This week’s Movers & Shakers (August 13, 2020)

New appointments and promotions across key practice areas in Clyde & Co, Trowers & Hamlins, Squire Patton Boggs, Eversheds Sutherland, Galadari Advocates & Legal Consultants, Baker McKenzie and Pinsent Masons.  

Clyde & Co adds depth to leading construction practice with key partner hire in Dubai

Beau McLaren, Clyde & Co

Beau McLaren, Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co has announced the appointment of Beau McLaren as partner in its Global Projects & Construction practice. Beau will be based in the firm’s Dubai office.

Beau is a construction and disputes expert with over 13 years’ experience in the Middle East. He joins from HFW in Dubai, where he was Partner and played a key part in building the firm’s Construction and Construction Disputes team in the Middle East. Prior to that, he spent 10 years in Dubai with the construction group of another international law firm.

Beau advises parties at every level of the construction supply chain, from procurement through to contract management, having advised on a range of construction projects and commercial disputes across the GCC and further afield. He has experience of transport, infrastructure, power and healthcare projects, as well as more generic building and construction projects. In addition to his front-end work, Beau advises clients on bringing and defending complex and high-value claims arising out of construction projects. He has extensive experience of international and domestic arbitration proceedings under most institutional rules, with a particular focus on construction-related arbitration. Beau also sits as an arbitrator, is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a ranked Leading Individual in Chambers & Partners.

Michael Grose, partner and head of Projects & Construction for the Middle East at Clyde & Co, commented, “Beau’s strong regional experience and his seniority in the market will be a key addition to the firm and our global projects and construction group. Bringing him on board forms part of our long-term strategy to further expand our leading construction practice in the Middle East and bring strategic support to our clients, as the wider region remains committed to investing in large-scale development projects and infrastructure.”

Beau McLaren commented, “Clyde & Co has one of the most established construction and disputes teams in the Middle East. The firm’s extensive offering and reputation provides an exceptional platform to leverage new opportunities in regional markets and complement the firm’s practice across sectors and I am excited to be joining the team.”

Trowers & Hamlins promote head of corporate transactions team in Abu Dhabi to partnership

Stephen Sullivan, Trowers & Hamlins

Stephen Sullivan, Trowers & Hamlins

Trowers & Hamlins has promoted Stephen Sullivan from the corporate transactions team in Abu Dhabi to partnership. He is part of a total of 10 promoted across a selection of the firm’s other offices in London, Exeter and Manchester offices.

Sullivan trained and worked in London before moving to the UAE in March 2013. After spending seven years in the international corporate department in Dubai, he recently moved across to the Abu Dhabi office to take forward our corporate transactional practice there. Stephen is experienced in a broad range of corporate matters with a particular focus on cross-border M&A and private equity transactions. His track record includes work in the oil and gas, healthcare, hospitality, food and beverage, TMT and real estate sectors.

Abdul-Haq Mohammed, head of Trowers’ International business commented, “I am delighted to see Stephen progress up to the partnership. Over the years he has demonstrated considerable legal acumen and an assured approach to looking after our clients and advising on corporate deals, both in the UAE and elsewhere in the region.”

Squire Patton Boggs strengthens international arbitration capabilities in Middle East

Ravinder Bhullar & Alex Freeman, Squire Patton Boggs

Ravinder Bhullar & Alex Freeman, Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs has announced the addition of Ravinder Bhullar as a partner in its International Dispute Resolution (IDR) practice in Dubai.  Bhullar joins, along with senior associate Alex Freeman, from the Dubai office of Dechert.

“We continue to expand our global practice in regions of key strategic focus and are building on our world-class capabilities in construction and engineering dispute resolution,” said Stephen P. Anway, global co-leader of the International Dispute Resolution Practice. “As with our recent additions in Singapore and New York, we have attracted exceptional and experienced practitioners to enhance an already leading team in the Middle East. Rav and Alex, well known for their technical expertise and their commercial, pragmatic approach to resolving complex issues, are a perfect fit with our practice. We look forward to integrating their busy practice with ours while we build across the Middle East and beyond.”

Thomas P. Wilson, Abu Dhabi managing partner and head of construction and arbitration in the Middle East, added, “We’re delighted to have Rav and Alex on board. Their experience and success in the region compliments our own, and makes us better able to respond to increased client needs in key sectors. In fact, the pressures of the current crisis bring into sharp focus the need to bring deep and highly skilled dispute resolution teams to the construction and engineering industry, and we do that better than most.”

Bhullar specialises in international commercial arbitration and litigation, particularly in disputes involving construction, real estate, infrastructure and energy projects, especially across the Middle East and Africa. His experience extends to arbitrations seated around the world, conducted under the rules of the ICC, DIAC, DIFC-LCIA, LCIA, and SCC, as well as ad hoc arbitrations under UNCITRAL rules. Admitted to the Supreme Court of Victoria, Australia in 2002, Bhullar has been a Registered Practitioner (Part II) of the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts since 2010. He is also a Member of the LCIA and currently Treasurer of the Society of Construction Law (Gulf).

Freeman’s expertise lies in resolving civil engineering and oil and gas projects disputes through mediation, dispute adjudication boards, arbitration and litigation. He has broad experience representing clients in arbitrations seated in Dubai, London and Paris under major institutional rules including DIAC, ADCCAC, DIFC-LCIA and ICC, as well as acting for clients in investment treaty arbitrations under ICSID Rules. Qualified in England and Wales, Freeman is a Member of the Society of Construction Law (Gulf).

Eversheds Sutherland expands Projects Team in Dubai

Ashley Halewood, Eversheds Sutherland

Ashley Halewood, Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland has appointed project finance lawyer, Ashley Halewood, as a partner in its Projects team in Dubai. Halewood joins the firm from Linklaters’ Energy & Infrastructure team in Dubai.

With nine years’ experience working in the Middle East, Halewood has advised on a number of high-profile transactions in the infrastructure, renewables, oil & gas, petrochemicals and power and water (IWP, IWPP and ISTP) sectors across the MENA region.

He has represented sponsors, developers, commercial lenders, Islamic finance institutions, ECAs and multilateral agencies, in all aspects of project financing, including bids, acquisitions and disposals. Halewood is named as a ‘Rising Star’ by Legal 500 in the Infrastructure and Projects (including Project Finance) sector.

Keri Rees, co-head of Global Company Commercial, Eversheds Sutherland said, “We’re thrilled to welcome Ashley. His appointment builds on our existing offering in the Middle East, enhancing the capability we already offer to our clients through the technical excellence and wealth of experience that he brings. Whilst Middle East focused, Ashley is part of a global team and it’s great to see this develop with Ashley already connected with colleagues in London, Paris, Germany and Asia in particular. Despite these challenging times, having Ashley on board reaffirms our ongoing long term commitment to meeting the needs of our clients and the increasing demand for service excellence.”

Nadim Kayyali, regional head of Eversheds Sutherland’s Corporate and Commercial team in the Middle East commented, “Ashley is a superb lawyer, with a proven track record in the region and his appointment reflects the investment in talent that the firm has made in the Middle East over the past couple of years. He brings with him a wealth of technical experience and client relationships which will develop further our existing projects teams in Dubai and across the region in Tunisia, Qatar, Jordan, UAE and KSA. We are committed to the growth of our practice in the Middle East, and supporting the strategic growth and strength of our global projects offering, and it is my pleasure to welcome Ashley to our team.”

Ashley Halewood commented, “I am delighted to be joining such a highly reputable team, building on what is already a strong offering in the Middle East, and a great platform from which to grow and strengthen my relationships with clients. It’s an interesting time to be joining Eversheds Sutherland amid our clients’ obvious concerns around COVID-19 and its impact on, amongst other things, the energy and infrastructure sectors. I look forward to working as part of the team to help find innovative solutions to our clients’ challenges and opportunities.”

New partner at Galadari Advocates & Legal Consultants

Manish Narayan, Galadari Advocates & Legal Consultants

Manish Narayan, Galadari Advocates & Legal Consultants

Manish Narayan has been appointed as partner at Galadari Advocates & Legal Consultants. Narayan has been with the firm for 12 years and prior to his promotion was co-head of the Real Estate Department. He advises on various corporate, commercial and real estate matters in the region. He brings a substantial experience as a transactional lawyer serving clients in a broad spectrum of UAE business law and regulations. With over a decade of experience in the UAE, he has had the opportunity of handling high value contract enforcement and settlements, particularly through the Dubai Courts and through DIAC Arbitration. Due to the diversity of Narayan’s practice he offers clients valuable insight into current market information and has a demonstrated talent for positioning his clients well for advantageous commercial solutions.

Baker McKenzie announces 85 partnership promotions including in the Middle East

Joanna Matthews-Taylor & Mohamed El Khatib, Baker McKenzie

Joanna Matthews-Taylor & Mohamed El Khatib, Baker McKenzie

Across the Firm’s practice groups globally, Tax and Dispute Resolution saw the largest intake of new partners, with M&A also significantly adding to their numbers. In the Middle East, two noteworthy promotions were awarded to: Joanna Matthews-Taylor from the Employment and Compensation Practice and Mohamed El Khatib from the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice at Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla based in the UAE.

Dr. Habib Al Mulla, Executive Chairman of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla said, “We are extremely proud of our UAE lawyers who have demonstrated exertion, dedication and deep industry expertise throughout the year. As we’re all adjusting to the rapid pace and challenges we face in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), guidance on local labor and employment laws has gained interest, which this global health emergency has imposed on individuals and businesses alike to address the situation with regards to employees. Further, the pandemic is causing instability and uncertainty for many businesses resulting in a growth in the number and types of disputes and hence, the urgent need for dispute resolution processes.”

“With that in mind, I am particularly pleased that Joanna Matthews-Taylor, has been promoted to partner under the Employment and Compensation Practice and Mohamed El Khatib to Principal (equity partner) under the Dispute Resolution Practice at Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla. I congratulate both Joanna and Mohamed and all those who were promoted and wish them every success as they continue their careers with the Firm.”

During Financial Year 2020 Baker McKenzie also added 68 lateral partner hires, demonstrating the Firm’s continued commitment to investing in top talent across the globe. Combining this year’s promotions and new lateral talent, the Firm added 153 partners to its ranks.

Milton Cheng, global chair of Baker McKenzie, said,”Congratulations to all of our new partners. Welcoming 153 new partners, both home-grown and lateral, over the last 12 months is a clear sign of the importance we place in the long-term growth strategy of the Firm. I wish them all the best in their future career with Baker McKenzie.”

Matthew Escritt joins Pinsent Masons

Matthew Escritt, Pinsent Masons

Matthew Escritt, Pinsent Masons

Pinsent Masons, has appointed Banking & Finance partner Matthew Escritt to lead the firm’s Banking & Finance practice in the Middle East, based in Dubai. Escritt joins from Norton Rose Fulbright, where he has been for the past 19 years, with the past eight spent as partner in the banking and finance team. During this time, he has worked in London, Moscow, Bahrain, Singapore and Dubai.

Escritt is a banking and finance specialist, advising on all areas of structured cross border finance, including syndicated lending acquisition, development finance, asset finance, vendor finance, and structured trade and commodity finance. He is familiar with both conventional and Islamic finance funding structures.  He also advises on financial restructuring and insolvency mandates. Based in Dubai, he will be leading the Banking & Finance practice in the Middle East (within the Finance & Projects group) and will focus primarily on clients in the Financial Services sector.

Commenting on Matthew’s appointment, Michael Watson, head of the Finance & Projects group at Pinsent Masons said, “Matthew’s reputation precedes him and we look forward to welcoming him as head of our banking and finance practice in Dubai. His experience and expertise will greatly strengthen the practice, enabling them to deepen relationships with existing clients as well as developing new ones. His appointment is another fantastic addition to our growing international capabilities.”

Catherine Workman, head of Pinsent Masons in the Middle East said, “We are excited to announce Matthew’s appointment as we continue to strengthen our expertise across the Middle East. The firm’s approach of focusing on sector specialism aligned to skillset excellence has proven a compelling proposition for our clients across the Middle East and Internationally.  The addition of Matthew to the office and the team will significantly increase that compelling proposition, enabling us to enhance the support to our clients across the Region.”

Matthew Escritt, head of Banking and Finance in the Middle East added, “I am excited to have been given the opportunity to lead Pinsent Masons’ Banking & Finance practice in the region and to be part of an international team tasked with growing a strategically important practice area to complement the firm’s existing strengths.  It will also ensure that we are able to provide vital, full-service support to our clients as they navigate today’s challenging business environment.  Given the diverse talents of the individuals involved and the well-known strengths of the existing practice I am confident that we are well-placed to achieve our goals.”



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