A Swiss firm that opened a London office in 2018, defying Brexit fears, has hired Allen & Overy’s Asia-Pacific managing partner.

Disputes specialist Lalive, which set up an office in Eastcheap just over a year ago to handle international arbitration, has hired Thomas Brown as its first CEO to drive growth in London and Zurich. Brown formerly managed Allen & Overy’s Asia Pacific practice, having also served as managing partner of the Tokyo and Hong Kong offices. 

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Lalive's first ever CEO Thomas Brown

While many firms have braced themselves for Brexit by opening offices outside the UK – in Dublin, for example – Lalive believes that Brexit could strengthen London’s credibility as a forum for dispute resolution. In 2018, partner Marc Veit told the Gazette he could ‘definitely see an upside’ of Brexit. ‘It could be that London will be perceived as more neutral, particularly when it comes to EU state-controlled parties.’

Domitille Baizeau, Lalive’s co-managing partner, said that Brown would help to expand the firm’s practice areas and international reach. ‘As our firm continues to grow in its core practice areas and geographies, it is invaluable to have a dedicated person of Thomas’ experience to pursue our strategy, drive the business, and help further modernise our client services delivery.’

Lalive has offices in Geneva, Zurich and London.