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Global Arbitration Review (GAR) has unveiled its annual ranking of the world’s leading international arbitration practices, with Herbert Smith Freehills ranked in the top three for the third year in a row.

The firm's GAR 30 ranking appears in the 11th edition of the GAR 100, which was revealed last night at the eighth annual GAR Awards ceremony at the Four Seasons George V hotel in Paris.

Highlighted again by the publication as a "force to be reckoned with", GAR reports that the firm has seen an "influx" of high-value work "on the back of some high-profile results". GAR reveals that the firm's portfolio of pending investment treaty work is "as large as it’s ever been" - with nine cases worth more than US$1 billion (including one worth US$18 billion).

The firm also achieves a large number of peer-recognised specialists across the global network, having a total of 13 people featured in 'Who’s Who Legal'.

The firm also received recognition from clients such as senior in-house counsel at Engie Laura Thomson, who says: “The best compliment I can give is that Herbert Smith Freehills have made it very difficult for us to instruct anyone else.”

BHP Billiton in-house counsel Alistair Warren says the Herbert Smith Freehills' advice “demonstrates a profound understanding of the company’s commercial priorities”.

GAR also highlights the fact that the firm is actively engaged in the wider community, undertaking pro bono initiatives, including advising Sierra Leone on its accession to the New York Convention. The firm's Arbitration Blog is also showcased in the report.

As in previous years, the GAR 30 is based primarily on the number of arbitral hearings conducted by a firm over a two-year period. The research considers merits and jurisdictional hearings, the amount in dispute in those cases and the number of hours billed to arbitration over that period.

Ranking is also based on the number of arbitrator appointments a firm’s members have received and the number of individuals who appear in GAR’s sister publication, Who’s Who Legal: Arbitration – a guide to the leading practitioners in the field as selected by their peers.

The full GAR 30 can be found here.

Paula Hodges QC, who heads Herbert Smith Freehills' Global Arbitration Practice, said:

"This is a fantastic result and I am thrilled that our global arbitration practice has been ranked third in the world, for the third-year running. This prestigious endorsement is testament to the wonderful talent we have at all levels across all regions in the network."