Mishcon de Reya’s international arbitration chief departs for Taylor Wessing

News of Karel Daele’s move comes hard on the heels of decision by Mishcon's partnership to green light £750m flotation


Karel Daele, Mishcon de Reya’s head of international arbitration, is leaving the firm for Taylor Wessing.

Daele, who is expected to join his new firm on completion of his notice period, was a partner at Mishcon for nine years and built up the firm’s international arbitration practice, particularly in investor-state disputes. 

News of his departure comes hard on the heels of a vote by more than three quarters of Mishcons’ partnership for the firm to float on the London Stock Exchange.

His expertise is, in part, informed by the breadth of his experience in emerging markets, particularly in African-related arbitrations, having spent six years at Tanzanian firm Mkono & Co Advocates before joining Mishcon. 

Daele brings a robust arbitral hinterland to his new firm, having worked at leading arbitration practices at Wilmer Hale, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and leading Belgian independent Stibbe earlier in his career. He is understood to be moving with a managing associate. 

His combination of global insights, arbitral awareness and solid commercial sensibility will be attractive to Taylor Wessing, which has a strong European network. It will benefit from Daele’s insights into ICC and LCIA arbitrations. At the same time, his civil law qualification supports the firm’s German and Brussels offices, as does his African-related insights for French clients. 

Taylor Wessing UK managing partner Shane Gleghorn said: "We're seeing an increasing demand for lawyers who have a track-record of success in respect of complex international arbitrations. We continue to invest in our disputes and investigations group because of the increasing client demand, and Karel's appointment significantly strengthens our team so that we can provide the highest quality of representation for our clients."

In London, Daele will work with Laurence Lieberman, who has a strong India practice, and fellow arbitration partners Donata Freiin von Enzberg and Nick Storrs, under the leadership of Andrew Howell, who succeeded Gleghorn as head of disputes in 2018.

During Daele’s tenure at Mishcon, the firm has arguably broadened and deepened its international arbitration practice. In May 2020 it recruited the highly regarded Louis Flannery QC from Stephenson Harwood in London to co-head the arbitration team with Daele.

It also launched a Singapore office, where arbitration partner Gavin Margetson, a former Herbert Smith Freehills alumnus, has practised since August 2020. However, in the same year partner Ben Giaretta joined Fox Williams.

Last week Mishcon announced a £150 million litigation fund, MDR Solutions I, a joint venture with Harbour Litigation Funding, which will also invest in international arbitrations,

A Mishcon spokesperson said: "In the nine years Karel has been a partner at Mishcon de Reya he has played a key role in developing our international arbitration practice. We thank him for all his hard work and wish him well in his new role."

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