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Freshfields arbitration practice sees more exits as trio set up boutique in Germany

Disputes partner Christian Borris is leaving Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer‘s Cologne office at the end of April to set up a local arbitration boutique.

His former two associates, Rudolph Hennecke who left the firm a month ago, and Sebastian Kneisel who relocated from its Cologne office to Frankfurt last year, will be joining Borris as partners to set up the new practice, Borris Hennecke Kneisel, which will launch on 1 May.

This is the second team to depart the firm’s global arbitration practice in recent weeks, following the exit of Constantine Partasides QC, consultant and former arbitration head Jan Paulsson and Paris arbitration head Georgios Petrochilos, who are leaving to set up arbitration boutique Three Crowns, alongside Jones Day’s Luke Sobota, Shearman & Sterling’s Todd Wetmore and global co-chair of Covington & Burling’s international arbitration group Gaetan Verhoosel.

Borris told Legal Business that the new venture comes as a result of the increasing conflict of interest issues between the firm’s arbitration and corporate group. ‘It became impossible for me to accept any mandates because of there were too many conflicts of interest,’ he added.

The new boutique will specialise in dispute resolution with a focus on arbitration, consisting of joint ventures, corporate, energy and investment disputes and general commercial arbitration.