Follow us

Lisa McLaughlin

Partner, Legal - Global
Partner Regional Head of Practice Head of Practice
Belfast (ALT)

Lisa is Managing Partner of the firm's Belfast Office and is also responsible for the legal team globally in our Digital Legal Delivery practice. 

Lisa was instrumental in the establishment of Herbert Smith Freehills' Belfast office in 2011 – the first UK-based, near-shore operation to be launched by an international law firm.  As a key part of the firm's global Digital Legal Delivery offering, our Belfast office is ever evolving and delivers a growing range of legal, legal project management and legal technology services to our clients. 

As Office Managing Partner, Lisa maintains overall responsibility for the strategic management of the Belfast office. Under Lisa's leadership, the Belfast team has expanded rapidly from 19 fee earners in April 2011 to a truly multi-disciplinary team today, comprising over 200 lawyers, legal analysts, eDiscovery, legal technology and legal project management specialists and business services professionals.   Lisa and her team have built deep relationships with external stakeholders spanning industry, education and the charity sector and the firm is widely recognised as an active contributor to Northern Ireland society.

Lisa works closely with her global cross-practice team in Digital Legal Delivery, clients and stakeholders across the firm to develop new technology-enabled product offerings and evolve existing services in response to market maturity and client demand.

In 2019, Lisa was named International Director of the Year by the Institute of Directors, NI.  In 2023, she was included in The Lawyer's Hot 100 list, which recognises creative and innovative legal practitioners across the UK.


Before relocating home to establish the Belfast office, Lisa was based in our London office, where she was a senior associate in our international arbitration practice. During the first phase of her career with Herbert Smith Freehills, Lisa acted on many complex, high-value, international arbitration matters as well as a number of commercial litigation and expert determination disputes. In addition, Lisa spent a year on secondment to the disputes team of a leading global consulting firm and, during her training contract with Herbert Smith, she undertook a prestigious placement as a Judicial Assistant to the Court of Appeal.