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Herbert Smith Freehills has further strengthened its disputes offering in Europe with the hire of new Madrid Partner David Arias, who will join the firm with a team of four litigation and arbitration lawyers.

The new team will join the firm's Madrid office on 7 May, 2019, from disputes boutique Arias SLP, which was founded by David in 2014. Prior to founding Arias, David Arias spent 16 years as a partner at Pérez-Llorca, where he established its dispute resolution practice.

A Professor in Procedural Law and Arbitration from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, David is very active and well-known in the international arbitration community, both in Spain and beyond.  He is ranked in Tier 1 in Disputes and Arbitration by the leading legal directories – Chambers and Legal 500 – and was chair of the IBA's (International Bar Association) Arbitration Committee between 2016 and 2017, as well as the president of the Spanish Arbitration Club between 2013 and 2017; he is currently the honorary president of the Spanish Arbitration Club.

He has served as arbitrator and counsel in hundreds of cases in venues across Europe, America and Africa, and he regularly participates in proceedings administered by the main arbitration institutions such as the ICC, PCA, LCIA, ICDR and SCC, among others.  He also has extensive experience acting as counsel in complex commercial litigation matters.

David will join Herbert Smith Freehills alongside current Arias partner Luis Capiel, who will join the firm as Of Counsel.  Luis joined Arias SLP in 2018 and has over 10 years’ experience practicing international arbitration in Europe and Latin America.

He has carved out a successful practice, focusing on complex commercial and construction disputes related to cross-border commercial agreements, joint ventures and M&A transactions in the engineering and construction, banking and finance, insurance, private equity, electricity, and oil & gas sectors. A German qualified lawyer, Luis is also admitted to the Madrid and the Munich Bars.

David and Luis will be joined with the rest of the Arias team: associates Oliver Cojo, Diego Alexandre-García and Svetlana Shelepina.

This team will be incorporated into Herbert Smith Freehills’ Madrid litigation and arbitration practice, which is led by Partner Eduardo Soler-Tappa who focuses on international arbitration and other international disputes, primarily in the energy and banking sectors.

Other disputes partners in the Madrid office include: Paulino Fajardo, who heads the contentious insurance practice and Javier Carvajal, who heads up the commercial litigation practice.

The Madrid office opened almost ten years ago in June 2009 with its emphasis on providing the highest quality national and cross-border legal advice to IBEX 35 companies and other important local and multinational clients with operations and interests in Spain.

Herbert Smith Freehills Madrid managing partner Miguel Riaño said:

"The Arias team will boost our already consolidated Disputes and Arbitration department in Madrid and will bolster the tremendous success that has already been achieved by the practice, which has become a key area of the Spanish office in a very short timeframe. We are delighted to welcome this team of fantastic professionals, led by David Arias, which will position us as one of Spain's leading law firms on the 10th anniversary of the firm opening its doors in Spain”.

Justin D'Agostino, Global Head of Disputes for Herbert Smith Freehills added:

"Client demand for our global disputes expertise remains high and, as such, we will continue strengthening our offering right across the global network. The addition of David and his team to the team in Madrid, who already have a very strong reputation in the market, demonstrates our commitment to continued and steady growth with elite teams and quality lateral hires across Europe."

Commenting on his new appointment, David Arias said: "The entire Arias SLP team is very excited to join a firm as prestigious as Herbert Smith Freehills. It has very quickly become a go-to firm for business law in the Spanish market and is also ranked as the world's No. 1 firm for disputes and arbitration. We are now part of an ambitious and exciting project, which will allow us to better tackle the challenges ahead and offer a broader and more comprehensive service to our clients."