Herbert Smith boosts Chinese arbitration with Salans hire

Herbert Smith has named Salans consultant Brenda Horrigan as a partner in Shanghai as the UK firm continues to build up its mainland China arbitration practice.

Prior to joining Herbert Smith, Horrigan served as the co-head of Salans’ international arbitration practice group. She joined the firm in 1995 in Moscow and relocated to Shanghai from Salans’ Paris office in 2010.

Horrigan’s international arbitration practice has a particular focus on disputes involving emerging markets, such as Russia and the CIS, Central and Eastern Europe, and Asia.

She will be joining Herbert Smith’s 80-lawyer Asia disputes team and will focus on advising multinationals operating in mainland China, as well as Chinese companies with offshore disputes arising from their outbound commercial activities. Upon her appointment, Herbert Smith now has four arbitration partners across Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Justin D’Agostino, head of the firm’s Greater China international arbitration practice, said in a statement the appointment was an indication of the importance of China to Herbert Smith’s regional strategy.

“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,” D’Agostino said.

Gavin Lewis, head of Asia disputes, added that Horrigan’s background in investment disputes was important, particularly at a time when China’s overseas investment programme continues to expand.