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 and the 41st largest law firms in Germany by revenues.
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. 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.
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.
In 2015 Osborne Clarke were awarded law firm of the year awards by both The Lawyer and Legal Business.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
The firm has established a reputation for working in a number of sectors, but references the following list on their corporate website:
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, and a commitment to environmental issues through extensive recycling and environmentally friendly travel. They also involved in charitable giving 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 and sponsorship of the Roll on Monday initiative by St Mungo's, which offers homeless people placements in professional services firms.