Clyde & Co boost projects disputes arm with London partner hire and Sydney relocation

Philip Norman joins in London as recently hired Damian Watkin departs for Australia

Philip Norman

Clyde & Co has boosted its international construction and projects disputes capability with the hire of a prominent partner in London and the relocation of another from London to Sydney. 

Philip Norman has joined the London office from Covington & Burling’s Dubai arm. At the same time, Damian Watkin has arrived in Sydney after the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted his plans to move there last year, requiring him to work out of London having joined from Bracewell in early 2020.

Norman will work across the UK, Asia and Africa and has more than 25 years of experience acting for a broad range of clients in the construction, engineering, infrastructure and power sectors.

The former barrister, who is an advocate at both the DIFC courts and in Qatar, arrives at Clyde & Co after an 18-month spell at Covington in Dubai, which he joined from Simmons & Simmons.

Watkin, meanwhile, has more than 15 years' experience as a barrister in Australia and England and Wales, and has led substantial number of arbitrations across the world. He has practised in London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Dubai.

Aside from Bracewell, he has also worked at McDermott Will & Emery, Pinsent Masons, Jones Day and Allens.

He primarily focuses on the energy, construction, infrastructure and natural resources sectors and his expertise in multi-jurisdictional disputes will add strength to Clyde & Co’s Australian and Asia-Pacific offerings.

David McElveney, head of Clyde & Co’s Australian projects and construction group, said his move to Australia marked the firm’s “commitment to further strengthening our projects and construction offering [regionally]”.

In July last year, construction specialist Beau McLaren joined Clyde & Co’s Dubai office from HFW and in October the firm hired a four-lawyer arbitration team from US firm Foley Hoag in Paris. It opened in Munich last week with the hire of a three-partner insurance team from Norton Rose Fulbright.

In December, the firm announced that its senior partner, Peter Hirst, was to step down early and retire from the firm.

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