Herbert Smith Freehills has appointed Christian Leathley to the role of US Head of International Arbitration in New York.
Christian, who is also the Head of the firm’s Latin America Group, is based in Herbert Smith Freehills’ New York office, where he has been based since 2015. Prior to relocating to the New York office Christian was based in the firm’s London office.
A highly-regarded international arbitration specialist with nearly 20 years of experience, Christian focuses his practice on international commercial and investment arbitration servicing clients’ interests in all countries throughout Latin America. He also regularly appears as an advocate before all major international arbitration tribunals, with particular experience in the practice of public international law.
Christian acts for corporations and sovereign states across all major industry sectors, and in particular energy (oil & gas and power), technology, construction, engineering, mining, media and telecommunications. His experience includes advising: the Kingdom of Spain in various Energy Charter Treaty arbitrations under the UNCITRAL and SCC rules; the Republic of Costa Rica in a CAFTA-DR claim commenced under the UNCITRAL rules; and a major Spanish infrastructure company in a number of International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) arbitrations regarding a central Asian investment.
Recognized in Chambers Global 2018, Chambers USA 2018, Chambers Latin America 2018, The Legal 500 United States 2018 and The Legal 500 Latin American 2018, Christian has cemented a strong reputation in the United States, Latin America and right across the globe. He was also recognized by peers as being in the Global Top 10 of “Future Leaders in Arbitration” by Who’s Who Legal‘s survey last year. He is fluent in English and Spanish, and is qualified to practice in both England & Wales, and New York. Christian is also an Adjunct Professor at NYU School of Law where he teaches international arbitration.
Since opening the office in September 2012, the New York office has more than doubled in size to include 13 partners, 3 counsel and over 30 fee-earners, along with a full team of business services and support personnel. Recently, Amal Bouchenaki, who also practices international arbitration, was promoted to partner in the firm’s New York office. In her practice, Amal acts as counsel in complex treaty based arbitration proceedings and international commercial arbitrations conducted under the major arbitration rules.
Commenting on his new role, Christian said: “I look forward to leading our international arbitration practice in the United States. We have a very strong team in New York already, and we are well-positioned to continue expanding while providing clients with a seamless and integrated service across the firm’s global network – one of Herbert Smith Freehills’ greatest strengths.”
The New York office also forms a hub for the firm’s Latin America Group, which includes a multi-disciplinary team of finance, infrastructure and disputes attorneys. Led by Christian, the Latin America team in New York also includes project finance partner Edward Dougherty, and projects and infrastructure partner Juan-José Zentner.