20 Sep 2021

Akin Gump beefs up trade practice with partner hire from WilmerHale

Naboth van den Broek joins at a time of "unprecedented demand" for the US firm's trade practice

Naboth van den Broek

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has hired Naboth van den Broek as a partner from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr to bolster its international trade practice. 

Van den Broek brings with him more than two decades of experience advising companies and governments on international dispute settlement, policy and regulatory issues. In his new role at Akin Gump, van den Broek will work out of the firm’s London, Washington DC and Geneva offices. 

He has spent the bulk of his career with WilmerHale, most recently as a partner and co-chair of the Boston-based firm’s international group out of Washington DC, Brussels and London. 

Akin Gump chairperson Kim Koopersmith hailed van den Broek’s arrival as a “major addition” to the firm’s international trade practice. 

“He joins us at a great time, as our trade practice, which is the largest and deepest in the world, is seeing unprecedented demand from clients and is the busiest it has ever been,” she said. 

Van den Broek’s practice covers complex, treaty-based international dispute settlement and arbitration matters under World Trade Organisation and International Centre for Settlement of Investor Dispute rules, as well as in EU and US tribunals. He also handles international trade, investment and geopolitical issues, including free trade agreement and other treaty negotiations and international compliance and investigation matters. 

Outside his legal career, van den Broek has served as an adjunct professor of international trade and investment at the Georgetown University Law Center since 2012, and sits on the board of directors for Georgetown’s Institute of International Economic Law. 

“We are at a crossroads in terms of the challenges that companies and governments face today,” van den Broek said. “I am looking forward to leveraging the firm’s global platform to help clients as they face these issues and try to navigate them.”

Following van den Broek’s arrival, Akin Gump’s global international trade practice has grown to more than 70 lawyers based in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. It sits at the heart of the firm’s broader regulatory work, which includes more than 150 government regulatory lawyers and advisors, and its public law and policy practice, which it claims is the largest such practice in the industry.

Akin Gump has seen several notable partner hires and departures over the past year. It lost 19 lawyers, including six partners, to Allen & Overy when the Magic Circle firm set up shop in Los Angeles back in March. Going the other way, the firm beefed up its investment funds practice in New York in July with the arrival of Terence Rozier-Byrd, who joined the firm as a partner from Baker Botts where he was partner-in-charge of the New York office. 

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