Freshfields’ London arbitration gets leg-up

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is overhauling the focus of its international arbitration practice in a bid to bolster its London offering, which lags behind Paris’s practice.

Rising arbitration star Constantine Partasides is the first partner to move back to London as Freshfields aims to reflect the city’s growing prominence as a centre for arbitration.

Freshfields global head of international arbitration Jan Paulsson said: “If we’re sending Constantine to London, it’s a clear indication that we’re keen to build up London.”

Until now Paris, where Paulsson is based, was the axis of the magic circle firm’s international arbitration group.

Several partners, including Peter Turner and Partasides, have migrated from London to Paris. Partasides is the first to move back, but there will be more. The firm has now decided there should be equal emphasis on the two offices.

Partasides said: “As our Paris team is already strong, that means London needs to be stronger.”

There are currently six international arbitration partners based at Freshfields’ London office. Partner Nigel Rawding recently transferred to New York for 18 months.