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Arbitration heavyweights launch ‘nimble’ global law firm

Three Crowns to embrace 'all types of fee arrangements' 

7 April 2014

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By Manju Manglani, Editor (@ManjuManglani)

Six high-profile arbitration specialists have today launched arbitration law firm Three Crowns (3C).

Founded by former partners and heads of arbitration at global law firms, the international boutique practice is considered the first of its kind.

Co-founding partner Georgios Petrochilos said the firm's business model is unique because it will "embrace all types of fee arrangements as a matter of principle".

In addition, all cases are expected to have higher partner involvement and fewer conflicts than traditional international law firms.

"As a smaller organisation, issues of conflicts are much easier to handle and will arise much less frequently," he said.

Asked if conflicts management was a driving factor in the creation of 3C, Petrochilos said "it wasn't a principle issue, but it was one of the concerns that we understood clients had and which we wanted to address constitutionally by creating this type of global arbitration firm".

"We can also be much more open to alternative fee arrangements than a larger organisation can be," he added.

Among the founding partners, Jan Paulsson, Constantine Partasides QC and Georgios Petrochilos were previously arbitration partners at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

The other founding partners are Luke Sobota, formerly of Jones Day, Gaetan Verhoosel of Covington & Burling and Todd Wetmore of Sherman & Sterling.

"We think what makes us different is that we are able to have partners with hands-on involvement from start to finish in every case," said Petrochilos.

"Our teams will be lean and nimble, we will staff cases based on specialisation and the needs of the case at both partner and associate level which, combined, will deliver a sharper focus completely geared on arbitration.

"The firm is designed to deliver a very specialised service. The objective is that every expenditure in a case should demonstrably add value."

A key part of that added value they expect to provide is through alternative fee arrangements. "Within the partnership collectively there is a great deal of experience with such arrangements, including incentives to lawyers based on objectives to be achieved in a case.

"All arrangements involve certainty and client expectations in advance, so we are open to all," he said.

Petrochilos declined to comment on the profit-sharing arrangements that have been agreed between the founding partners.

However, he noted that "we are all equal partners in terms of our contributions to the firm and it has been funded by the partners exclusively".

"The constitutional principle where we stand now is one of equality."

All important decisions will be made by the founding partners by consensus, he said, "but we are in the process of electing an executive partner among us who will have some ambassadorial functions and who also taken the lead in the decision-making process and in certain communications with clients".

The new firm focuses exclusively on arbitration and has offices in London, Washington DC and Paris.




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