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Name partner departs arbitration boutique Volterra Fietta

Four years after leaving Latham & Watkins to launch arbitration and international law boutique Volterra Fietta, Stephen Fietta has resigned to set up his own shop.

Fietta, one of London’s leading international arbitration lawyers, is leaving the firm he founded with Robert Volterra (pictured) to set up his own practice. While Fietta is to depart in December, the firm will continue operating under the same name.

Fietta had joined Herbert Smith Freehills, where Volterra was a partner, as an associate 13 years ago, and moved with him to Latham & Watkins.

After leaving their partner positions at Latham & Watkins to launch their own firm, Volterra and Fietta were at the forefront of a shift in the legal market that saw large corporates and governments shift disputes work towards boutique law firms.

Since founding Volterra Fietta in 2011, the firm has grown to more than 30 lawyers and is estimated to generate around £15m a year. The governments of the United States, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia and Barbados are all clients of the firm.

Fietta’s decision to go it alone brings the number of partners down to five, with the firm having promoted Giorgio Francesco Mandelli to partner 18 months after joining from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as counsel. The firm also lured Christophe Bondy to the firm as a partner after eight years as senior counsel to the Canadian government.

Known as an academic, Fietta lectures at King’s College in London and has spent time as a lawyer in the UK government and the Council of Europe.

Volterra said the firm’s partners were committed to the continued expansion of the firm but recognised Fietta wanted to go his own way.

‘Stephen has told Volterra Fietta that he intends to practise as a sole practitioner. It may be that Volterra Fietta will co-counsel with Stephen on client matters as appropriate in the future.’

Read more on legal boutiques in our feature ‘Go your own way – legal boutiques and the seductive appeal of being your own boss’ here