Freshfields trio launch arbitration boutique to challenge magic circle

The head of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s London arbitration group Constantine Partasides is leaving the firm to launch an arbitration boutique with former partner Jan Paulsson.

Jan Paulsson
Jan Paulsson retired from Freshfields in 2013

Paris partner Georgios Petrochilos is also leaving the magic circle firm to work with Paulsson and Partasides. It is thought that at least three partners from other firms are also quitting to join the as yet unnamed new arbitration-focused outfit.

Former Freshfields arbitration heavyweight Paulsson retired from the firm last year (12 March 2013).

Together with Petrochilos he served as adviser to the Uncitral secretariat in connection with the revision of the Uncitral arbitration rules. Petrochilos is currently representing Greece as a delegate to Uncitral, according to Freshfields website.

Petrochilos is also the Greek delegate on the International Arbitration Committee of the International Law Association, a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and a member of several other professional or academic bodies.

Dispute resolution partner Partasides, who heads Freshfields’ international arbitration group in London, has more than 15 years’ experience acting in more than 50 ad hoc and institutional arbitrations.

Partasides spent 10 years practising in the Paris office before returning to the UK in 2007 to head up the arbitration team in London. His recent matters include representing as lead counsel more than six oil majors in different multibillion dollar disputes with state parties in respect of investments across three continents; acting for a telecoms operator in a treaty claim regarding an expropriation of a multibillion dollar business in North Africa; and representing a leading investment bank in a joint venture dispute with its Italian partner concerning a hydroelectric project in Albania

Lucy Reed, Freshfields’ head of the international arbitration group, said: “We can confirm that partners Constantine Partasides and Georgios Petrochilos have decided to leave the firm and start an independent arbitration practice. As valued friends and colleagues we will be sorry to see them leave and we thank them for their contribution to the development of Freshfields’ world-leading arbitration practice. We wish them well in their new endeavour.”