Herbert Smith recruits senior arbitration specialist for mainland China practice

Herbert Smith LLP has announced the recruitment of Brenda Horrigan, a highly regarded international arbitration practitioner, who will be joining the firm as a partner in its global dispute resolution practice. Upon her arrival she will be based in Shanghai as part of Herbert Smith’s Asia disputes team, which numbers over 80 dispute resolution lawyers and is one of the largest groups of dispute resolution specialists of any international law firm operating in Asia.

Formerly the co-head of the international arbitration practice group at Salans, Brenda relocated to Shanghai over two years ago from Salans Paris where she had spent the past decade. Prior to that, she was based in Salans Moscow.

Regarded as one of the leaders in her field, Brenda’s appointments include Vice-Chair of the Asia Expatriate Committee (Arbitration) of the United States Council for International Business and Vice-Chair of the China Committee of the American Bar Association (International law section).

In her new role at Herbert Smith, Brenda will focus on advising multinationals operating in mainland China, as well as PRC clients with offshore disputes arising from their outbound commercial activities, with a particular focus on disputes in emerging markets. She will work closely with Herbert Smith’s arbitration specialists across the region, in particular with Justin D’Agostino in Hong Kong and May Tai and in Beijing. Brenda will also be working alongside other members of the Asian disputes team, regularly employing her investment treaty expertise for which she is recognised as an outstanding practitioner.

This successful recruitment marks a further milestone in the ongoing development of Herbert Smith’s international arbitration practice in greater China, with the firm now fielding four partners across Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Justin D’Agostino, head of the Greater China international arbitration practice, commented:

“Brenda’s recruitment is a clear affirmation of the central role China plays in our regional strategy. It also reinforces Herbert Smith’s reputation as the largest, and most experienced, disputes team in mainland China and Hong Kong.

We continue to see strong demand for disputes specialists based on the mainland. PRC clients increasingly prefer international arbitration as a dispute resolution mechanism, particularly in relation to offshore disputes. International companies operating in China also rely upon arbitration to resolve disputes. Brenda is a true leader in this field.”

Gavin Lewis, head of Asia disputes, added:

“Brenda’s upcoming arrival is highly significant for both the Greater China and Asia disputes practice. Her experience in working with both Chinese and international clients in the mainland is clearly important. Her background in investment disputes is also important, particularly at a time when China’s overseas investment programme continues to expand.

With this appointment we cement our position as the leading disputes firm in China and across Asia.”

Paula Hodges, co-head of Herbert Smith’s international arbitration practice commented:

“I am delighted to welcome Brenda to the practice. Our strategy over the past few years has been to add depth and breadth to our teams in the areas that matter most to our clients. Brenda’s international experience and outlook complements our leading practices in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Russia. The fact that Brenda is US qualified will also be an asset when we open in New York later this year.”

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