Bird & Bird’s former London arbitration head launches own practice

Nick Peacock ‘excited to be truly independent and conflict-free for first time’

The former head of Bird & Bird’s London international arbitration group, Nick Peacock, has set up his own solo practice, Peacock Arbitration.

Peacock, who is noted for his strong India practice, left Bird & Bird last month after a three-year stint at the firm, which he joined from Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), where he spent more than 24 years.

The new practice will allow Peacock to focus on his work as an arbitrator in ad hoc and institutional arbitrations involving Indian entities in a conflict-free environment when interest in the Indian market is growing. 

His move echoes that of his close contemporary in Indian dispute matters, Sherina Petit, who left Norton Rose Fulbright in November 2023 for disputes boutique Stewarts.

Peacock said: “I am excited to be truly independent and conflict-free for the first time in my career. I expect the change to be transformational in my ability to take on arbitrator appointments to help parties resolve their disputes.

“I also look forward to focusing on advocacy as co-counsel or adviser to parties who want English law expertise or strategic help handling arbitrations in London, Singapore or elsewhere.”

His expertise spans diverse sectors, including technology, pharmaceuticals, energy, media and financial services. His London base complements his Asian network, which he will support at London International Disputes Week as a speaker at a session on Thursday (6 June) jointly organised by HSF and the Mumbai Centre for International Arbitration (MCIA).

His transition to solo practice is a significant milestone for Peacock after a distinguished career of more than 25 years with two prominent London-based law firms. 

At HSF, Peacock worked alongside leading figures including Laurence Shore, who joined Seladore Legal last week from BonelliErede, and longtime global head of arbitration Paula Hodges KC, who retired from HSF in April to practice as an independent arbitrator. 

While at HSF, Peacock held significant leadership positions, including head of the Singapore arbitration practice from 2009 to 2012 and later head of the India disputes practice. 

Peacock sits on the users’ council for both the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) while also serving as a member of the UK committee of ICC Arbitration. He is also a board member at the International Disputes Resolution Centre, London’s leading hearing centre. 

Peacock’s reputation is particularly distinguished in India-related matters. He has represented notable companies such as Tata Sons, Bharti Airtel, Vedanta and Reliance Group. He is also a founding member of MCIA council and has contributed extensively to its events and development.

In May, Indian advocates formed the Arbitration Bar of India at a meeting in New Delhi. The new association will be dedicated to fostering excellence, ethics and diversity in arbitration practice and promoting a shift in how arbitration is practised in India, a move welcomed by Peacock and endorsed by senior Indian government ministers.

Nick Peacock is speaking at the London International Disputes Week (LIDW) session From India to the world: rethinking approaches to multi-party and multi-contract arbitration, which takes place on Thursday 6 June from 14:00-15:30. Click here for further details.

GLP is an LIDW media sponsor.

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