Herbert Smith Freehills names new Asia litigation head

Herbert Smith Freehills has named Tokyo managing partner Peter Godwin as the firm’s new regional head of disputes in Asia.

Godwin will take over the role with immediate effect succeeding Gavin Lewis who quit to join Linklaters in September (16 August 2013). He will continue serving as the Tokyo managing partner alongside his practice leadership role.

Godwin joined legacy Herbert Smith in 1998 and was promoted to the partnership in 2002. He was initially based in the firm’s Hong Kong office and in 2000 he relocated to Tokyo to establish the disputes practice in Japan. He was appointed managing partner of Tokyo office in 2010.

“We are seeing a growing number of high value disputes across the entire Asia-Pacific region. This includes litigation in Hong Kong arising from international companies doing business in China, and disputes from deals between China and Australia and Japan and Indonesia, to name just a few examples,” said Godwin. “Competition for this work is also increasing, with a growing number of domestic and international firms targeting these opportunities.”

According to The Lawyer’s latest Global Litigation Top 50 report, Herbert Smith Freehills is ranked as the 30th largest litigation practice among global firms, generating $401.7m last year (£245.1m).