmentally friendly travel.[39] They also involved in charitable giving[40] and fundraising, as well as volunteering and supporting young people and those who are vulnerable. This is delivered through their award winning partnership with the Lighthouse Group[41] and sponsorship of the Roll on Monday initiative by St Mungo's, which offers homeless people placements in professional services firms[42].

External links


  1. ^ "The Lawyer: Osborne Clarke moves HQ to London". 
  2. ^ "Osborne Clarke appoints Ray Berg as its new UK Managing Partner". Osborne Clarke. Retrieved 15 February 2015. 
  3. ^ "Osborne Clarke - Verein". 
  4. ^ "The top 200 Law Firms in the UK". 
  5. ^ a b "Juve Handbook of German Law Firms". 
  6. ^ "Brunel 200 - Working With Visionaries" (PDF). 
  7. ^ "The Lawyer Awards". 
  8. ^ "Osborne Clarke – an International Legal Practice: We're law firm of the year for 2015 – again!". www.osborneclarke.com. Retrieved 2015-10-07. 
  9. ^ "Bristol Floating Harbour - Osborne Clarke's relationship with Isambard Kingdom Brunel". 
  10. ^ "Clifton Rugby Football Club History". 
  11. ^ "Chamber Student - The Osborne Identity". 
  12. ^ "The Lawyer - OWA pan-Euro group opens in Silicon Valley". 
  13. ^ "OC Dumps German Merger for mass lateral hiring". The Lawyer. 
  14. ^ "Osborne Clarke Press Release - Brussels office opening". 
  15. ^ "Osborne Clarke Press Release - Paris office opening". 
  16. ^ "Osborne Clarke Official Website - New York office opening". 
  17. ^ "OC opens for business in San Francisco". Osborne Clarke website. 
  18. ^ "OC opens new office in Amsterdam". Osborne Clarke website. 
  19. ^ "Osborne Clarke's latest frontier: can it make India work? - The Lawyer Legal News and Jobs Advancing the business of law". The Lawyer Legal News and Jobs Advancing the business of law. 2014-11-03. Retrieved 2018-01-25. 
  20. ^ "Osborne Clarke hires 2 Bird & Bird partners to launch HK office Asian Legal Business". www.legalbusinessonline.com. Retrieved 2018-01-25. 
  21. ^ "Osborne Clarke website Osborne Clarke announces association with OC Queen Street". Retrieved 2018-01-25. 
  22. ^ "Osborne Clarke enters mainland China with new association". The Lawyer Legal News and Jobs Advancing the business of law. 2017-05-02. Retrieved 2018-01-25. 
  23. ^ "Osborne Clarke opens new office in Sweden through team hire". The Lawyer Legal News and Jobs Advancing the business of law. 2017-09-07. Retrieved 2018-01-25. 
  24. ^ "Osborne Clarke's Indian best friend targets tech work with office launch". The Lawyer Legal News and Jobs Advancing the business of law. 2018-02-07. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  25. ^ Osborne Clarke re-elects international chief exec and chairman, Legal Week, May 8, 2015 (retrieved on May 17, 2015).
  26. ^ "The Lawyer - Osborne Clarke leads on Carphone Warehouse demerger". 
  27. ^ "The Lawyer - Massive Regeneration Projects Dominate The Lawyer Awards". 
  28. ^ "This is Cornwall - Law firm takes advisory role on waste energy plant contract". 
  29. ^ "The Lawyer - Osborne Clarke Keeps Babcock Role On Devonport Extension". 
  30. ^ "Arriva in Grand Central Railway takeover". BBC. 
  31. ^ "Osborne Clarke website Osborne Clarke advises CBRE Global Investors on £161.5m sale and leaseback of Park Plaza London Waterloo". Retrieved 2018-01-25. 
  32. ^ "Osborne Clarke website Osborne Clarke advises management team of Odeon & UCI Cinemas Group in relation to its proposed sale to AMC Theatres". Retrieved 2018-01-25. 
  33. ^ "Osborne Clarke website Financial results 2017: Osborne Clarke reports 12% revenue increase". Retrieved 2018-01-25. 
  34. ^ "Osborne Clarke Community and environment". Retrieved 2018-01-25. 
  35. ^ "Unified - Working For Osborne Clarke". 
  36. ^ "The 2010 Charity Times Awards". 
  37. ^ "The Lighthouse Group". 
  38. ^ RollOnFriday. "News: RollOnMonday - dozens of homeless people employed by law firms". www.rollonfriday.com. Retrieved 2018-01-25.