HFW secures DWF’s global infrastructure co-head in Dubai as DWF makes double insurance hire

As Slava Kiryushin moves across to HFW, DWF adds insurance partner duo in Dubai from Kennedys

Slava Kiryushin Image courtesy of HFW

HFW has bolstered its construction team in the Middle East with the hire of a senior partner from UK rival DWF, which in turn has added a pair of insurance partners in Dubai from Kennedys. 

Slava Kiryushin has joined HFW’s partnership after almost four years at DWF, where he co-led the global infrastructure, construction and energy team. 

He advises international oil and gas companies and large contractors on major energy and infrastructure projects and complex technical agreements, with a particular focus on high-value arbitrations.

Michael Sergeant, HFW’s global head of construction, said: "Slava's experience aligns with our global focus on advising large international contractors on major projects and disputes, as well as bringing niche expertise in areas like oil and gas and oilfield services.

"We will actively target further opportunities to strengthen our offering in the Middle East, which is an important region for our clients."

An English-qualified solicitor-advocate, Kiryushin has been based in the UAE for more than a decade and is noted by The Legal 500 and Who’s Who for his expertise in construction and oil and gas and experience in the Middle East, having advised clients on disputes throughout the region. 

His clients include national and international oil and gas companies, among them Russia’s Lukoil, where earlier in his career he served as general counsel, as well as refining and petrochemical companies, EPC contractors and oil and gas service companies.

Kiryushin’s hire in Dubai follows HFW securing partners Robert Lawrence and Ian Chung from Clyde & Co in Dubai last August, in a move that grew the firm’s status as a top tier shipping firm in the region. It followed that up with the January hire of litigation partner Nick Braganza in Dubai from Clydes, with Braganza joining the firm’s fraud and insolvency team. 

Following the hires HFW has more than 50 lawyers across its Middle East offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait City and Riyadh. 

For its part, DWF has added a pair of insurance partners in Dubai from Kennedys, having announced last month that insurance was to be one of its three main divisions alongside commercial services and legal operations. 

The listed UK firm said the arrival of Victoria Clucas and Bill Evans – who have a combined 30 years of experience running large loss insurance claims and coverage disputes – would significantly bolster its Middle East insurance team. 

David Abbott, global head of London markets at DWF, said the pair’s arrival “marks a step change in our London market offering and is evidence of our commitment to the Middle East region. 

”I am thrilled they are joining us, just as we bring together more than 1,600 insurance sector specialists into our new insurance services division, supporting our strategy of providing integrated legal and business services on a global scale."

The duo will work alongside Dubai-based insurance disputes partner Brian Boahene, who has worked in the region for more than 15 years. 

Clucas has moved over after nearly 14 years at Kennedys in London and Dubai. She advises insurers and reinsurers on complex and large loss property, energy and construction claims and coverage disputes across the UK and EMEA region.

Meantime, Evans joined Kennedys 15 years ago and since 2020 has split his time between the firm’s London offices and Dubai. He specialises in handling complex property, energy and construction claims across the UK, EMEA and APAC. 

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