Stewarts adds Norton Rose Fulbright partner in London to head international arbitration team

Leading disputes firm confirms arrival of Sherina Petit after nearly 15 years at NRF

Sherina Petit Image courtesy of Stewarts

Leading disputes boutique Stewarts Law has hired a partner from Norton Rose Fulbright in London as head of international arbitration and head of India. 

Sherina Petit will join Stewarts at a date to be agreed, Global Legal Post understands. She has spent the past 15 years at NRF, where she has led the India practice since 2015. 

Stewarts managing partner, Stuart Dench, said: “We are delighted to confirm that Sherina Petit will join Stewarts as head of international arbitration and head of India. We will make a further announcement following her arrival at the firm.” 

Petit’s arrival at Stewarts replenishes the firm’s international arbitration bench following the exit of former practice head Philippa Charles in February for Twenty Essex. In July the firm also bolstered its commercial litigation bench with the hire of partner Alex Leitch from Paul Hastings, where he was head of complex litigation. 

Petit brings strong leadership credentials of her own, having headed NRF’s arbitration practice across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. She focuses on commercial arbitration under all the major institutional rules and is well regarded for her acumen and knowledge of ICC and LCIA tribunal procedures and practice. 

Petit also has significant experience in investor state disputes resolution, including business investment treaty claims, mediation and litigation, including the enforcement of awards and judgments.

Best known for her Indian work, her move comes at a time of reform for Indian arbitration practice and liberalisation for its commercial lawyers, with the Bar Council of India announcing in March that it will allow international law firms and counsel to practise foreign law in India in a significant shift of policy designed to attract more foreign direct investment.

Petit is the second senior arbitration partner to leave NRF in London this year, with the highly regarded James Rogers exiting for Jenner & Block in February. In Singapore the firm also saw arbitration partner Andrew Battinson leave in July to lead Linklaters’ arbitration team in Asia and the Middle East. 

Meantime the firm’s global CEO, Gerry Pecht, a litigator, resigned suddenly earlier this month after 43 years at the firm, with a year of his tenure left to run.

Petit’s exit will be offset in part in London by the return of Middle East disputes head Paul Stothard, who has relocated and will manage his practice between London and Dubai. 

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