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CMS strengthens Infrastructure, Construction and Energy Disputes team with new partner hire

14 January 2021

International law firm CMS is pleased to announce the appointment of Emma Schaafsma (Kratochvilova) as a partner in its Band 1 ranked Infrastructure, Construction and Energy (ICE) Disputes group based in London. Emma is currently a partner in the Dispute Resolution practice at Herbert Smith Freehills in London and is due to join CMS on 1 May 2021.  

Emma has specialised in construction and engineering law for over 20 years, including two years in-house at a major international heavy industries contractor and leading the construction disputes practice at HSF Tokyo for 10 years. She represents clients in complex and high-stake disputes arising on a wide range of international construction and engineering projects in the infrastructure and energy sectors. She is renowned for acting on claims involving delay, defects and performance failures, and their financial consequences.  

Emma focuses her practice on arbitration, litigation and mediation, as well as other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Her experience includes international arbitration under LCIA, ICC, SIAC and JCAA rules as well as ad hoc arbitrations. 

While in Tokyo, Emma was recognised as a leading lawyer in Asia Pacific by Chambers and Legal 500 with clients regarding her as a ‘once in a generation’ specialist and ‘unbelievably insightful’ and praising her ‘exceptional leadership’. Within a year of her return to London, Emma’s strong track record and reputation continue to be recognised with a Legal 500 ranking in 2021.  

Adrian Bell, partner and Co-Head of the ICE Disputes group at CMS, says: “Emma has extensive experience in handling large and complex arbitrations and is a highly competent lawyer. Having worked with her previously, I know that she will be instrumental in strengthening our offering to international clients and I am confident that those clients will value her insightfulness and deep sector knowledge. We are pleased to welcome Emma to the firm.”

Emma adds: “CMS’s market-leading ICE Disputes team provides the ideal platform for me to grow further my practice and provide clients with the expertise essential for the successful resolution of disputes on their critical projects. CMS is a leading law firm steeped in sector specialism and recognises the importance of getting under the client’s skin and truly understanding their business. I am delighted to be joining this team.”

The CMS ICE Disputes team advises clients across the infrastructure, construction and energy sectors, including contractors, consultants, developers, energy and power companies. Consisting of over 80 lawyers globally and with sector specialism at its core, the team specialises in all forms of dispute avoidance and resolution including expert determination, adjudication, mediation, international arbitration and litigation. The team is experienced in handling high-value technically complex matters and often across multiple jurisdictions, including Europe, Middle East and North Africa, Asia and Latin America. Recent clients include Acciona, Técnicas Reunidas and Samsung C&T.