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Gateley strengthens international arbitration practice with two partner hires

Gateley strengthens international arbitration practice with two partner hires


Gateley has appointed two partners to lead its growing international arbitration practice as its capabilities across international dispute resolution expand

Michael Lightfoot and Kieran McCarthy, both of whom join Gateley from Clifford Chance, will build upon Gateley’s existing services within international arbitration and commercial litigation to develop a comprehensive, targeted and multi-jurisdictional practice for clients dealing with strategic international disputes.

Richard Healey, Gateley’s head of Business Services, said: “I am delighted to welcome Michael and Kieran during what is proving to be an exciting period for Gateley. They will support the team in combining and harnessing our existing capabilities within international arbitration to create an enhanced service for clients, one that is complemented by our other legal practice groups and professional services.”

Michael brings to Gateley years of experience in international arbitration and commercial litigation, drawn from a career practicing in London and New York. He is dual qualified and has spent his career advising clients on both UK and US law matters, as well as private and public international law. His practice covers a wide range of industries including engineering, construction, power, oil & gas, real estate, pharmaceuticals/life sciences, IT and financial services. He also advises on third-party financing, for both claimants and funders. 

Michael said: “Gateley is uniquely placed to become a leading player in international arbitration. Our ambitions abroad are backed up by a strong team of specialists across the UK and in Dubai. International arbitration has historically been dominated by large law firms, but there is a gap in the market for leaner firms that can deliver first-class legal services staffed with top-tier arbitration lawyers.

“Gateley’s agile approach to client delivery will allow us to deliver tailored and cost-effective solutions for clients and grow Gateley’s global presence. I’m looking forward to working with my colleague Kieran McCarthy – as well as the wider team – to develop a market-leading practice.”

A dual-qualified English and US disputes specialist in international arbitration, international trade and complex cross-border litigation, Kieran advises both private sector and governmental clients on a range of strategically important and politically sensitive disputes.  In particular, those concerning energy (and related infrastructure), commodities, telecommunications, financial services and environmental issues.

Prior to joining Gateley, Kieran spent a decade working across various jurisdictions, including London, Paris and Geneva, advising clients in highly regulated industries at the intersection of domestic and public international law, particularly disputes concerning the impact of government regulations. Kieran also has an extensive advisory practice in trade policy, sanctions and anti-bribery compliance.

“I was very impressed with Gateley and the full-service capability it provides,” Kieran said. “By combining my international experience with the team’s existing specialisms, I am confident that we can cement Gateley’s position as a key player in international arbitration and cross-border disputes services.”