HFW Poaches Clyde & Co Duo and says it is “indisputably the number one shipping practice” in the Middle East


HFW sued arch-rival Clyde & Co for two highly valued shipping partners in the Middle East.

Robert Lawrence and Ian Chung, who collectively have over 30 years of experience in the Middle East, will join HFW’s office in Dubai in the coming weeks.

At Clyde & Co, the two partners were highly rated and Lawrence ran the firm’s international trade and transportation practice in the region.

Lawrence is a lawyer specializing in maritime and offshore litigation, including English law and claims in the Middle East arising from EPC contracts, offshore accidents, shipbuilding and conversion projects, trade and transport and marine insurance.

Chung had previously worked as a partner at HFW until 2017. He focuses on transactional matters in the marine and transportation industries, including mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures, corporate and trading, regulation and licensing, finance and general consultancy work.

Yaman Al Hawamdeh, the company’s managing partner in the UAE, said, “This is a very important development for HFW in the Middle East. Robert and Ian are go-to lawyers for maritime, offshore and international trade, and their addition to our already market-leading team means that we are now indisputably the number one forwarding firm in the region, both for litigation and for transactional issues.

HFW has operated in the Middle East for over 15 years and now has 20 partners and over 50 lawyers in total in offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Kuwait and Riyadh, making it one of the largest law firms internationals in the region.

Worldwide, the firm has more than 200 shipping lawyers and nine sea captains.

In February, HFW opened two international offices, in the British Virgin Islands and Denmark, within a week.

Pinsent Masons

Meanwhile, in another regional side appointment, the Dubai office of Pinsent Masons has launched a media technology and telecommunications (TMT) practice in the Middle East with the hiring of partner Martin Hayward of Al Tamimi & Co., following significant digital developments in the region.

The appointment follows significant developments for technology innovation in the Middle East as the region goes through a digital transformation, the company said in a statement.

He added that Hayward had experience in transformational transactions, telecommunications, e-commerce, privacy, data protection and technology, with a focus on the financial services and telecommunications sectors.

“Over the past 15 years, Pinsent Masons has been involved in some of the most high-profile and prolific projects in the Middle East and around the world. Our landscape here in the Middle East is constantly changing, with the digital future of the Middle East playing a key role,” said Catherine Workman, Head of Pinsent Masons Middle East.

“This includes Dubai [emerging] as a hub to design the future of the globalized digital economy as well as digital transformation playing a key role in Saudi Vision 2030.”

The company now employs 82 people in the region.

In December, Pinsent Masons added two energy partners to its Paris office, to strengthen the firm’s expertise in natural resources and sub-Saharan Africa.


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