US Biglaw Firm Takes US King’s Counsel To Add To Ranks

US Biglaw Firm Takes US King's Counsel To Add To Ranks 2

Hiring senior barristers in London has helped propel Debevoise & Plimpton to a leading role as a top arbitration firm with the recruitment of another senior KC to its ranks.

The firm recently strengthened its team of senior international arbitrators by hiring Jeff Sullivan KC from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in London. Sullivan was hired from Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in a major lateral hire move by Debevoise.

He has dual qualifications in both England & Wales and the US, is known for his expertise in energy, construction, and commercial arbitration practices, as well as his extensive experience advising clients on all aspects of public international law.

He will join the New York-based firm in July and will serve as co-chair of international arbitration in Europe alongside Lord Goldsmith KC, the former UK Attorney General who joined Debevoise in 2007 and currently heads both its EMEA and Asia litigation groups.

Prior to joining Debevoise, Sullivan will work as a consultant, pending the conclusion of an ongoing matter.

Sullivan’s arrival will add considerable advocacy expertise to Debevoise’s London office, where Lord Goldsmith has been its only silk since the departure of partner Wendy Miles KC, a New Zealand ‘power lawyer’, for Twenty Essex in July 2020. Sullivan, who was awarded silk status in 2021, is one of the few Americans to receive this prestigious award.

According to Debevoise’s presiding partner, Peter Furci, the move to hire Sullivan was driven by “continued strong demand from multinational corporations, private equity sponsors, and governments for counsel on the most complex international disputes and evolving issues of public international law.”

Sullivan’s hire is a significant achievement for Debevoise, which has been building its reputation as a leader in the field of international arbitration.

The firm lost two heavyweight practitioners last year through retirement from the partnership: David W Rivkin, a former IBA president, and Donald Donovan, former co-head of disputes and a past president of the International Association of Commercial Arbitrators.

Sullivan is an active and senior member of the arbitration community, serving on the ICC’s UK arbitration nominations committee and the Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) Secretariat’s legal advisory taskforce. He is also a board member of the influential European Federation for Investment Law and Arbitration (EFILA) and serves on the Foundation for International Arbitration Advocacy.

Lord Goldsmith praised Sullivan’s expertise in energy and infrastructure disputes, noting that his experience in renewable energy disputes is particularly impressive. Sullivan, for his part, acknowledged Debevoise’s strong reputation and expressed his excitement to work with the firm’s next generation of leaders.

It is clear that Debevoise’s leadership in international arbitration is in safe hands with the arrival of Sullivan, and Lord Goldsmith shows no signs of slowing down, even after fifty years since his call to the Bar.

Debevoise & Plimptonpractises across broad range of legal practices, including M&A, private equity, litigation, white-collar defense, regulatory, and tax.

Founded in 1931, the firm has grown into a global powerhouse with offices in major financial centers around the world, including New York, London, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo, Paris, and Frankfurt. The firm’s clients include many of the world’s largest corporations, financial institutions, and private equity firms, as well as high-net-worth individuals and families.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top