Justin D'Agostino
United Kingdom
  • PositionPartner
  • FirmHerbert Smith Freehills
  • Age-
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Justin D'Agostino

Justin D'Agostino

United Kingdom
  • Position: Partner
  • FirmHerbert Smith Freehills
  • Age: -

Herbert Smith, Hong Kong

Why international arbitration?

Hearings, teamwork and air miles.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

There is usually one case that is a defining moment in your career. For me, it was the investment treaty arbitration between Telekom Malaysia Berhad and Ghana. It was my first taste of real advocacy, with very worthy adversaries and a world-class tribunal.

Who in the field do you especially admire?

I have been fortunate to have been encouraged in my career by the likes of Julian Lew QC, Larry Shore, Paula Hodges, Matthew Weiniger, Robert Volterra, Albert Jan van den Berg, Emmanuelle Gaillard and Arthur Marriott QC, to name but a few.

What other career might you have chosen?

The stage.

Do you sit as an arbitrator?

Yes. My first appointment was from Adrian Winstanley at the LCIA when I was based in London. He makes a point of bringing on young arbitrators and is to be commended for that. I was in my mid-30s.

What are the biggest challenges facing arbitration?

Not losing sight of the strengths of arbitration, while not being partial in defending it. As practitioners, we need to be brave in recognising and defending the features that set arbitration apart from other dispute resolution mechanisms, while acknowledging that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. The whole of the arbitration community needs to work hard to make that happen.

If you could change one thing about the system...?

That a deadline should be a deadline.

What’s your favourite city to arbitrate in?

I have always enjoyed the tranquillity of The Hague. The Peace Palace is amazing: who wouldn’t enjoy pleading in the court rooms there?

What’s your favourite restaurant?

For spaghetti alle vongole, Ristorante Da Stefano, in Viareggio (a seaside town in Tuscany).

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