Fieldfisher underlines international arbitration ambitions with hire of London-based partner from Omnia
Ania Farren climbs on board ‘to be part of continuing dynamic growth’
Fieldfisher has secured an arbitration specialist from Omnia Strategy in London as it looks to build on an ongoing project to establish a leading international practice.
Ania Farren has made the move after more than three years as a partner at disputes boutique Omnia Strategy, which is led by Cherie Blair KC. She has also worked for litigation funder Vannin Capital, now part of Fortress Investments, as a managing director, passporting that experience to an ICCA taskforce on third-party funding.
Farren brings strong arbitral credentials to her new firm having worked in Paris as well as London and for a variety of leading firms, including Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, K&L Gates, Baker Botts and Shearman & Sterling.
She specialises in commercial arbitration, investor-state disputes and public international law with a practice that is rooted in key business sectors including energy, oil and gas, and natural resources in Western, Central and Eastern Europe. She will also continue to sit as an independent arbitrator as a member of Arbitra International.
Farren looks well set to help Fieldfisher in its push to build a broader arbitration practice away from oligarch-related work in London, focused on arbitration hubs in London and Paris, and growth in its Brussels and Munich offices, where it hired arbitration partner Philipp Duncker from Hogan Lovells in September 2022.
Dual-qualified arbitration partner Shivani Sanghi also joined the firm, in January last year, to head the India practice from London.
Farren is the current chair of the ICC’s UK Commission on Arbitration and ADR, as the ICC International Court of Arbitration celebrates its centenary year, and co-chair of the International Arbitration Charity Ball Committee, which held its first event since the pandemic in 2022.
Colin Gibson, head of dispute resolution at FieldFisher, said: “With her reputation in the market, wide network of international contacts and excellent technical expertise, Ania perfectly complements our practice."
He added: “[We] have built an international arbitration team that can go toe to toe with anyone. Ten years ago, we were not on the map for arbitration. Through a strategic push, excellence and some luck we now have a large team across Europe's key arbitration centres that handles very high value (multi-billion) commercial and investment arbitrations.
“What has brought Ania here is our shared belief that we are only halfway to the summit. She is joining to be part of continuing dynamic growth in an environment with an emphasis on innovation, autonomy, teamwork and diversity. She is a perfect fit.”
Farren told GLP she was excited about adding her advocacy skills to the firm, given a move from law firms to bring more advocacy in-house; a trend evidenced by growth in solicitor advocates at rival firms like Herbert Smith Freehills, Freshfields and arbitration boutique Three Crowns.
She said she also hoped Fieldfisher would benefit from her investment treaty experience and her work as an arbitrator, which “brings with it perspective on tribunal deliberations and tribunal dynamics,” as well as her institutional knowledge of ICCA, the ICC and the LCIA.
“This is a team with all the right foundations, but it’s dynamic and ready to hit the big leagues in terms of growth and profile,” she added. “I hope I can be part of that."
Simon Sloane, co-head of international arbitration, said he was “very excited about the impact Ania's arrival will have on the Fieldfisher team and our wider arbitration offering".
Gibson added: “We will continue to hire and we are already looking at associate hires to support Ania and the existing team.”