Herbies finalises disputes management line-up with Carrington named EMEA head

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has named London-based partner Philip Carrington as EMEA disputes head, while in Paris Isabelle Michou becomes head of disputes.


Philip Carrington
Philip Carrington

The move comes just months after HSF named Hong Kong based partner Justin D’Agostino as its new global dispute resolution head (19 March 2014).

D’Agostino succeeded incumbent Sonya Leydecker, who was promoted to the co-CEO role alongside legacy Freehills managing partner Mark Rigotti in December (19 December 2013).

Carrington, who has spent more than 30 years with legacy Herbert Smith, has a strong following in the disputes market across Russia, the CIS and the emerging markets.

Last year he was instructed for state-owned Russian bank VTB Capital in its $330m cross-border dispute with Marshall Capital and Konstantin Malofeev (6 February 2013).

The firm said Carrington would be responsible for driving growth across EMEA, with a particular emphasis on Europe disputes network.

He will work alongside regional dispute heads Geoff McClellan in Australia, Mark Shillito for the UK and US, and Peter Godwin in Asia, to integrate the disputes team and push for market growth globally.

At the same time the firm has relocated partner Damian Grave from Australia to London as a disputes client development partner. The aim is for Grave to spot growth opportunities arising between Australia and the rest of the network with particular focus on London, EMEA and New York.

The promotions finalise the managerial line-up for the disputes practice, which has seen a number of changes in recent years.

The firm has seen a number of exits across its Asia Pacific network. They include South-East Asia litigation chief Maurice Burke who left for Hogan Lovells in February (4 February 2014). Burke followed former Freehills Singapore managing partner John Dick out of the door (21 November 2013) as well as energy lawyer Charles Ball who left the firm for Reed Smith’s Singapore office (7 October 2013).

In London the firm saw a number of departures around the time legacy Herbert Smith came together with Freehills (28 June 2012). Departures included litigation star Ted Greeno who left for US outfit Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan (27 March 2013) and financial regulatory duo Martyn Hopper and Nikunj Kiri who joined Linklaters (29 January 2013).

However HSF has had a period of relative stability in London in the past year and the latest promotions round saw a particular emphasis on the City.  The majority of new promotions – five in London and four in Australia – were in disputes. In total, 11 of the 23-strong promotions round were in London (24 April 2014).

There was also the addition of former Maitland silk Tom Leech QC, who was brought in to bolster the advocacy unit in January (9 January 2014).