BLP LCR strategy in action – A trio of Partner hires

International law firm, Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has today (11 September 2017) announced the appointment of three new international disputes Partners to further strengthen its Litigation and Corporate Risk (LCR) Practice.

George Burn joins BLP from Vinson & Elkins as Head of International Arbitration later this month, while Gavin Margetson, formerly of Herbert Smith Freehills, has been hired to the lead the firm’s regional Arbitration hub in Singapore. Based in London, Richard Chalk is an international disputes and investigations Partner, who was previously at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in London and Hong Kong.

BLP’s LCR strategy review was completed in May 2017 and is focused on international expansion to meet the needs of an increasing global client base and secondments to give associates a deep sectoral knowledge and a client perspective.

International Arbitration was identified as a key area BLP wanted to bolster. The team is already established in four of the world’s leading arbitral centres (London, UAE, Hong Kong and Singapore), and has a substantial offering in Moscow. Based in London, George will lead and grow the practice’s geographical and sector expertise to meet client needs.

George represents companies, individuals and States from across the globe in international arbitrations conducted in various arbitration hubs. He has considerable experience of disputes in oil and gas, mining and infrastructure fields, as well as real estate development, shareholder disputes, finance, sports, insurance and pharmaceuticals. He is a market leader in international investment arbitration, which is one of the key growth areas in the arbitration arena.

Richard Chalk, who has led complex, heavyweight disputes and arbitrations, has joined as Partner in BLP’s Commercial Dispute Resolution Group team. Based in London with a dual focus on clients in London and Asia, Richard has many existing relationships in the region from his eight year stint as Head of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Asia Disputes Practice in Hong Kong.

Partner Gavin Margetson has joined to spearhead BLP’s regional international arbitration practice from Singapore, where he has proven experience, and further develop our Asia disputes practice. He has extensive knowledge of high-value cross-border disputes and spent more than a decade practicing in Tokyo acting for a range of Japanese and international clients. Most recently Gavin helped oversee Herbert Smith Freehill’s Bangkok office where he split his time between the Thai capital and Singapore.

Meanwhile, BLP Contentious Construction Partner James Clarke has moved from London to Singapore to further support BLP’s regional arbitration offering.

Other recent senior hires include LCR’s first COO David Keers and the appointment of Nick Pryor as Head of LCR Client Technology. These appointments are as a direct result of the LCR strategy review, as the department seek to better address the needs of clients by proactively delivering efficiencies and technology.

Commenting on the hires, BLP Global Head of LCR Nathan Willmott said: “The strategy review was important milestone for us as a department. With so many of the team involved, it’s meant our future really is a collective effort. These hires all demonstrate our intent to get on with the job and start delivering on a global scale.

“George, Gavin and Richard are all leaders in their respective areas and collectively bolster our International Arbitration capabilities. Further development of our international Litigation and Corporate Risk department remains a key priority for the firm and we expect to announce further hires in the coming months.”

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