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HSF appoints new CEO

Global firm Herbert Smith Freehills has named a new chief executive to take over from Mark Rigotti in May 2020.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 13 December 2019 Big Law
Justin D’Agostino
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Justin D’Agostino, the HSF global disputes practice leader and managing partner of Asia, has been named as the firm’s next CEO. Following an appointment by the firm’s council, which was approved by a partnership vote, he will assume his new role from 1 May 2020.

He is also the founder of the firm's first LGBT+ network and is a “strong advocate and active supporter of diversity and inclusion in the firm and the wider community”, the firm said.

He succeeds Mr Rigotti, who has served two terms as CEO.


In a statement, the firm said Mr D’Agostino’s “enthusiasm, integrity and passion for the firm, its people and its achievements are self-evident to those who know him, and he is well placed to lead the firm in the next phase of its strategy. He has widespread support from partners across all regions and practices.”

“Justin will retain his home base in Asia during his tenure, spending significant time in each of the firm’s regions.”

HSF chair and senior partner James Palmer said he was “delighted” to announce the appointment of “such a popular and strong leader as our next CEO”.

“Justin combines great ambition for the firm with an ability to inspire, as well as successful leadership experience across our regions and markets. He has always been both client-focused and a culture-and-people person, building successful outcomes for clients and for our teams,” he said.

“It is good news for our firm that he has agreed to take on this key leadership role, and I and our partners and other colleagues look forward to working with him.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Mark Rigotti for all he has achieved during his two terms as CEO.

“The firm is in a much stronger position as a result of his leadership. We have professionalised, expanded our global network and practices, and been widely recognised for both individual and team excellence and an enhanced market position. It is a privilege to work with someone so focused on the success of our firm and its people.”

Mr D’Agostino said he was “delighted” to have been appointed.

Herbert Smith Freehills has nurtured me throughout my 21 years at the firm and it is an honour and privilege to lead the business,” he said.

“There are many opportunities and challenges facing us as we move into a new decade. I have no doubt, however, that our people will continue to innovate and flourish. I relish the chance to work with them, and with our clients, to take our firm forward to even greater success.”