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Clifford Chance bolsters City disputes practice with Debevoise public law specialist

Having endured a spate of high profile departures from its corporate offering in recent years, Clifford Chance (CC) has made a notable recruit with disputes lawyer Jessica Gladstone joining as a partner from the City office of US firm Debevoise & Plimpton.

Before joining Debevoise as international counsel and solictor-advocate in 2010, Gladstone previously served as legal adviser at the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where she managed international and domestic litigation, and represented the UK at the UN General Assembly, in the Council of Europe and in cases before the European Court of Human Rights.

Specialising in international public law, high profile mandates on which Gladstone has advised include a $1.2bn arbitration between Malaysia and Singapore and a dispute between the British Caribbean Bank and the Attorney General of Belize over a decision to nationalise the telecomms industry in Belize.

CC’s global disputes head Jeremy Sandelson, said: ‘As governments and state owned enterprises become increasingly active in the commercial sphere, public international law expertise is critical to our clients as we help them to navigate the risks and opportunities this new landscape brings. Jessica is focused on international, complex, strategic work for some of the world’s leading businesses and governments, making her the ideal fit for our team. We are delighted to welcome her.’

CC’s international commercial arbitration co-head Audley Sheppard QC added: ‘Jessica’s experience in public international law will be an excellent boost to our team. Over the past decade, we have seen the number of arbitration cases that involve State parties increase significantly and we expect this trend to continue, especially investment treaty arbitrations.’

In May, Legal Business revealed CC voted through proposed changes to its remuneration system which will see the firm deploy a more flexible lockstep by stretching the top of the ladder in a bid to retain star partners. The firm has lost multiple corporate partners, particularly in the private equity space, in recent years with the latest departure being German banking chief Alexandra Hagelüken becoming the latest to move to US firm Latham & Watkins.