Is there an unexploded Nazi bomb under your law firm?

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By Judge John Hack on

Release of online bombing map of the German aerial blitz on London shows some of the world’s biggest names in corporate law could be at risk of being blown to kingdom come


Forget downwards pressure on fee rates, competition from US, and even Chinese, rivals and the growing band of accountancy alternative business structures — the biggest potential threat to City law firms is Hermann Wilhelm Göring.

Exclusive Legal Cheek research shows a possible cluster of unexploded German Second World War bombs lies beneath some of the City’s most renowned legal names.

Recently released data from the Bomb Sight Project — which is mapping London’s bomb census during The Blitz between August 1940 and June 1941 — illustrates that at least seven big name law firms are in potential danger.

The current offices of Clifford Chance, Herbert Smith Freehills, Clyde & Co, Pinsent Masons, King & Wood Mallesons, Mayer Brown and Baker & McKenzie sit near as dammit atop the positions where Nazi bombs fell.

Sadly for fans of irony, the City’s foremost Anglo-German players — Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Taylor Wessing — seem to be in the clear.

Where the bombs fell: Clifford Chance


Herbert Smith Freehills


Clyde & Co


Pinsent Masons


King & Wood Mallesons


Mayer Brown


Baker & McKenzie


Some 20,000 Londoners were killed and about 1 million homes destroyed during the Blitz as Göring’s Luftwaffe pounded the city for 57 nights on the trot to kick off the campaign.

The bombing map was previously only available for viewing in the reading room of the National Archives. But the online Bomb Sight project has now made the maps much more widely available — and given the management and facilities committees at the law firms listed here something to cogitate over late at night.

Indeed, only at the end of last month, a 1,000lb unexploded Nazi bomb was unearthed at a building site near London’s Tower Bridge. When Army experts detonated it in a controlled exercise in a Kent quarry, the explosion was heard up to 10 miles away.

Images via Google Maps