14 Sep 2020

Ben Giaretta to join Fox Williams

Leading London disputes partner exits Mishcon de Reya to join respected independent firm

Ben Giaretta is joining Fox Williams in London Shutterstock

London-based arbitration lawyer Ben Giaretta has left Silver Circle firm Mishcon de Reya to join Fox Williams.

Giaretta, who joined Mishcon in February 2018, will leave the firm to team up with well-regarded London dispute resolution figures such as litigator Gavin Foggo, and Peter Ashford, the veteran head of Fox Williams’ international arbitration group. 

Prior to joining Mishcon, Giaretta spent nearly 20 years at Ashurst, becoming a partner in 2009. During that time he worked in both the London and Singapore offices, setting up Ashurst’s Singapore arbitration practice, before returning to London.

Giaretta is a successful counsel in commercial arbitrations, and works extensively as an arbitrator. His departure from Mishcon is said to be amicable. In a social media post on LinkedIn this weekend, Giaretta indirectly referenced the move, saying “In our careers, in particular, new doors open which we owe it to ourselves to step through,” ahead of announcing the switch on Monday morning.

In recent years, Giaretta’s standing in the arbitral world has risen considerably. He is the current chair of the London branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration, one of that association’s largest and most influential branches, given CIArb is headquartered in London. He has been prominent in leading virtual training and development, a key priority for CIArb.

That same expertise also saw him appointed among the first wave of arbitrators to the new London Chamber of Arbitration and Mediation, which launched in May.

Additionally, Giaretta brings his deep knowledge of Asian arbitration to Fox Williams, with panel appointments from Korean, Hong Kong, Indonesian and Malaysian arbitral institutions, while his Singaporean experience saw him lead Ashurst’s dispute resolution team locally, and build strong connections with Singapore’s International Arbitration Centre. He has also built up links with Saudi Arabia’s nascent arbitration scene.   

A noted commentator on LinkedIn on arbitral issues, Giaretta is widely respected for posts demystifying, popularising, and educating on commercial arbitration matters, and his thought leadership will be a significant bonus for Fox Williams.  

While Giaretta will be missed by Mishcon, his exit is arguably offset by the arrival in May of Louis Flannery QC, the former head of international arbitration at Stephenson Harwood. Flannery—one of the few solicitor-silks not practicing at a Magic Circle law firm—is a leading author, advocate and practitioner with both an extensive arbitral network and an active client base. Flannery’s commercial practice will complement that of Mishcon’s head of international arbitration, Karel Daele, in investor-state arbitration.

Giaretta is not the only exit from Mishcon’s disputes group this year. The firm saw banking litigators Mohammed Khamisa QC and Masoud Zabeti exit for Greenberg Traurig in London in February, while a three-partner team exited in New York for King & Wood Mallesons in January.