Herbert Smith Freehills’ CEO appointed to ICC’s executive board
Justin D'Agostino welcomes appointment at ‘critical time for business, industries and economies’
Herbert Smith Freehills’ chief executive, Justin D'Agostino, has been appointed to the executive board of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in a move that promises to grow his profile in the wider business community.
D’Agostino, whose election for a three-year term was confirmed at the ICC World Council’s annual meeting in Mexico City on Tuesday (14 June), joins an array of senior international business figures on the board, which sets the ICC’s strategy and policy and oversees it finances.
"It is a significant opportunity to be appointed to the ICC's executive board at such a critical time for business, industries and economies, and the people they serve and sustain,” he said.
"The aftershocks of the pandemic have merged with rapid technological, geopolitical and climate change to create one of the most uncertain landscapes for corporates and communities in most of our lifetimes.”
The move continues D'Agostino’s long association with the ICC, which represents more than 45 million companies across 100 countries promoting trade and commerce and lobbying supranational groups including the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation and the G20.
The Hong Kong-based lawyer is a former member of the ICC International Court of Arbitration; was the inaugural chair of its Belt and Road Commission, which seeks to make it the forum for hearing Belt and Road-related disputes; and is a a member of the ICC Governing Body on Disputes.
Other lawyers on the ICC’s executive board include Geneva-based White & Case partner Anne Veronique Schlaepfer, who is also a vice-president of the Paris-based ICC International Court of Arbitration, and Lebanon’s Nayla Comair-Obeid, founding partner of Obeid Law Firm.
The ICC’s secretary-general, John Denton, meanwhile, is a former partner and CEO of Australian independent firm Corrs Chambers Westgarth.
D'Agostino's new role at the ICC will complement his existing status as a champion of diversity: he is one of the few openly gay leaders of a major law firm and earlier this month his firm was named principal legal partner of next year’s WorldPride festival taking place in Sydney.
In January he became co-chair of the Equal Representation in Arbitration Pledge’s steering committee, which aims to increase the proportion of women appointed as arbitrators.
D’Agostino’s appointment comes as his predecessor as HSF’s global CEO, Mark Rigotti, also assumes a business leadership role, as head of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.