March 2021 – Law360 recently published “Int’l Arbitration Boutiques Flourish As BigLaw Gets The Slip,” which highlights the growing trend for prominent international arbitration practitioners to leave their global law firms to form smaller, more specialized firms. The article acknowledges Chaffetz Lindsey for having pioneered this approach when its founding partners left Clifford Chance to start the firm in 2009. The article prominently quoted two of our founding partners, Peter Chaffetz and James Hosking.
When asked about international arbitration teams opting to leave the big firm model, James said conflicts are often an issue and explained, “There are lots of advantages to being in a big firm, but it doesn’t necessarily gel for an international arbitration-specialized practice. I think a lot of top teams have decided that rather than jump to another firm, the better option is to try and address those issues by opening their own boutique … there’s really been a discernible trend in that direction.”
Peter Chaffetz highlighted that international arbitration practices obtain new work very differently from other practice areas. According to Peter, “You really have to make your way, and maintain and build your profile in this community internationally, and not all the big institutional firms — which are more bean-counting oriented — are able to be comfortable with the particular needs of this practice area. Even though everybody wants it, they don’t all know how to nurture it. When you have your own firm, you can figure out how to nurture it.”
To learn more about the continuing emergence of international arbitration boutiques, read the full article on Law360’s website here (a subscription might be required).
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