16 Feb 2021

DWF adds insurance partner in Dubai less than a year after UAE scale back

Brian Boahene joins from Ince to help build DWF's insurance presence in the region

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Top 25 UK firm DWF has hired insurance partner Brian Boahene from Ince to establish its insurance practice in Dubai, less than a year after the firm took steps to reduce its Dubai headcount amid cost-cutting pressures sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

Boahene will join the listed UK firm at the start of April and will lead the development of complex claims work in the region. He had been at Ince in the UAE for more than 20 years, working as a partner in its insurance, transportation and trade practices.

James Fox, DWF’s Dubai office managing partner, said: “His experience and reputation in the market aligns with our existing team and our business’s deep pedigree in the insurance market.”

Boahene is a dispute resolution specialist advising both domestic and international clients, with a particular focus on insurance related to marine, property, energy, trade credit and political risks and financial lines.

David Abbott, head of London markets at DWF, said: “Brian has a great reputation and is seen as someone who delivers clear advice with good knowledge on how to navigate local law disputes. His skillset and superb relationships across insurance clients will be a very strong addition to our existing practice and aligns with our strategy of investing further in our global London markets capability.”

Boahene is an experienced commercial litigator both in the English High Court and local courts in the Middle East. He regularly advises on international arbitration and dispute resolution, particularly mediation.

Last June DWF announced plans to close in Brussels and Singapore and reduce the size of its Dubai and Cologne offices in a move to shed 60 jobs, including 13 partners. The cost-cutting measures were part of a strategic review following the resignation of former CEO Andrew Leaitherland last May when the firm revealed that Covid-19 had crimped profits more than initially expected.

However, the firm has been upbeat about its ability to bounce back from Covid-19 under the leadership of current chief executive Sir Nigel Knowles. 

Last November, it unveiled a 14% increase in first-half revenue to £147m against pre-tax profits of £13m adding that activity was returning to pre-Covid levels while ‘strict control of overheads’ combined with a cost-cutting programme implemented over the summer was improving margins.

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