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Founder of UK Law Firm Freshfields Represented Slave Owners

Posted Jun 30, 2009 12:31 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The 19th-century founder of the British law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer had links to slavery, a newspaper investigation has found.

The Financial Times reports that Freshfields founder James William Freshfield and his sons represented several slave owners, mostly from the Caribbean, and acted as trustees of the owners’ estates.

However, Freshfield also had anti-slavery credentials. He was an active member of the Church Missionary Society, “which was committed to ... the abolition of the slave trade,” the law firm said.

Reuters noted the Financial Times story.

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