The appointment, which has been approved by partnership vote, will take effect from 1 May for a term of four years. He will succeed Mark Rigotti, who has served two terms as chief executive.
A native of Edinburgh, D’Agostino graduated with a bachelor’s degree in law from the University of Aberdeen in 1996. He joined Herbert Smith Freehills in 1998 and became a partner in 2007.
The firm described D’Agostino as a “successful leader”, both in leading the global disputes practice and as managing partner of its Asian business.
“His 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,” it added.
D’Agostino will retain his home base in Asia during his tenure, spending “significant” time in each of the firm’s regions.
He said: “I am delighted to have been appointed CEO of this great law firm. Herbert Smith Freehills has nurtured me throughout my 21 years at the firm and it is an honour and privilege to lead the business.
“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.”
Chair James Palmer added: “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.”