This week’s Movers & Shakers (May 24, 2018)
Leadership change at DWF with the appointments of Shiraz Sethi and James Fox, Ince & Co hires former Drydocks World GC David Galea and Jonathan Sutcliffe joins K&L Gates from Baker Botts.
Next generation duo shake-up leadership at DWF Middle East
With effect from May 1, 2018, DWF appointed Shiraz Sethi as the middle east managing partner and James Fox as head of dispute resolution. The duo have an ambitious growth plan, building on the firm’s success in the UAE.
Sethi will not only lead the expansion of DWF’s service offering in the Dubai office, but in his role as head of the Middle East will be pivotal in shaping the strategic direction of DWF’s Middle East business, as well as driving its approach to employee engagement and client service delivery.
Sethi, who has a wealth of experience handling contentious and non-contentious employment and labour law matters in the UAE and is the co-author of the DIFC Employment Law commentary and proposed changes to the DIFC Employment Law, said, “DWF continues to strengthen its international footprint with the Middle East being a key growth area for the business. The strategic appointments of James and myself signifies an exciting new chapter in the success story of DWF in the Middle East. Our immediate priority will be to build on this success and continue to deliver unparalleled results for our clients in the UAE and throughout the wider MENA region. We look forward to working closely with our regional and international partners in achieving this goal and further establishing DWF as the go-to law firm for companies doing business in the Middle East.”
Fox specialises in domestic and international arbitration and commercial litigation across the defence, security, real estate and hospitality sectors. As head of dispute resolution for the Middle East, Fox will steer the growth of the business’s litigation practice in the region.
Fox said, “DWF has a first class Dispute Resolution practice in the Middle East and we are building an enviable reputation by successfully delivering results to top tier clients. We have grown at a stellar pace and this is because our approach resonates with the businesses we work with – finding commercial solutions for our clients is in our DNA and clients really respond to it.”
In 2017, DWF broadened its offering with an alliance with Harasani & Alkhamees in Saudi Arabia. It has also recently secured its license in Qatar, where its primary focus shall be in the construction and arbitration space. DWF has also made a number of strategic hires within different practice areas and most recently launched a banking and finance team with the appointment of Umera Ali who has extensive global finance capabilities including Islamic finance and debt capital markets.
Stefan Paciorek, CEO of DWF’s International Division, added: “Shiraz and James have been key players within the Dubai team since joining last year. Their strong expertise combined with local knowledge and commercial insight has been crucial in delivering results for our clients and I am delighted that they will now be taking senior leadership roles to help guide the business and take advantage of the opportunities in this market.”
Ince & Co hires senior transactional maritime lawyer in the Middle East
Ince & Co has announced that David Galea, a senior maritime lawyer, will be joining the firm as a partner in the Dubai office on June 1, 2018. Galea’s appointment augments Ince & Co’s transactional capability in the region and across its international network.
Galea has over 15 year’s legal experience connected to the shipping, oil and gas and aviation industries. He is the former head of legal and company secretary of Drydocks World LLC, a leading repair yard in the Middle East. He was also the chair of a legal subcommittee advising the Dubai Government on developments within the maritime industry. Prior to moving to Dubai , Galea worked at a number of international law firms, including Reed Smith and Watson Farley & Williams in London.
Galea’s legal experience spans shipping, energy, corporate, employment, general commercial, banking and finance, asset finance, construction and real estate. He has worked on transactions all around the globe, but has a particular focus on English, UAE and Maltese law.
Rania Tadros, managing partner of Ince & Co’s Dubai office, commented, “David is a prominent figure in the maritime sector in the Middle East, so we are delighted that he has decided to join us. His transactional experience, together with his sector and inhouse knowledge, will be of major advantage to us as we seek more work from our existing and target clients.”
Jan Heuvels, Ince & Co’s international senior partner, added, “One of our core objectives is to continue to build our corporate and finance capability to complement our leading reputation on contentious matters in our core sectors and geographies. By doing so, we will develop more institutional client relationships and increase our market share.”
K&L Gates hires leading international arbitration and dispute resolution partner in Dubai Office
Having previously worked in London, Houston, and New York, Sutcliffe advises clients across a broad range of international arbitration, dispute resolution, and litigation matters as well as investor-state disputes and joint venture disputes. His experience spans a number of sectors including energy, infrastructure, and resources, construction, real estate, hospitality, defense, and insurance.
“K&L Gates has an impressive reputation across a number of key sectors where I am also focused,” said Sutcliffe. “I am looking forward to working with the existing team and contributing to the growth of both the Dubai office and the international arbitration and dispute resolution team. Joining their platform opens up a number of exciting business opportunities for me.”
Neal Brendel, administrative partner and head of disputes for K&L Gates’ Dubai office, stated: “Jonathan’s substantial breadth and depth of experience as both an advocate and arbitrator in dispute resolution and international arbitration, including appearances before all the major international and regional arbitration centers as well as the DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre) Courts, adds immediate strength and capacity to our team locally and globally.”