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SJ Berwin is investigating opening in Vienna to support a new standalone international arbitration practice group that is being launched in November.
The specialist group, which will focus exclusively on arbitration and litigation arising from arbitration, has been devised to capitalise on the growing market for dispute resolution. It will operate as an autonomous practice, separate from the firm’s litigation practice.
The launch follows the appointment of Russian arbitration specialist David Goldberg, who joined the firm in April from Kennedys. Goldberg will oversee the group, which will be run out of the firm’s London office, in conjunction with the firm’s former head of litigation Tim Taylor.
Goldberg said the practice group would launch in November with approximately 16 lawyers based in London, although the firm planned to rapidly expand the arbitration team through lateral hires in the firm’s Parisian and German offices.
He said the firm was also considering launching either an office or partnership with a local arbitration specialist in Vienna to capitalise on the city’s growing importance within the international arbitration market.
Taylor said the firm was also in the final stages of formalising non-exclusive memorandum of understandings with arbitration specialists in India, Latin America, China and the US to provide specialist counsel.
However, the firm has no plans to open offices in any of the four jurisdictions.