HSF does a high five in Spain

Herbert Smith Freehills expands disputes offering in Spain bringing in five-strong arbitration and litigation team from five-year old local practice.


Herbert Smith Freehills has further strengthened its disputes offering in Europe with the hire of new Madrid Partner David Arias, who will join the firm with a team of four litigation and arbitration lawyers.

Exciting project

The new team will join the firm's Madrid office next week, from disputes boutique Arias SLP, which was founded by Mr Arias in 2014. Prior to founding Arias, he spent 16 years as a partner at Pérez-Llorca, where he established its dispute resolution practice. A professor in procedural law and arbitration from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Mr Arias is very active and well-known in the international arbitration community, both in Spain and beyond. He has served as arbitrator and counsel in hundreds of cases in venues across Europe, America and Africa, and he regularly participates in proceedings administered by the main arbitration institutions such as the ICC, PCA, LCIA, ICDR and SCC, among others. Commenting on his new appointment, Mr Arias said “The entire Arias SLP team is very excited to join a firm as prestigious as Herbert Smith Freehills. It has very quickly become a go-to firm for business law in the Spanish market and is also ranked as the world's No. 1 firm for disputes and arbitration. We are now part of an ambitious and exciting project, which will allow us to better tackle the challenges ahead and offer a broader and more comprehensive service to our clients.”

Team boost

Mr Arias joins HSF alongside current Arias partner Luis Capiel, who will join the firm as of counsel.  Mr Capiel joined Arias SLP in 2018 and has over 10 years’ experience practicing international arbitration in Europe and Latin America. A German qualified lawyer, he is also admitted to the Madrid and the Munich Bars. Also joining with the rest of the Arias team are associates Oliver Cojo, Diego Alexandre-García and Svetlana Shelepina. This team will be incorporated into the HSF Madrid litigation and arbitration practice, which is led by Partner Eduardo Soler-Tappa who focuses on international arbitration and other international disputes, primarily in the energy and banking sectors. HSF Madrid managing partner Miguel Riaño said, “The Arias team will boost our already consolidated disputes and arbitration department in Madrid and will bolster the tremendous success that has already been achieved by the practice, which has become a key area of the Spanish office in a very short timeframe.” Justin D'Agostino, HSF global head of disputes, added “Client demand for our global disputes expertise remains high and, as such, we will continue strengthening our offering right across the global network.”

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