18 October 2016

HSF to launch arbitration centre in Australia

Herbert Smith Freehills is establishing a centre of excellence for international arbitration in Australia.

By Victoria Basham

Taras Vyshnya

According to a statement from the firm, which the Global Arbitration Review recently ranked as having the third-busiest arbitration practice in the world, the centre will better connect its international arbitration specialists with clients to provide advice on complex, cross-border disputes.

HSF global head of disputes, Justin D'Agostino, commented: ‘With increasing numbers of Australian companies involved in complex cross-border transactions and international investments, we have seen interest in international arbitration in Australia rise as a way to resolve disputes.’

Standalone practice

Dedicated arbitration partner Brenda Horrigan is relocating from the firm’s Shanghai office to Sydney this month for the launch and will work closely with partners Don Robertson and Leon Chung in Sydney and Liz Macknay in Perth. She has worked in arbitration in a number of emerging markets including China and Russia, but said her move to Australia is an attempt to consolidate her experience into a standalone practice area.

Emerging markets

Ms Horrigan told Australasian Lawyer that investing in emerging markets carries ‘unique opportunities and challenges and by integrating the Australian arbitration practice together with the arbitration practice throughout the world, we bring a lot of knowledge and experience about those jurisdictions to the Australian clients.’

‘It is distinct from domestic litigation and so the aim really will be to take Australia and plug it into what is already our market leading practice.’

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