This week’s Movers & Shakers – April 11, 2018
DLA Piper’s partner promotions in the Middle East, HFW expands in the region and WFW launches Dubai real estate practice with partner hire.
DLA Piper’s partner promotions in the Middle East
Hughes is a corporate lawyer specialising in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and corporate structuring. Having been in the region since 2012, Hughes’s experience spans the GCC and broader Middle East where he has led high value, multi-jurisdictional transactions across a variety of sectors including healthcare, technology and financial services.
Ryder specialises in Media, Sport and Entertainment law. He has a decade of experience in the region drafting and negotiating bespoke commercial agreements, including content acquisition agreements, multi-platform media exploitation agreements and sponsorship agreements for local and international clients. Ryder represents a number of the region’s leading broadcasters and media organisations in addition to international film studios and rights holders, major event hosting entities and converged media and telecommunications companies.
Hughes and Ryder are amongst 62 lawyers to be promoted by the firm across the globe. Their appointment takes the total number of partners in the Middle East to 26, demonstrating DLA Piper’s substantial growth and ongoing investment in the region. Over the course of 2017, the firm announced six new partner appointments in the Middle East across Corporate, Finance and Projects, Litigation and Regulatory and Tax. Together, with the new appointments, this represents a 45 per cent increase in partner headcount in two years.
Regional managing partner, Peter Somekh, said, “Richard and Jamie are both talented lawyers in their respective fields. They consistently deliver the high quality of legal advice and first-class service to our clients for which DLA Piper is known and I am delighted to welcome them to our partnership.”
He continued, “Their promotion is particularly pleasing as it is testament to our ability to develop the future generation of lawyers from within the region. Both Richard and Jamie qualified with DLA Piper and have spent a substantial part of their career with the firm in the Middle East. I look forward to their continued contribution and leadership.”
HFW continues to grow in the Middle East
HFW has announced the 2018 partner promotions. Two of the eight new global partners are from the Dubai office of the firm.
The newly promoted partners are:
Charles Cockrell, Aerospace – Cockrell specialises in aviation liability and regulatory law. He acts for a number of Middle East and African airlines, ground handlers, business jet operators and other aerospace entities on a wide range of matters. He has particular experience of handling major aviation accidents, having acted for airlines and their insurers on a number of recent high-profile losses in the Middle East and Africa. Cockrell also has extensive experience in the airports sector. He has acted for many of the major airports in the MENA region in relation to dispute resolution, commercial and regulatory matters.
Sara Sheffield, Commercial Litigation – Sheffield acts in a wide range of commercial litigation and international arbitration matters, with a focus on international financial crime and fraud, asset-tracing and recovery, and cross-border disputes. She also advises insurers, reinsurers and policyholders on insurance and reinsurance claims, subrogated recoveries, defence work and coverage issues.
The promotions are effective as of the 1st April 2018. At the same time, Dubai Aerospace partner Richard Gimblett will take over as managing partner of the Middle East as HFW continue to establish themselves as one of the largest International Law Firms in the region.
WFW launches Dubai real estate practice with partner hire
Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has launched a real estate practice in Dubai with the hire of partner Mohammed Kamal. Kamal joins the firm from the Dubai office of Berwin Leighton Paisner where he was a real estate partner and office head having spearheaded the launch of the office in 2012. He previously headed up Hogan Lovells’ Middle East real estate practice. Kamal will be joined by associate Amy Jones who arrives from Al Tamimi & Co on April 15, 2018 to help support the launch of WFW’s real estate practice.
Kamal has fifteen years’ experience in the Middle East advising on real estate transactions including development, infrastructure projects, leasing, corporate joint ventures, funds and financing including Islamic financing.
He is the second partner to join WFW in Dubai in 2018, following the hire of dispute resolution partner Charlotte Bijlani, former head of Baker & McKenzie’s international UAE arbitration practice, who arrived in February to launch the firm’s new contentious capability in the Middle East.
WFW Dubai office head, Andrew Baird commented, “Mohammed is yet another great addition to our team here in Dubai and further concrete evidence of the firm’s commitment to expanding our Middle Eastern offering across key service lines in our core sectors of transport, energy and real estate. He brings to the firm exactly the top flight real estate expertise our clients require. I’m delighted to welcome him to WFW”.
Kamal added, “Real estate is one of WFW’s core industry specialisations and a key sector for major businesses operating in the Middle East region. The combination of a real estate practice together with the firm’s existing capabilities will significantly enhance the service we can offer to our clients particularly within the real estate finance space. I very much looking forward to working with my colleagues in Dubai and across WFW’s global network in supporting our clients both locally and internationally”.