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When Justin takes up the position in May 2020 he will succeed Mark Rigotti, who has served two terms as CEO

Justin D'Agostino will be the firm's next Chief Executive Officer, taking office on 1 May 2020 for a term of four years.

The appointment by the firm's Council was approved by partnership vote, with Justin gaining widespread support from partners across all regions and practices.

"I am delighted to be announcing the appointment of such a popular and strong leader as our next CEO, to take the firm forward and build on the progress of the past few years," said Council Chair and Senior Partner James Palmer. "Justin combines great ambition for the firm with an ability to inspire, as well as successful leadership experience across our regions and markets. He has always been both client focused and a culture-and-people person, building successful outcomes for clients and for our teams.  It is good news for our firm that he has agreed to take on this key leadership role, and I and our partners and other colleagues look forward to working with him."

Justin will succeed Mark Rigotti, who has served two terms as CEO. Mark and Justin will work together closely as Justin transitions into the role.

James added: "While there will be a more appropriate time to thank and recognise Mark fully at the end of his term, I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all he has achieved during his two terms as CEO.  The firm is in a much stronger position as a result of his leadership. We have professionalised, expanded our global network and practices, and been widely recognised for both individual and team excellence and enhanced market position. It is a privilege to work with someone so focused on the success of our firm and its people."

Justin has spent his entire career at the firm, having joined as a trainee in 1998 and been appointed a partner in 2007. He leads the firm's Disputes practice and Asia and the US, overseeing people, practices, clients and growth strategies.

"I am delighted to have been appointed CEO of this great law firm," Justin said. "Herbert Smith Freehills has nurtured me throughout my 21 years at the firm, and it is an honour and privilege to lead the business. There are many opportunities and challenges facing us as we move into a new decade. I have no doubt, however, that all of you will continue to innovate and flourish to meet these challenges. I relish the chance to work with our people and with our clients to take our firm forward to even greater success."

About Justin
A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, Justin D'Agostino graduated with a bachelor's degree in law from the University of Aberdeen in 1996. He joined then Herbert Smith in 1998 and became a partner in 2007. 

At present Justin leads the firm's Disputes practice and Asia and the US, overseeing people, practices, clients and growth strategies. A thought leader and skilled practitioner in arbitration and dispute resolution, Justin has appeared before tribunals around the world and regularly sits as an arbitrator.

He also works closely with many of the firm's largest clients, both in his personal practice role and as a regional and global business leader.

The founder of the firm's first LGBT+ network, Justin is a strong advocate and active supporter of diversity and inclusion in the firm and the wider community.

He is a member of the firm's Global Executive, chair of the Asia and Disputes Executives, and Executive Sponsor of IRIS, the firm's global LGBT+ network.