Mishcon de Reya’s international arbitration head to join Littleton Chambers in London

Arbitration solicitor-silk Louis Flannery KC to move across in August and be called to the Bar

Louis Flannery KC

Mishcon de Reya’s head of international arbitration Louis Flannery KC is set join London’s Littleton Chambers, where he will be called to the Bar and practise as counsel alongside arbitrator appointments.

Flannery, who was appointed as King’s Counsel in 2018, is one of the small and now recently declining band of solicitor silks to be appointed as leading counsel. 

Prior to his time at Mishcon, he was a mainstay at Stephenson Harwood, where he also led the arbitration practice for more than 11 years, joining as a partner after five years at Howes Percival. Before that, he spent six years at legacy SJ Berwin, having trained and qualified at Wedlake Bell.

His record includes appearances before various international tribunals and domestic courts, such as the High Court and the Court of Appeal. He is perhaps best known for his work in the UK Supreme Court Halliburton v Chubb litigation, one of the most high-profile international arbitration cases for a decade or more. The litigation arose from the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster.  

The case redefined the legal test for bias about multiple appointments of arbitrators. Flannery appeared for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators alongside 2023 Bar Council chair Nick Vineall QC for the London Maritime Arbitrators Association, as interveners in the appeal before the Supreme Court. Flannery’s expertise extends to international commercial arbitration as counsel and arbitrator under major institutional rules like LCIA, ICC, UNCITRAL and SCC.

Gavin Mansfield KC, head of Littleton Chambers, said: “[Flannery’s] reputation as a leading expert in international arbitration precedes him, and he will undoubtedly be a valuable addition to our already thriving group.”

Flannery will join in August and work alongside established practitioners such as Charles Samek KC – who rejoined Littleton from 11 Stone Buildings in 2015 – and Rupert Cruz KC, alongside the set’s established juniors including Sam Neaman and David Lascelles.

Flannery said: “I have immensely enjoyed my time at Mishcon de Reya and my 34-year practice as a solicitor. However, the call of the Bar has become too compelling to ignore.”

He added that despite spending “a third of a century as a solicitor… I have been thinking about joining the Bar almost continually throughout that time”. 

During this period, Flannery said he had spent “researching and forming a perspective on all the leading sets, [having] worked with every single one of them”.

He said: “I approached very few of them and finally selected Littleton over other sets due to pure intuition. No one joining a new organisation can be truly certain [about] what it will be like on the inside but I am more than confident that my hunch about Littleton will prove correct and that I will have finally found my true home.”

Flannery said he nearly made the jump across four years ago, but was persuaded to stay by an “excellent offer” from Mishcon and a looming pandemic. 

He added: “I shall miss my many friends at Mishcon but am delighted to remain working with my soon-to-be former colleagues on my existing matters whilst not having to deal with billing guides or targets that bedevil every law firm.

“With Greg Falkof at the helm, the firm will continue to expand the footprint I helped establish in the sands of international arbitration,” he concluded, with Mischon confirming Falkof’s appointment as Flannery’s replacement.

Writing on LinkedIn, Falkof vowed “to follow the trajectory” started by Flannery. Hugo Plowman, chair of dispute resolution at Mishcon, praised Flannery’s contributions to the firm, saying he had “played a pivotal role in establishing our international arbitration group”.

Mishcon has experienced high turnover in its arbitration team over the last four years, with five partners departing, including Karel Daele to Taylor Wessing in 2021 and Ben Giaretta to Fox Williams in 2020.

In November, Alex Slade left to join Mantle Law as a partner in London, while Zachary Segal joined Litigation Capital Management earlier this year. Flannery himself was the fifth exit. 

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