This week’s Movers & Shakers (Jan 28, 2021)

HFW continues to expand global litigation practice with Dubai partner hire

the-oath-January-2021-Newsletter-NicholasHFW expanded its global litigation practice with the hire of partner Nick Braganza. Braganza joined HFW’s Dubai office on January 4, 2021 from Clyde & Co and will sit in the firm’s fraud and insolvency group. His arrival follows that of insolvency litigation specialist Simon Jerrum, who joined HFW in London as a partner from Norton Rose Fulbright in 2020. The firm has specialist fraud and insolvency teams in London, Brussels, Paris, Geneva, Dubai and Hong Kong.

Braganza has a broad commercial disputes practice – covering litigation and international arbitration – with a focus on shareholder and joint venture disputes, fraud and insolvency. He also has a wide range of experience advising on white collar crime matters and conducting internal and regulatory investigations in the Middle East. Braganza has significant experience litigating in the DIFC, ADGM and UAE onshore courts, as well as major arbitral venues in the UAE and internationally.

Nick Braganza, partner, HFW, “HFW is well known as a leading global disputes firm and a major player in the Middle East – I have regularly been against them litigating in the DIFC courts. On the fraud and insolvency side, HFW also stands apart for its truly global practice – the firm has first-rate practitioners everywhere from London to the Middle East and Asia, and being able to offer that international coverage really makes a difference to clients when it comes to complex, multi-jurisdictional disputes. I’m really looking forward to getting started and working with the team to further develop the practice.”

Dentons strengthens Middle East Employment practice with hires of Shiraz Sethi and Ali Al Assaad

Dentons has announced the joining of Shiraz Sethi in the firm’s Dubai office. Bolstering our employment capabilities across the Middle East, Shiraz will assume the role of Regional Head of Employment, bringing a wealth of experience to the position. With more than 10 years of expertise in the Middle East, Sethi is known for his contentious and non-contentious employment experience and advises multinationals and local companies on all aspects of UAE labour law and DIFC employment law issues.

“I am delighted to be joining the Dentons team as regional head of employment for the Middle East,” said Sethi. “Dentons has a strong presence throughout the GCC and a talented Employment and Labour group. I’m excited to be a part of this journey and welcome the opportunity to service our clients across the region. As the work landscape evolves during these unprecedented times, Dentons is in a unique position to provide cross-jurisdictional legal advice to help employers navigate the challenges in a new dynamic.”

Prior to joining Dentons, Sethi served as regional managing partner and head of the DWF employment practice. He has also been instrumental in the development of key legislation related to UAE labour laws, including drafting the commentary of the DIFC Employment Law, amendments to the DIFC and ADGM employment laws, drafting the DMCC COVID-19 guidelines and appointment to the working committee to draft the DIFC Presidential Directive. Shiraz is also ranked in Chambers and Legal 500. He is one of the region’s foremost thought-leaders on employment law, appearing on various media platforms including Dubai One, CNBC News and Dubai Eye radio, contributing to news outlets such as Gulf News, The National and Khaleej Times, and authoring articles for Lexis Nexis Middle East, The Oath and Thomson Reuters.

In assuming his new role at Dentons, Sethi is joined by Employment and Labour legal manager, Ali Al Assaad, also formerly of DWF. Ali has more than seven years of experience in advising on employment matters and has advised and represented a considerable number of clients in employment disputes.

(L -R: Shiraz Sethi, Ali Al Assaad) 

Clyde & Co launches new regulatory & investigations consultancy with key senior hire in Dubai

the-oath-January-2021-Newsletter-Neal-YsartClyde & Co has has appointed Neal Ysart as Lead Regulatory & Investigations Advisor to launch a new consultancy service within its Regulatory & Investigations practice in the Middle East. Ysart will be based in the firm’s Dubai office.

Ysart has more than 35 years of investigative experience with over 16 years working in law enforcement, including in a specialist Scotland Yard squad. He joins from EY in Dubai where he led the Forensic Technology practice for the Middle East. His private sector experience also includes leading a 140-strong team as regional head of Group KYC Operations at HSBC to conduct complex due diligence investigations across the MENAT region. He also spent 12 years with PwC, where he conducted and led investigations globally in a range of areas, including financial crime, information/cyber security, regulatory breaches, fraud, security, AML, bribery and corruption.

Organisations in the Middle East face increasingly complex business problems that can result in regulatory issues or matters that require independent and confidential investigation. With the new offering, Clyde & Co will be able to provide a comprehensive service to help organisations to recognise, identify, investigate and manage the threat of financial crime and other regulatory risks in the region.

The team includes lawyers and former regulators, management consultants and law enforcement specialists and will be led by Matthew Shanahan, partner and head of the regulatory & investigations practice in the Middle East. Neal Ysart said, “I am absolutely delighted to join a firm with such an extensive offering and reputation as Clyde & Co. This is a unique approach and I believe that businesses will certainly benefit from legal know-how and regulatory interpretation being integrated into deliverables. Helping the firm launch this innovative service in the Middle East is an exciting opportunity.”

Ysart joins Clyde & Co’s Regulatory & Investigations Group which operates internationally. This group has expanded recently in London through the hiring of a new partner and corporate crime and regulatory specialist, Rachel Cropper-Mawer. The group also recently launched a global private prosecutions service for businesses and individuals, drawing on Clyde & Co’s strong multi-jurisdictional team of litigators and advocates with experience in civil and criminal proceedings, defending and prosecuting, both on behalf of the state and regulators. Clyde & Co also similarly boosted its global cyber practice with the hire of cyber risk expert, Ian Birdsey, furthering its strategy to provide an integrated, end-to-end cyber solution to organisations that navigate the significant operational risks arising from data breaches and cyber incidents.

Squire Patton Boggs adds new corporate partner in Middle East

the-oath-January-2021-Newsletter-PowellSquire Patton Boggs has appointed Matthew Powell as a Partner in its UAE Corporate practice, having joined from Shearman & Sterling in the UAE.

Powell was previously a partner in the Mergers & Acquisitions practice at Shearman & Sterling since 2015, prior to which he worked with Linklaters in both London and the UAE. He specialises in a wide range of cross-border transactions, including public and private M&A, joint ventures and equity capital markets issues, across MENA and sub-Saharan Africa. He has acted for global energy companies, corporates and multinationals, sovereign wealth funds, institutional investors, private equity firms and family offices.  His industry expertise is broad, though with a particular focus on the energy, oil and gas, industrial and technology sectors, where he also has significant in-house experience.

A solicitor qualified in England and Wales, Powell is a graduate of University of Oxford and Nottingham Law School. He is also a Member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators. “I am delighted to be joining one of the most dynamic international law firms in the region,” commented Matthew Powell.  “There are significant synergies with my practice and enormous opportunities to collaborate with my new colleagues in the region and across the firm’s global platform.”

Linklaters appoints Matt Keats as Middle East Head of Energy and Infrastructure

the-oath-January-2021-Newsletter-MattLinklaters has appointed Matt Keats as head of energy and infrastructure for the Middle East region. He succeeds Sarosh Mewawalla who has retired from the partnership.

Having been a partner at the firm since 2005, Keats has advised on a wide range of ground-breaking transactions in the Energy and Infrastructure sectors. Furthermore, Keats has over 25 years’ experience acting for governments, sponsors, borrowers and commercial banks, Development Finance Institutions and Export Credit Agencies. Keats was the head of Linklaters’ Energy and Infrastructure practice in Moscow where, between 2010-15, he advised on all of the firm’s leading deals in the Russian energy and natural resources market.

Scott Campbell, managing partner for the Middle East at Linklaters, said, “Matt is among the most respected lawyers in the sector and we are very excited to have him head up and grow our market leading Energy and Infrastructure practice. The region’s sector is witnessing transformational change with heightened levels of scrutiny and complexity. Matt’s transfer underlines our commitment to helping our clients navigate the challenges and multiple opportunities ahead.”

Linklaters’ Global Energy & Infrastructure practice specialises in large scale, award winning and market-leading Energy & Infrastructure transactions across the world – covering renewables, nuclear, hydrogen and other decarbonisation/energy transition technologies,  infrastructure (including digital, social and transportation), batteries, smart meters and storage, oil and gas, refining and petrochemicals, LNG, thermal power, water and transport.

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