Herbert Smith Freehills today announced the re-appointment of Justin D'Agostino as Chief Executive Officer for a second term, effective 1 May 2024. The appointment follows a partnership vote and will see him leading the firm of 5,000-plus people for another four years.
During his 25-year career with Herbert Smith Freehills, Justin has overseen the growth of many successful businesses, including the firm's market-leading Disputes practice and rapid expansion in Asia.
As the firm's CEO, Justin will continue to oversee its client, people, practices and growth strategies.
Herbert Smith Freehills partners have just returned from their first global conference since before the pandemic. The focus was on driving the firm's Ambition 2025 strategy with its focus on key areas such as private capital clients, the energy transition and ESG, as well as celebrating the success of its leading global contentious and transactional practices.
Justin D'Agostino commented:
"I am greatly honoured and immensely proud to be taking on a second term as the CEO of the firm. Notwithstanding market challenges and uncertainty, our firm continues to act on some of the most exciting mandates in our markets.
"I am privileged to be working with all our outstanding people as we support clients around the world on their greatest business challenges and further build on our reputation and success.
"I look forward to continuing to work with all our colleagues and our leadership team to deliver our strategy and achieve our ambitions."
Senior Partner Rebecca Maslen-Stannage added:
"With a truly international mindset and as a highly effective communicator, Justin has the energy and drive to deliver on our firm's goals. The reappointment of Justin shows the strength of the firm, our confidence in our strategy and the strategic momentum we have achieved, and I personally look forward to continuing to work closely with him."
A native of Edinburgh, Scotland, Justin D'Agostino, 51, graduated with a bachelor's degree in law from the University of Aberdeen in 1996. Having first been a paralegal in the firm in 1990, he re-joined Herbert Smith Freehills as a trainee solicitor in 1998 and became a partner in 2007.
Before taking over as CEO in May 2020, Justin led the firm's Global Disputes practice and its Asia region for six years.
Based in Hong Kong, Justin has a reputation as a global business leader and is a member of the Executive Board of the International Chamber of Commerce, which is headquartered in Paris. He also has a renowned reputation in international arbitration, having appeared before tribunals worldwide and sat as an arbitrator and as a Visiting Professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
A strong advocate and active supporter of diversity and inclusion in the firm and the wider community, Justin founded our first LGBT+ network and sponsored the launch of the firm's Asia Multicultural Network. Under his leadership as Regional Managing Partner, the Asia region hit its target for women to make up 30% of its partnership.
Justin's other professional, business and community roles include: