16 April 2019

Oz arbitration centre gets its first female president

HSF partner appointed first female President of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA)

ACICA’s first female president Brenda Horrigan, head of international arbitration Australia at Herbert Smith Freehills, began her tenure of leading ACICA yesterday, almost a year after she was elected an executive director of the centre’s board.

Depth of experience

Ms Horrigan, a US-qualified lawyer, has nearly 20 years’ experience in international arbitration and is consistently ranked in Chambers and in Global Arbitration Review’s Who’s Who: Legal as a leading arbitration practitioner.  She has practiced previously in the US, Paris, Moscow, and Shanghai, and is now based in Sydney. Paula Hodges QC, head of HSF’s global arbitration practice, said the appointment reflects Ms Horrigan’s depth of experience in what is an increasingly important legal field, “arbitration in Australia is growing apace to support the increasing number of cross-border transactions taking place. At this thriving time, we are therefore particularly proud that Brenda has been elected as president of ACICA.”

Gender commitment

Ms Horrigan said she was honoured by the appointment, “I am delighted to have been chosen as president of ACICA, after serving as an executive director for the past year. I would like to thank the current president, Alex Baykitch AM, for his service to ACICA, and look forward to helping steer ACICA as it moves from strength to strength.” ACICA secretary general, Deborah Tomkinson, said that Ms Horrigan’s experience will be invaluable, “ACICA is growing as an institution and is increasingly involved in highly complex matters. The depth of expertise and international experience that Brenda brings to this leadership role is very important to the institution.” Ms Tomkinson explained, “Brenda’s appointment as President of ACICA reflects the incredible female talent we have amongst arbitrators and arbitration practitioners in this country, and is a demonstration of our commitment to achieving gender parity in our field.”

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