B&M Euro disputes chief quits to form ADR boutique

Baker & McKenzie’s European disputes chief has quit to launch a new a new dispute resolution boutique.

Arbitration partner Christopher Newmark has hooked up with sole practitioner Dominic Spenser Underhill to form Spenser Underhill Newmark, which will come into existence at the beginning of February when Newmark leaves Baker & McKenzie after almost a decade.

Spenser Underhill told The Lawyer: “My main reason for setting up alone was that I wanted to sit on more arbitrations but also I couldn’t see a rosy future for state court litigation as it’s a dying market.

“I did foresee that other dispute resolution would be a faster and cheaper way forward for clients.”

Newmark specialises in international commercial arbitration and ADR and chaired Bakers’ European dispute resolution practice group. He trained as a mediator with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution in London (CEDR) in 1995 and is now one of CEDR’s core group of commercial mediators.

Spenser Underhill started as a disputer resolution sole practioner in 2004 after leaving Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw after 18 years.

He added: “So far the practice has far exceeded my expectation, with many high profile clients being attracted to arbitration. With Christopher, a highly-rated mediator and a leader in international arbitration and litigation, our combined skills and experience will further enhance the services offered to clients both in England and internationally.”

A Bakers’ spokeperson said: “We wish Chris all the best in his future career. Chris made a significant contribution to the development of our practice during his time with us, particularly in relation to the growing importance of ADR and international arbitration.”