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Former Shell legal head Rees joins Thirty Nine Essex Street

With the global arbitration market currently powered by a string of high stakes energy disputes, Thirty Nine Essex Street Chambers looks to have secured itself a trophy tenant with the London set this morning announcing the arrival of former legal director of Royal Dutch Shell Peter Rees QC.

Rees is a highly regarded arbitration and litigation specialist and at Shell headed one of the world’s largest legal teams after being recruited from the City arm of Debevoise & Plimpton in 2010, taking over from incumbent Beat Hess.

At Shell he pushed through major changes which led to a substantial decrease in external legal spend and bolstered the energy giant’s in-house contentious team. His departure from Shell after three years in the role surprised many. He was replaced by former Singapore legal head Donny Ching.

Thirty Nine Essex Street said that the move was part of a drive to bolster its position in the energy arbitration sphere. ‘We are absolutely delighted that Peter will be joining Thirty Nine and his focus on international arbitration fits perfectly with our rapidly growing practice and offering in this arena both in the UK and abroad,’ said chief executive and director of clerking David Barnes.

Rees commented: ‘Thirty Nine Essex Street is the perfect set to be joining. With its international focus and wide variety of specialisations it provides the ideal platform for me both to represent parties in disputes and to sit as an arbitrator.’