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Centre for Commercial Law Studies

Jennifer Hartzler (2010)

Jennifer studied International Arbitration and Commercial Law as an associate student at CCLS in 2010. She is Vice President of Legal at AlphaSights and has been named a ‘Future Leader’ by Who’s Who Legal for Arbitration in 2017-2020. Jennifer shares her profile on International Women’s Day.

Jennifer Hartzler head and shoulders photo against a brick walll

The 11th anniversary of my completing CCLS’s post-graduate programme in international arbitration and international finance is just around the corner. As I reflect on the last 11 years, I’m amazed at how - as a person, a lawyer, a professional woman - so much has changed and yet so much remains the same. 

One of my fondest CCLS memories was representing QMUL at the Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot in Vienna. Our team, much like CCLS and the Vis Moot, was akin to a mini United Nations. We were five members hailing from as many countries - France, Lithuania, Malaysia, China and the US. Despite our different legal and cultural backgrounds, we collaborated, strategised, stormed/normed/performed, and most of all had so much fun. Hard work, humour and fun, like international arbitration, knows no borders! The cherry on top was being mentored by titans of international arbitration and commercial law, Professors Mistelis, Brekoulakis and Raymond, all of whom remain good friends to this day. 

International arbitration is what brought me to CCLS and London. I was drawn to it being a growing and dynamic area of the law, not to mention its sophisticated multinational parties and international context. Simply put, I saw a career in international arbitration as a way to learn about people, business and the world. And that I did...

After CCLS I was fortunate to be hired by Herbert Smith Freehills’ international arbitration team in London. Eight action-packed years there saw me arbitrate some of the most complex disputes, under the leading rules and institutions, across industries and sectors, from Beijing to New York, while working alongside some of the most competent and talented lawyers. Secondments to the LCIA and Uber diversified and contextualised my time in private practice. Among other activities, founding London’s Very Young Arbitration Practitioners, being a YIAG rep for England, and attending too many conferences and events to count, meant that I met so many fellow arbitration lawyers, who started as strangers or even foes, but over the years became close friends, confidantes, and even good family.

My arbitration career was fascinating and something I could have easily spent the rest of my life doing. However, following my secondment to Uber, the call to in-house, scale-up life became too loud to ignore; I joined AlphaSights with the remit to build and grow its global legal team from scratch. 

Now as AlphaSights’ Vice President of Legal I lead a global team of high-performing lawyers, who are similarly diverse to my QMUL Vis Moot team: our home countries include South Africa, Switzerland, Singapore, Nigeria, Brazil, South Korea, the UK and the US, among others. We are a dynamic, external and internal-facing function supporting all aspects of the global business, navigating through the ever-evolving and growing knowledge search industry. AlphaSights is experiencing ultra-high-growth, and like international arbitration, serves sophisticated multinational parties in a cross-border (even borderless!) international context. I’ve again found my sweet spot that CCLS so ably introduced me to. 

I’m forever grateful to the CCLS faculty and staff who made my time there so special and who equipped me to have the high-impact, international career of my dreams!

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