Trowers hires Farrer & Co’s arbitration head as it wins licence to open in Singapore

Arrival of Hendrik Puschmann comes as UK firm finalises its plans to launch in Asia’s premier arbitration hub


Trowers & Hamlins has boosted its international arbitration practice with the hire of Farrer & Co partner Hendrik Puschmann in London as it prepares to open in Singapore having just been granted a licence to set up shop there.

The dual-qualified German and English lawyer, who founded Farrers’ arbitration group and led it for more than six years, will co-lead Trowers’ international arbitration practice across its nine offices in the UK, the Middle East and Asia.

His arrival at Trowers comes just as his new firm prepares to add a second Asia office alongside its Kuala Lumpur arm. It will be led by Abdulhaq Mohammed, who is currently based in Bahrain. 

While Trowers has a good arbitration pedigree, not least in the Middle East, where it is particularly highly regarded for construction and commercial work, Puschmann’s arrival augments the firm’s overall litigation expertise thanks to his arbitral nous, gained over nearly 20 years of practice.

Lucy James and Nick Levy, co-heads of disputes, said Puschmann was “a real arbitration heavy-weight and his unparalleled cross-border experience will significantly enhance our international bench strength”.

They added: “Hendrik joins Trowers at an exciting time as we continue to expand our highly regarded dispute resolution offering, most recently with the granting of our licence to operate in Singapore, a key arbitration hub.”

Before joining Farrers, Puschmann was a senior associate at K&L Gates in London and Frankfurt, while he spent close to seven years at White & Case in London, Berlin and Moscow. That diversity of regional experience is matched by his sectoral breadth, having worked on post-M&A, joint venture and franchising claims to construction and shipbuilding disputes and in proceedings against former directors for breach of their duties to art law cases. 

He also has significant expertise in investor-state treaty claims and has acted as an arbitrator himself in disputes heard under all the principal rules, including the LCIA, LMAA and ICC, but also their German and Austrian equivalents, as well as Asian arbitral powerhouses like SIAC. Puschmann also has distinguished academic credentials, lecturing at both Oxford and Cambridge University.

He said he was attracted to Trowers because of its track record in resolving construction and infrastructure disputes and its fast-growing network of international offices, which he said offered “unique opportunities”.

He also had warm words for former colleagues, calling Farrers “a fantastic place, which I’ll miss very much” and expressing pride in the arbitration practice he had a hand in building. 

Trowers signalled its intention to open an office in Singapore, a major arbitration hub, last summer. The Singapore Legal Services Regulatory Authority has now granted it a licence and the firm is putting the finishing touches to its plans. An alliance with Singapore disputes firm Braddell Brothers is also under consideration. 

Meanwhile, a Farrers spokesperson noted the firm’s “thriving arbitration practice… as a core part of our wider burgeoning disputes team, which has enjoyed over 300% growth in the last five years”.

They added: “We have a recruitment process in play and look forward to appointing a new head of arbitration to lead the practice in its next phase. We thank Hendrik for contributing to the firm and wish him the best in his new role.”

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