Allen & Overy bolsters London arbitration practice with White & Case partner hire

Construction specialist Daniel Garton adds to Magic Circle firm’s ranks ahead of Shearman merger

Daniel Garton Photo courtesy of Allen & Overy

Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy has hired disputes lawyer Daniel Garton from White & Case in London.

Garton, who is a dual-qualified expert in construction arbitration, leaves White & Case after 17 years, over eight of them spent as a partner. He joined the US firm in 2006 as an associate, after two years spent at legacy firm Freehills in Brisbane. He is qualified in England and Wales, and Queensland.

He brings nearly two decades of experience delivering international construction and engineering projects, having acted on some of the world’s most significant construction arbitrations, including the energy, transportation and digital infrastructure sectors.

The move sees Garton swap White & Case’s 80-lawyer international arbitration and construction group in London, including more than 20 partners, to one historically more focused on investor-state dispute settlement for sovereign states and corporates. It is also known for arbitrations in the financial services, energy and telecoms sectors, around which construction will now become more prominent.  

Garton will add value to A&O’s transactional work as well as disputes. He has experience advising clients on contentious and non-contentious international construction and infrastructure developments, especially on the risk management and delivery of significant projects, from procurement, drafting and negotiation of contracts to contract administration.

He is also highly experienced in international arbitration, litigation, adjudication and mediation and has advised clients throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, the Americas and Asia Pacific.

While White & Case has seen exits, such as John Reynolds, who now heads Meysan Partners’ London office, it possesses senior talent in Dipen Sabharwal KC and Robert Wheal, both very experienced.

The firm restocked its arbitration ranks with Karim Mariey and Adam Tahsin, both promoted to partner in January 2023 and Laetitia Souesme, promoted to partner in January 2022.

A spokesperson said: “We can confirm that Daniel Garton is leaving White & Case. We wish him success in the future.” It declined to comment further on future recruitment strategy.

Garton’s advocacy experience will also boost A&O’s capabilities in some of the world’s largest international construction arbitrations across industries including energy, oil and gas, petrochemicals, data centres, transportation and mining.

All of these are growth areas for A&O as it approaches an autumn merger with Shearman & Sterling, with voting due to start on September 28 and conclude by October 13. 

A&O had boosted its arbitration ranks following Matthew Gearing KC’s departure with the 2022 arrival of David Herlihy from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom. However, it lost 2021 KC Kate McGill Davies to Skadden not long after, while talented counsel Naomi Briercliffe joined Squire Patton Boggs as a partner in March, with the prospect of Shearman’s arbitration lawyers adding further depth.

Mark Levy KC, co-head of A&O’s arbitration practice, said: “Daniel will bring a depth of international expertise to our construction arbitration offering, supporting clients in managing and mitigating project execution risk and efficiently resolving disputes when they arise.”

His colleague, Marie Stoyanov, added: “[Garton’s] diverse sectoral experience will be hugely beneficial to our clients, particularly as they face the challenge of balancing energy reliability, affordability and sustainability.”

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