McDermott boosts Paris arbitration offering with King & Spalding partner hire

K&S career lawyer Amy Frey moves over amid soaring demand for international dispute resolution advice
Portrait of Amy Frey

Amy Frey Image courtesy of McDermott Will & Emery

McDermott Will & Emery has bolstered its disputes offering in Paris with the hire of partner Amy Frey from King & Spalding (K&S). 

Frey primarily practices in international arbitration and associated enforcement actions, including supportive litigation procedures such as injunctions, annulments and interim relief. She also advises on investor-state disputes and risk management.  

At McDermott Frey will work alongside existing Paris disputes partner Nicholas Faguer, with the firm saying her hire strengthens its French and international arbitration and litigation offering at a time when demand for such advice is soaring. 

“We are delighted to expand our team with the addition of a specialist of Amy’s calibre,” said Grégoire Andrieux, the firm’s Paris managing partner.  

“Her deep arbitration experience, in Paris and internationally, will bring tremendous value to our clients whose dispute resolution needs are becoming increasingly complex,” he added. 

US-qualified in both Texas and Washington DC, Frey has joined McDermott having spent her entire career at K&S, which she joined in 2006. She made partner in 2016, the same year that she was admitted to the Paris Bar.

With experience spanning investment and commercial arbitrations across all the major institutions including the Paris-based ICC, she has acted in cases before the ICSID, the LCIA and the Swedish Chamber of Commerce, among others. She also advises on public international law and international human rights, which she has studied to doctorate level. 

Frey said she was impressed by McDermott’s commitment to the Paris office, first established in 2012, which she said had become “strongly established” locally. 

“I am looking forward to the opportunity to develop the arbitration practice in France, a practice that is strong in the firm's other offices, and to contribute to the development of the litigation practice internationally,’ she added. 

Frey’s arrival follows white-collar crime litigator Alexis Whirl leaving McDermott’s Paris office in May to join Eversheds Sutherland, six years after Whirl merged his practice with that of the US firm.

Going the other way, McDermott hired disputes lawyer Jack Thorne as a partner in London last month from Paul Hastings, having added litigation partners Joel Haims and Jonathan Henry in the US earlier in the summer from Morrison & Foerster and King & Spalding, respectively. The moves build on team hires in cyber security and IP law in the US and Europe earlier in the year.  

Commenting, K&S international arbitration co-head, Edward Kehoe, said: “Amy has been a great partner and friend. She will succeed in any venture that she chooses and we wish her the very best.”  

King & Spalding’s own European push has seen it add five partners to its corporate, finance and investments practice over the past month across Paris, London and Frankfurt from rivals including Reed Smith and Paul Hastings. 

In July the firm also announced new leadership for its Frankfurt office – its sole location in Germany – as part of a renewed management focus on that city and Singapore.  

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