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Chiara Cilento

Chiara Cilento


Chiara is an associate at Herbert Smith Freehills New York LLP specializing in international arbitration.



Chiara is an associate at Herbert Smith Freehills New York LLP specializing in international arbitration. 

Chiara has experience over a number of industries including oil and gas, energy, construction, financial services, and telecommunications. She has represented clients in institutional and ad hoc proceedings (including emergency arbitration proceedings) under many of the principal sets of arbitration rules, including those of the ICC, AAA (ICDR and Commercial), LCIA and UNCITRAL.

Chiara has been the lead associate in various disputes and has represented clients in proceedings in English, Spanish and Italian.

Prior to joining Herbert Smith Freehills, Chiara worked in the dispute resolution group of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where she specialized in complex litigation and arbitration. In addition to working as counsel, Chiara has also been appointed administrative secretary to arbitral tribunals.

Chiara's experience includes:

  • successfully representing a Brazilian company in a multi-million dollar dispute against a PLSV company in Brazil, administered according to the AAA/ICDR Rules. Governing law Florida law and Miami seat
  • successfully representing an energy company in two parallel emergency arbitration proceedings brought under the LCIA Rules and held concurrently. London seat and applicable English law
  • representing a major E&P company in two multi-million dollar arbitrations relating to offshore drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico. Ad hoc arbitrations, Texas law, Houston seat of arbitration
  • representing a major construction company in an treaty-based arbitration in relation to a multi-million dollar investment claim against a State and a State-owned company.
  • advising various major energy companies in relation to force majeure issues under New York law stemming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • advising a major energy company in relation to various disputes arising out of the COVID-19 epidemic and its effects under various agreements for the supply of equipment and construction of windfarms in Latin America.
  • representing a global minerals and chemicals company in UNCITRAL investor-state arbitration
  • representing a confidential client in an ICC arbitration in connection with a complex renewable energy construction project in the US
  • representing a major LED manufacturer in an arbitration brought under the AAA-ICDR Rules against a competitor in relation to a patent license agreement (New York law, New York seat)
  • representing a plaintiff group of five heirs of an Italian senator in dispute with Christie's, Inc. and other defendants in the high-end gem industry concerning allegations that Defendants unlawfully converted an extremely rare and precious pink diamond that Plaintiffs claim was stolen from them
  • representing Dompé farmaceutici S.p.A., an Italian biopharmaceutical corporation in connection with disputes related to a series of agreements governing the development, manufacture, and commercialization of certain medical device and drug products containing a recombinant human protein substance
  • advising Equality Now (through TrustLaw) on pro bono research and policy advocacy project on online sexual exploitation. A cross-office HSF team (London, including India-qualified lawyers; and New York) researched and reported on the intersection of sexual exploitation norms, digital rights, tech regulation, and jurisdictional issues under public international law and Indian law, as well as drafting the consolidated report for Equality Now by synthesising research undertaken by other contributing firms in respect of the US, EU, UK, Kenya and Nigeria (in addition to India and international law)


Chiara obtained her LL.M. from Columbia Law School where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and received the Parker School Recognition of Achievement in International and Comparative Law. She earned her law degree with major in Corporate Law, Financial Markets and Competition Law from Bocconi University Law School in Milan, where she participated in an exchange program at the Universidad de Buenos Aires. She also completed the Arbitration Academy from Milan Chamber of Arbitration, and received a diploma in Comparative Law from the Université de Strasbourg in France.

Chiara is admitted to practice law in Italy and is also admitted to the New York Bar and in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Chiara has native proficiency of Italian and English, is fluent in Spanish and French, and is proficient in reading Portuguese.

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