Karen Birch

Karen Birch

Counsel and Global Head of Knowledge, Disputes

Karen has particular expertise in advising on cross-border governing law and jurisdiction issues and on the negotiation of dispute resolution clauses in complex international transactions.

She also advises widely on matters including state immunity, English litigation and arbitration procedure and legal privilege, as well as on how clients can best manage their litigation risk.

Karen was part of the firm's core Brexit, Covid, and Russia/Ukraine crisis teams and has been heavily involved in advising clients on the legal implications of these events. She also regularly trains clients and lawyers around the A&O Shearman global network on issues arising in the disputes context, including recent legal developments and trends. 



Admitted as solicitor, England and Wales, 1999


BA, History, St John's College, Cambridge University, 1995

CPE, The College Of Law, Chester, 1996

LPC, The College Of Law, Chester, 1997

MA, History, University of Cambridge, 1999


A&O Shearman was formed on May 1, 2024 by the combination of Shearman & Sterling LLP and Allen & Overy LLP and their respective affiliates (the legacy firms). Any matters referred to above may include matters undertaken by one or more of the legacy firms rather than A&O Shearman.