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‘Fits our philosophy and style of practice perfectly’: Three Crowns hires its first female partner from Covington

Arbitration boutique Three Crowns has hired its first female partner, Carmen Martinez Lopez, from Covington & Burling as the firm boosts its arbitration capabilities, especially in the Latin American and Spanish-language markets.

The firm has also hired a senior associate for each of its three offices in Washington, London and Paris, totalling a team of 23 associates firm wide.

Martinez Lopez will be based in London, taking up the role in January 2015, and has experience of acting as counsel in investment treaty and commercial arbitrations, both under the rules of the major arbitral institutions and ad hoc, involving a variety of jurisdictions. In addition, she is dual-qualified in civil law and common law.

Martinez Lopez joined Covington & Burling in May 2009, before which she was based in New York and Paris at Debevoise & Plimpton for three years, and Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton before that for a year in Brussels.

Some of her key cases include representing a European gas major in a Spanish law ICC arbitration relating to European and African assets; and representing independent oil and gas companies in an ICDR arbitration under New York law arising out of a crude transportation agreement.

The arbitration boutique was launched in April this year and was initially set up by three senior arbitrators from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer alongside partners from Jones Day, Covington & Burling and Shearman & Sterling. At that time, the firm received some criticism for not having any female partners.

Constantine Partasides QC, founding partner, said: ‘The market has embraced our distinct business model with enthusiasm, and immediate client demand has led to this early expansion. Carmen fits our philosophy and style of practice perfectly, will be a huge asset to our clients, and a role model within our growing firm. Our new senior associates, Nick, Lucy and Agustin – each of whom is already a significant practitioner in their own right – further state our intent to providing specialised arbitration expertise to suit our client’s diversified cultural and business needs.’