Herbert Smith Freehills has appointed Paul Butcher to the new role of Brexit director. Paul will have responsibility for coordinating the firm’s coverage of Brexit for clients. He will also take a prominent role representing the firm externally in relation to Brexit. This appointment comes as the formal Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU get underway.

Paul has been with the firm since 2001 and joined the firm’s Brexit team after the EU referendum. In that capacity he has worked closely with client, sector and practice teams across the firm’s worldwide network and has driven forward many of the firm’s most high-profile Brexit-related initiatives.

As Brexit Director, Paul will continue to work with each of these groups to deliver the firm’s coverage of the challenges and opportunities of Brexit for clients. He will take a prominent role in representing the firm with Government, the firm’s Brexit partners – such as consulting and advisory firms The Boston Consulting Group, Global Counsel and Hanbury Strategy - and with other key City and industry stakeholders.

Commenting on the appointment, partner responsible for Brexit coverage, Gavin Williams said: ’I am delighted to congratulate Paul on his new role as Brexit Director. With negotiations now underway, Brexit is becoming a higher priority for a growing cross-section of our clients around the world. Paul’s appointment will help us leverage the enormous amount of work we have already done and sustain momentum as we enter this new phase in assisting clients with their detailed plans to meet challenges and seize opportunities of Brexit.’

Commenting on his appointment Paul Butcher said: ’A common thread of my career has been working with government, regulators and private sector clients at the leading edge of public policy, from the design and implementation of new regulatory regimes and associated projects, to public sector transformations and helping design innovative service delivery models.’

’Herbert Smith Freehills is well placed to advise clients on Brexit. The scope of our sectoral expertise, reach of our global platform combined with the strength of our market leading and 20 year-old international trade law practice, arguably makes us the best placed global law firm. It is a real differentiator because neither niche trade law firms nor our full service peers can offer the same breadth and service on Brexit.’

Paul recently co-authored, in collaboration with The Boston Consulting Group and Global Counsel, a report on navigating the post-Brexit energy market with London Corporate partner Silke Goldberg.

Paul’s appointment follows the recent hire of Eric White who joined Herbert Smith Freehills’ International Trade and European Union law practice as a consultant, further strengthening the firm’s ability to help clients understand the implications of Brexit for their businesses and to plan. Prior to joining Herbert Smith Freehills, Eric was a member of the European Commission’s Legal Service between 1985 and 2016, where he led the Trade Policy and WTO team.

Lode Van Den Hende, who is head of the firm’s international trade and WTO law practice, has recently been appointed to TheCityUK’s ‘International Trade and Investment Group’, for its work on Brexit.