Amid the rise in disputes and investigations involving human rights issues, Suzanne Spears has unveiled her own law firm Paxus with a team of seven lawyers.
A three-member team from Allen & Overy - Sebastián Mejía (tri-qualified Spanish-Colombian lawyer), and Olga Owczarek and Finnuala Meaden-Torbitt (English solicitors), have also joined her firm. While Mejía and Owczarek are of-counsel at Paxus, Meaden-Torbitt is an associate. Others on the team are Dr Kuzi Charamba, Aishwarya Nair, Sebastián Abad-Jara and Leonardo Camacho.
The firm will offer strategy, due diligence and dispute resolution services to corporate and government clients in the areas of international law, international arbitration and transnational law. Spears had noted the growing number of disputes and investigations involving human rights issues and the risks associated with business, impacting people adversely.
Spears stated, "Paxus will provide a conflict-free international legal advice and representation service to clients who are committed to building a sustainable future and conducting business with respect for human rights."
A former partner at the UK Magic Circle firm Allen & Overy, Spears was associated with the litigation, arbitration and investigations group. She co-led the global business and human rights practice and co-founded the ESG group.
Dr. Charamba specializes in sustainability-related legal matters globally, particularly in Africa. He was practicing independently. Nair is an international arbitration and sustainable development specialist with a background in India and the Middle East. She was practicing at Al Tamimi & Company, a law firm in the United Arab Emirates.
Abad-Jara focuses on international law and comparative constitutional law in Latin America and was most recently a research assistant at Human Rights Watch. Camacho focuses on public policy and constitutional law in Asia and served as a policy adviser in the UK government's National Infrastructure Commission.
Spears was all praise for the team's stand-out combination of international relations and international law background with commercial awareness and experience.
A political scientist, Spears earlier held international law and policy positions with the United Nations, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Organisation of American States before joining the international disputes team of Debevoise & Plimpton in New York in 2002.
She moved to Allen & Overy in 2018 after several years as a partner in London's public international law boutique firm Volterra Fietta and as counsel in the London office of WilmerHale.
Spears specializes in representing both investors and states in disputes arising under international investment treaties and has also served as the lead lawyer in transnational tort litigations involving ESG issues.