Herbert Smith bolsters Asia arbitration with Hong Kong move

Herbert Smith is ramping up its Asian arbitration practice, relocating partner Justin D’Agostino to Hong Kong.

The London-based partner is moving to the Hong Kong office next week to bulk up the firm’s disputes practice in the region.

D’Agostino was based in Herbert Smith’s Singapore and Bangkok offices in 2004 and 2005.

Herbert Smith is also relocating London-based arbitration senior associate May Tai to the Shanghai office in October as well as hiring local Chinese arbitration lawyer Patrick Zheng from local arbitration committee CIETAC in Beijing.

D’Agostino said: “These moves mean we will be covered in these three major areas for arbitration. Chinese corporates now want international arbitration specialists on the ground and Western clients are very interested in lawyers with local expertise.”

The moves are the latest by Herbert Smith aimed at advancing its Asia litigation practice. In January this year the firm relocated Nicholas Peacock to its Singapore office.

A number of US and UK firms are continuing to underscore their commitment to the region. Yesterday (1 September) The Lawyer reported on Kirkland & Ellis launching its second Asian office in Shanghai.