DWF adds three partners in Dubai to strengthen disputes and insurance teams

Trio join from Clyde & Co and Horizons & Co
A view of Dubai from the sand dunes

DWF has added to its Dubai team for the second time in four months Shutterstock

UK firm DWF has hired three partners in Dubai from Clyde & Co and Horizons & Co as it seeks to expand its Middle East disputes and insurance coverage.

The trio includes dispute resolution lawyers Paul Suckling and Oliver Dupenois from Horizons & Co and insurance partner Adam Pryor from Clydes. Suckling and Dupenois specialise in construction disputes, with Suckling bringing more than three decades of related experience, two of them in the Gulf region. Dupenois has been practising in Dubai for the past 11 years, advising on high value disputes across several arbitration forums including the Dubai International Arbitration Centre and the International Court of Arbitration. He also provides counsel on other construction matters, including drafting and contract negotiations.

Pryor, meantime, has been in the Middle East for the past five years, specialising in financial lines, construction insurance and professional liability.

James Fox, managing partner of DWF’s Dubai office, said: “DWF is getting two incredible partners in Paul and Oliver. Their expertise, largely in the construction sector, will complement what we already offer clients in Dubai, giving them a complete package to meet their evolving needs.”

Fox added: “Adam is a tremendous talent and we’re really pleased he’s chosen to join us as we strengthen our team in Dubai. His expertise in the London and Middle East insurance markets is well suited to bolster our global offering to clients.”

Suckling spent just over a year at Horizons & Co, where he was head of arbitration. He was previously a partner at Hadef & Partners and prior to that worked in-house as legal counsel at TAV Construction in Dubai. Dupenois followed Suckling to Horizons & Co from Hadef & Partners, which he originally joined from Reed Smith.

Stefan Paciorek, global head of dispute resolution, said: “Middle East expansion is a large part of our growth plan for the dispute resolution team, and Paul and Oliver bring a wealth of experience that enhances our expanding international construction and infrastructure practice.”

Pryor spent more than eight years at Clydes, most recently as a legal director in Dubai, having also spent time in its London office. He started his career at Kennedys.

David Abbott, leader of DWF’s global risks team, said the addition of Pryor “will allow us to provide our local and global clients with interests in the region, with a complete insurance offering across specialty insurance lines.”

Last week, DWF posted an 8.6% increase in revenue for the 2022/23 financial year to £451.6m, but profits declined by more than a third to £12.4m as costs, including salaries, increased at a faster pace. DWF is in the process of being sold to private equity firm Inflexion.

In June, Clydes added a 13-lawyer corporate team from PwC in Dubai as the firm looked to bolster its Middle East presence. 

And in April, DWF added insurance duo Victoria Clucas and Bill Evans from Kennedys in Dubai, while losing its Dubai-based global infrastructure co-head Slava Kiryushin to HWF.

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