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Herbert Smith Freehills Partner Paula Hodges QC has been appointed as the next President of the LCIA Court, effective May 2019.

Paula, who is Head of the firm's Global Arbitration practice, has been Vice President of the Court for several years and also a LCIA Board member for a decade.

Lauded by the legal directories as "brilliant" and the "most complete arbitration practitioner in London", Paula has over 25 years' experience advising clients in international disputes, particularly in the energy, telecommunications and technology sectors.

She specialises in international arbitration and has helped clients in many jurisdictions, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, France, Russia and the CIS, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the USA in ad hoc arbitration and proceedings under the auspices of all the major arbitral institutions. Paula also sits as an arbitrator.

Paula has acted for clients as lead counsel and advocate in a substantial number of high profile arbitrations. She has also been closely involved in several cases before the High Court in London, and has appeared before the Court of Appeal and House of Lords (now the Supreme Court). Her advocacy skills were formally recognised in 2014 when she was awarded the title of QC.

Paula plays an active role in the international arbitration community and has links with a number of institutions and arbitral organisations around the world. She has served as an officer of the IBA Arbitration Committee and is included on the arbitrator panels of many of the leading institutions as well as the Energy Arbitrators List.

She will take over this role from outgoing President Judith Gill QC in May 2019 and will continue in practice at Herbert Smith Freehills whilst undertaking her new LCIA responsibilities.

A full listing of all LCIA Court Members can be viewed here.

Commenting on her appointment Paula said:

"I am truly honoured and delighted to have been chosen as president of the LCIA from May 2019. The LCIA gave me my first arbitral appointment at a relatively tender age and I have had the good fortune to serve as a director of the Board and a member of the Court for some years. After 125 years of being London's premier arbitral institution, the LCIA continues to go from strength to strength and I look forward to helping steer the LCIA to future success. I am immensely grateful for the support I have received form the LCIA and Herbert smith Freehills to enable me to take up the role next May. Judith will be an extremely hard act to follow, but we will work together to ensure a smooth transition, with the formidable assistance of Jackie, Audley and the rest of the LCIA team."

Justin D'Agostino, Global Head of Dispute Resolution and Managing Partner for Asia said:

"Paula is a phenomenally talented lawyer and arbitrator and we are very proud of her achievement. This appointment is a testament not only to Paula's legal excellence but demonstrates the high esteem in which she is regarded by the LCIA and wider arbitration community."