Freshfields arbitration head relocated to Singapore

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has relocated its global international arbitration head to Singapore after a host of exits from the team.

Partner Lucy Reed is heading to Singapore after locating from New York to Hong Kong in February 2012 (21 February 2012). The firm relaunched in Singapore in 2012 five years after withdrawing from the city state in 2006.

Her move comes as part of a reshuffle across the firm’s arbitration practice on the back of former head Jan Paulsson’s exit in 2013 and more recently London arbitration chief Constantine Partasides earlier this month (8 April 2014).

Both have now set up arbitration boutique Three Crowns with Paris partner Georgios Petrochilos and three other partners from Covington & Burling, Shearman & Sterling and Jones Day (26 February 2014).

German partner Christian Borris also left the firm with two Frankfurt-based lawyers to launch boutique Borris Hennecke Kneisel this year, citing conflict as a driver (14 March 2014).

Reed has spent a large chunk of time in Singapore over the past few years to spearhead the firm’s arbitration practice in the South East region. It gained a Foreign Law Practice (FLP) licence from Singapore’s Ministry of Law in early 2012.

However the firm had closed its Singapore office in 2006 to focus on Greater China (1 May 2007). It parachuted the two remaining Singapore partners Bruce Cooper and Yeelong Tan into its Hong Kong office as a part of that effort.

Freshfields has a core team of around 10 arbitration lawyers in Asia but Reed is understood to be the first arbitration partner in Singapore, just one of four partners in total. Former Linklaters partner Arun Balasubramanian was the most recent partner to move to the region when the firm took him on in July last year (9 July 2013). Disputes partner John Choong will remain in Hong Kong with a practice focused on China-related matters.

This month arbitration partner Nigel Rawding was appointed to head up the firm’s arbitration practice in the City to replace outgoing Partasides (8 April 2014).