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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 fourth in the world. 

The firm's GAR 30 ranking appears in the 12th edition of the GAR 100, which was revealed last night at the ninth annual GAR Awards ceremony at the InterContinental hotel in Paris.

Highlighted again by the publication as a "force to be reckoned with" in commercial arbitration, GAR also reports that the firm has a "strong reputation in public international law and investment treaty arbitration, increasingly acting for governments in state-to-state negotiations and boundary and treaty disputes". GAR reveals that the firm's portfolio of arbitration cases amassed US$10 billion in the past year, and includes five cases worth more than US$5 billion and four further cases exceeding the US$1 billion mark.

The firm also achieves a large number of peer-recognised specialists across the global network, having a total of 11 people featured in 'Who’s Who Legal' plus 16 in the future leaders category.

The firm also received recognition from clients such as Nahoji Kanayama of Japanese client Takuma who says the firm “gives advice backed up by deep and accurate legal knowledge.”

A construction client involved in an Asian airport dispute praises the firm’s ability to “overcome new issues as they arise” and “deal with other stakeholders”. In the US an energy client commented that the firm has an “ability to translate a highly technical dispute into legal concepts that were fully understood by the tribunal” and also noted that the firm was “a pleasure to collaborate with”.

GAR also highlights the fact that the firm has achieved  notable victories for clients such as Costa Rica, in a US$100 million case brought by a group of US real estate investors under the Dominican Republic-Central America free trade agreement. They also showcase the firm's work for Chevron in a US$1.1 billion dispute with Norway’s Statoil over the redetermination of shares in Nigeria’s largest deepwater oilfield. It was also noted by GAR that Chevron is now using the firm to resist the enforcement of a US$18 billion award, which was rendered by an allegedly “sham” arbitral institution in Cairo. 

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 wonderful and well deserved recognition for our global arbitration practice - a testament to our talented team, who consistently provide our clients with high quality strategic advice right across the world."