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A&O strengthens International Arbitration group with hire of David Herlihy

Allen & Overy continues to invest in its International Arbitration group with the hire of partner David Herlihy, a specialist in investment arbitration and public international law. David, who joins from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP (Skadden), will initially be based in London and, subject to further regulatory analysis and any necessary approvals, will in due course split his time between London and Dublin.

David has 20 years’ experience in international arbitration, with a focus on international commercial arbitration, investment treaty arbitration and public international law. He has particular expertise in disputes relating to renewable energy, telecoms and the technology sector. He has also handled multiple high-stakes disputes involving competition laws around the globe and cutting-edge issues of international taxation.

David has won many of the largest and most high-profile arbitrations led from London in recent years. These include representing Vodafone International Holdings B.V. in its landmark victory against the Republic of India challenging India’s attempt to impose a retroactive USD5.5 billion withholding tax liability. He represented NextEra in its successful claim against Spain under the Energy Charter Treaty, which led to an award of EUR 300 million: the largest damages award against Spain in the renewable energy sector. On behalf of the Republic of Cyprus, he also defeated investment treaty claims of more than EUR 1 billion arising out of the Eurozone financial crisis. His outstanding track record of achieving successes for States and major corporates in both investment treaty and international commercial arbitrations has seen him consistently acknowledged as a market leader by the leading rankings and legal directories.

Qualified in England & Wales, New York and Ireland, and fluent in Spanish, David brings with him a wealth of experience handling cases in Europe and the Americas, as well as India and beyond.

David also has experience acting in arbitration-related court proceedings and ICSID annulment actions, including winning the most recent annulment case decided under the ICSID Convention (in March 2022). Among other appointments, David has served on the ICC Commission on Commercial Law and Practice, the ICC Task Force on Arbitration Involving States or State Entities, and the Legal Advisory Task Force to the Energy Charter Secretariat. He has also served as a guest lecturer at the World Trade Institute and the London School of Economics on the subject of international investment law.

Prior to joining Allen & Overy, David spent 20 years practising international arbitration at Skadden, including nine years as a partner. In that capacity, he was also a founding member of the firm’s London Diversity Committee and its European LGBTQ Affinity Network. 

In London, David will join partners Mark Levy QC, who is A&O’s Global Head of Arbitration, Kate Davies McGill (recently appointed Queen’s Counsel), James Freeman and Suzanne Spears.

Commenting on David’s appointment, Mark Levy QC said: “David’s track record of high-profile successes for clients speaks for itself and he is rightly recognised as one of the leading international arbitration lawyers practising in London today. David’s hire demonstrates our commitment to investing in our international arbitration practice, so that we can continue to support our clients in resolving their most complex disputes. I look forward to working closely with him going forward.”

Global Head of Litigation, Karen Seward, added, “David is a highly successful and well-respected international arbitration lawyer, who has built a pre-eminent practice. His sector and regional expertise complements investments we are making elsewhere in our global litigation practice and the firm’s transactional teams. David’s focus on collaboration, as well as his keen interest in advocating for diversity and inclusion, align perfectly with our values and priorities.”

This appointment follows other strategic investments in the International Arbitration group in 2020 and 2021 through the hires of partners, Patrick W. Pearsall and Gaela Gehring Flores in Washington, D.C., and also promotions to partner in 2021 of Joanne Lau in Hong Kong and Lucia Raimanová in Bratislava. 

David’s joining will be the third hire to the London Litigation practice this year, with the announcement of the appointment of finance litigator Michael Godden and fraud litigator Andy McGregor in January 2022.

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