Herbies arbitrator in 39 Essex Street switch

Herbert Smith commercial arbitration partner David Brynmor Thomas is to join 39 Essex Street after 20 years with the firm.

Brynmor Thomas said conflicts within the firm had prevented him from sitting on certain cases, so to grow his practice he will join the set as a member in early May.

“I have a desire to do advocacyand act as an arbitrator,” he said. “I sit as an arbitrator and have all the other obligations that go with that as a partner.

“If you’re an arbitrator you have to disclose conflicts and preclude yourself from sitting on matters because of certain clients.”

Brynmor Thomas joined the firm in 1991 as an ­articled clerk and has risen to become a worldwide leader in his field.

Director of clerking at 39 Essex Street David Barnes said the bar’s international arbitrators were in demand globally.

“The bar’s always done arbitration – it’s just woken up to the fact that barristers can work in many more jurisdictions and is making use of it,” he said.

This is the fourth partner departure from Herbert Smith since Christmas. Most recently Berwin Leighton Paisner poached the firm’s only dedicated ­private client partner Rupert Ticehurst (The Lawyer, 7 February).

Meanwhile, for 39 Essex Street, Brynmor Thomas is the seventh new joiner since January 2009.