Herbert Smith Freehills appoints first New York corporate partner with MoFo hire


Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has boosted its New York office with the hire of its first corporate partner in the city.

Corporate partner James Robinson rejoins the firm from Morrison & Foerster in Tokyo, having left HSF to join the US firm two years previously. Robinson joined HSF as a trainee in London in 1999 and was made up to partner in 2008 after moving to the firm’s Tokyo office, where he was appointed head of corporate two years later.

He specialises in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and antitrust issues for multinational corporations in connection with investments into Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

HSF’s global head of corporate Scott Cochrane said: “James has many years of deal experience for Japanese clients investing outbound across the globe. Going forward, he will be bringing that experience to our US clients, helping us to identify ways to service them across the network.”

HSF opened its New York office in 2012, with the hire of a five-partner team from Chadbourne & Parke. Since then, the office has been focused on dispute resolution and arbitration matters.

This summer, New York arbitration partner Laurence Shore left the firm to join Italian law firm BonelliErede. Shore originally joined legacy Herbert Smith in London in 1995, becoming a partner at the firm before leaving to join Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in the New York office in 2008.

He served as co-head of the US firm’s international arbitration practice for five years before returning to HSF in 2013, to its then-new office in New York.

Meanwhile, HSF has split its joint regional managing partner role for Asia-Pacific to create two separate roles for Australia and Asia respectively.

From 1 October, Australia corporate head Andrew Pike will take on a new role as Australian managing partner, while Australia and Asia joint managing partner Justin D’Agostino will become managing partner for Asia. Sue Gilchrist, the firm’s current Australia and Asia joint managing partner, will return to full-time client work.