Category Archives: Legal

HFW Continues to Expand Global Energy Practice with Senior Project Finance Partner Hire

Global, sector-focused law firm HFW has continued to expand its fast-growing global energy practice with the hire of senior project finance partner Andrew Thomas.
Andrew joins the firm’s London office from Hunton Andrews Kurth.

He is the third partner to join HFW in the past seven days, following the arrival of corporate and finance partners Vince Gordon and Tania de Swart from Reed Smith in Abu Dhabi.

Andrew’s hire also comes just two weeks after fellow energy partner Derek J. Anchondo, an oil & gas and energy transactions specialist, joined HFW from Greenberg Traurig in Houston.

HFW’s global energy practice now has 33 partners and more than 100 lawyers in 20 international offices across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. Energy is one of the firm’s six core sectors, alongside aerospace, commodities, construction, insurance and shipping.

Robert Follie, Head of Energy and Resources, HFW:

“I am thrilled to welcome Andrew to HFW. He is one of the most experienced project finance partners in the market and has worked on major transactions around the world. We are seeing significant growth in client demand for project finance advice, and Andrew’s arrival further enhances our global offering.”

Andrew has almost three decades of projects experience, advising international energy companies, financial institutions and governments on high-value project financings across a wide range of sectors, including energy, oil and gas, transport, and infrastructure.

He also has a broad banking and finance practice spanning acquisition finance, private equity, Islamic finance, capital markets, real estate finance, syndicated finance, distressed debt and other complex transactions.

Andrew has acted on more than 30 major and long-running projects in 16 countries across Europe, Africa, the US, Latin America and Asia. He has significant experience in south-east Asia and is qualified in Hong Kong.

Andrew Thomas, Partner, HFW:

“I am excited to be joining one of the market’s fastest-growing energy practices. HFW’s geographic reach and deep industry expertise is a clear advantage in handling major projects work, and there is a strong synergy between my experience in the financing of energy and transportation projects and the firm’s leading practices in those sectors. I look forward to helping further develop an already strong global project finance team.”

Andrew’s arrival continues a period of sustained international expansion for HFW.

HFW has now added 23 new partners so far in 2018, including nine internal promotions and 14 lateral hires across Abu Dhabi, Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Rio de Janeiro and Singapore.

HFW also recently entered into a cooperation arrangement with Brazilian law firm CAL– its seventh international merger or association since January 2016; and launched a new office in Abu Dhabi on 1 October – the firm’s fifth in the Middle East and its 20th worldwide.

Dentons launches combinations with two elite law firms in Mauritius

Dentons has launched its previously announced combinations with two law firms in Mauritius to form Dentons Mauritius as part of its strategy to become a truly pan-African law firm.

Mardemootoo Solicitors was established in 1971 and is recognized as one of the leading and largest solicitors’ firms in Mauritius. It is a multidisciplinary practice including arbitration, litigation and advisory work. Its main areas of focus are Aviation, Banking and Finance, Capital Markets, Commercial, Corporate, Real Estate, Tax and Telecommunications. Chambers Global ranked the firm in General Business Law and General Business Law: Dispute Resolution in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Balgobin Chambers is a set of Barristers Chambers whose origin dates back to 1940s through its first generation of lawyers. It handles both transactions and litigation, covering all areas of Civil, Commercial, Corporate, Employment, and Intellectual Property, with a strong focus on cross-border transactions and Mergers & Acquisitions. Chambers Global ranked the firm in General Business Law in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

These combinations give Dentons’ clients access to the experience and talents of lawyers working in 77 countries. These combinations also uniquely position Dentons to provide high-quality legal services to clients around the world.

Earlier this month, Dentons also launched a combination with an elite law firm, Hamilton, Harrison & Matthews in Kenya.

“These combinations with elite firms in Mauritius give us an even stronger presence in Africa and furthers our strategy to become a pan-African law firm that reaches more of Africa than any of its competitors,” said Elliott Portnoy, Global CEO of Dentons.

Mauritius has one of the largest per capita GDPs of any country in Africa. It is a gateway for investments to and from Africa into Europe, and Asia in particular, offering investors a stable economic and political environment, modern infrastructure and a solid judicial system.

“Clients in Mauritius, and clients wanting to do business there, will benefit from high-quality legal service on a truly global scale that only Dentons can offer,” said Joe Andrew, Global Chairman of Dentons. “Our clients have access to the deep local knowledge that is provided by lawyers who are both in and of the communities they serve.”
Mauritius is Africa’s most sophisticated financial market and No. 1 in Top African Countries for Ease of Doing Business Index 2016. It attracts more than 32,000 offshore entities, many aimed at commerce in China, India and South Africa.

“Our combinations in Mauritius, a country with enormous potential and a very high GDP, are two large steps forward for our Africa growth strategy,” said Noor Kapdi, CEO of Dentons’ Africa region and Managing Partner of Dentons South Africa.

The launch of combinations in Mauritius follow in the wake of a launch earlier this month of a combination with Hamilton, Harrison & Matthews, and elite firm and one of the oldest in Kenya. Dentons traces its presence in Africa to the establishment of a Cairo, Egypt, office in 1964. It also has offices in Casablanca, Morocco, and Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa. These combinations will further allow Dentons to pursue its Africa strategy to become a pan-African law firm that reaches more of Africa than its competitors.

Dentons to open fourth German office in Düsseldorf

Global law firm Dentons has announced plans to open a new office in Düsseldorf with the recruitment of two new partners who bring well-respected capabilities in public procurement, EU state aid, trade and trade compliance, as well as employment law. This will be Dentons’ fourth office in Germany after Berlin, Frankfurt and Munich, offering clients extensive coverage of the country’s most important financial and industrial centers, as well as access to Europe’s most important region for foreign direct investment.

“Germany is the largest economy in continental Europe and remains a top global priority for Dentons,” said Elliott Portnoy, Dentons’ Global Chief Executive Officer. “This investment will build on the strong momentum of our German practice, which is one of Dentons’ biggest success stories. From 2015 to 2017, our German partners grew revenue by more than 60%, and are on track to achieve double digit growth again this year.”

“As the capital of the largest and most densely populated region in Germany, and the country’s number one city for FDI, Düsseldorf is a hot spot for investment and a priority market for our global clients. It is the natural choice as the next phase in our German market positioning strategy,” said Joe Andrew, Global Chairman of Dentons.

Andreas Haak will serve as Düsseldorf Managing Partner at Dentons. For many years, he was Head of Competition, EU and Trade at Taylor Wessing, and he also led the firm’s industry group Life Sciences and Health Care. Together with Dr. Jörg Karenfort, he will co-lead the Competition, Antitrust and Regulatory practice at Dentons in Germany. He will also strengthen and further develop Dentons’ Public Procurement practice in collaboration with Dr. Wolfram Krohn and Dr. Peter Braun. Haak joins along with partner Sascha Grosjean, who will strengthen the Employment and Labor team.

“We look forward to welcoming such high-caliber partners to our team, who are well connected, both nationally and internationally. They will work closely with the partners in our other offices in Germany to provide high quality, full-scope legal advice to our clients,” said Andreas Ziegenhagen, Dentons Germany Managing Partner.

“Opening in Dusseldorf serves the implementation of our strategy to be a top five international firm on the continent and to have a much stronger presence in Germany. In addition to the initial team, over the next few years we will build up key capabilities in Corporate and M&A, Private Equity, Intellectual Property and Technology, Employment and Litigation,” said Tomasz Dąbrowski, Dentons Europe Chief Executive O

Clyde & Co expands its Islamic finance practice with two hires

Global law firm Clyde & Co has today announced the appointment of Legal Directors Tariq Hameed in Doha and Fara Mohammad in London to grow its global Islamic finance practice.

Tariq Hameed is a banking and derivatives specialist with a focus on Islamic finance. He has over 13 years’ experience in the Middle East and joins from Simmons & Simmons where he was a managing associate. His practice covers contractor finance, trade finance, asset finance, structured products and derivatives. He has particular expertise developing and transacting new Islamic finance products and Islamic derivatives. Based in Doha, his work will focus on assisting local and international banks and corporates in Qatar in relation to their banking and financial markets transactions.

Fara Mohammad is an Islamic finance specialist, with a focus on transactions relating to Asia-based investments into the UK and Middle East. She has more than 16 years’ experience in different types of investments and financial products and joins from Foot Anstey where she was Director of Islamic Finance. Fara has developed financial products for a number of financial institutions across the UK, Middle East and Asia and has widespread experience of investment funds and Sukuk. Based in London, Fara will focus particularly on assisting Malaysian and South East Asian clients more broadly with their in-bound and out-bound legal work.

Adil Hussain, Partner and Global Head of Islamic Finance at Clyde & Co, said: “Our global Islamic finance practice continues to go from strength to strength and the addition of Tariq and Fara, who are both recognised Islamic finance experts in the markets within which they operate, will enable us to service our international clients even better.”
Tariq Hameed says: “I am looking forward to bringing my experience to Clyde & Co. Its unrivalled footprint in the Middle East and the strength of its existing Islamic finance offering will provide the perfect platform to further grow my practice and advance the Qatar banking and finance market.”

Fara Mohammad says: “I am delighted to have joined Clyde & Co’s market-leading Islamic finance practice. I look forward to assisting the firm further grow its Islamic finance footprint across London, Malaysia and the rest of South East Asia.”

Clyde & Co’s Islamic finance practice is comprised of specialists on the ground across the UK, UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, offering genuine cross-border expertise and global coverage to Shariah-compliant transactions. Our team advises regional and international commercial banks, investment banks, financial institutions and corporate clients on a wide range of financing transactions, including real estate financings, corporate financings, Islamic banking, and capital markets.

Clyde & Co has the largest presence and is one of most experienced international law firms in the Middle East with over 40 partners and 400 staff, based full time in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in the UAE, Doha in Qatar, Muscat[1] in Oman and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, providing a full-service commercial offering of local specialists in commercial, corporate, dispute resolution, employment, intellectual property, international arbitration, finance & banking, insurance, projects & construction, real estate, regulatory & investigations, and technology.

Clyde & Co bolsters Hong Kong office with 2 senior partners

Global law firm Clyde & Co has hired Peter Coles as a Partner in its Hong Kong office. Peter is renowned as a leading lawyer in the aviation sector, and has been supporting multinational clients in Asia for more than 22 years.

Pre-eminent marine and dispute resolution Partner, Christopher Jobson, has also relocated to Clyde & Co’s Hong Kong office bolstering its regional practice. Christopher first joined Clyde & Co in 1990 as a dispute resolution and marine lawyer in Hong Kong; he then transferred to the Dubai office in 1994. He was most recently Managing Partner of Clyde & Co’s Abu Dhabi office. Although based in Hong Kong, Christopher will have a regional management role and will sit on the Asia Pacific Management Board.

The addition of Peter and Christopher to the Hong Kong office will further strengthen the firm’s transport capabilities in the region, and is part of the firm’s strategic objective to capitalise on the growth in the marine and aviation sectors in the Asia Pacific region.

Peter handles a broad range of legal advice to airlines, general aviation and business jet operators, airports, manufacturers, MRO’s and ground handlers across the Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas. This includes providing legal advice on investments, employment, acquisitions, procurement, marketing and sales in the aviation industry, carrier liability work, general commercial advice and associated aviation and health and safety regulations, competition law and other compliance requirements. He regularly advises on contingency planning; incident/accident response; government investigations, reports and public enquiries; coroner inquests and prosecutions; plaintiff and defence work in uninsured disputes including asset preservation and injunctions, debt recoveries and bankruptcy proceedings. He is ranked in Chambers Asia Pacific and is also recommended in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific.

Clyde & Co sees a significant opportunity to capitalise on the firm’s global market-leading aviation practice with the addition of Peter, and will be investing significantly to add further capability to the aviation team in Asia in the near future.

Christopher, too, is recognised by both Legal 500 and Chambers Global legal directories. His 25 years’ plus experience in the marine sector has led him to develop and maintain strong ties with a broad range of clients across China, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

Thomas Falkus Joins White & Case as a Partner in London

Global law firm White & Case LLP has expanded its Global Capital Markets Practice with the addition of Thomas Falkus as a new partner in London.

“Our ambition is to establish White & Case as the leading CLO and securitisation practice globally, built around twin hubs in New York and London,” said White & Case partner Stuart Matty, who leads the Firm’s Global Capital Markets Practice. “The addition of Tom adds further strength and depth to the rapidly growing New York-London practice which partners David Thatch and Chris McGarry have been developing since Chris joined us last year, and sends a clear message to the market that we’re determined to continue expanding our role advising clients on their most important, complex, cross-border securitisations.”

Falkus, who joins the Firm’s Global Capital Markets Practice, advises financial institutions, sponsors and corporate clients on CLOs, esoteric securitisations, NPLs, fund financings, RMBS and other flow securitisation asset classes. He joins White & Case from Weil, Gotshal & Manges, where he was counsel, and brings more than ten years of experience.

“Tom is a technically excellent lawyer, one of the few in London who is recognised for his work advising clients on CLOs and securitisation deals,” said White & Case partner Philippe Herbelin, Regional Section Head, EMEA Capital Markets. “Tom’s client relationships are an exciting fit with our existing portfolio of clients, and his arrival represents further growth in the London CLO and securitisation practice following the addition of partner Chris McGarry and team during 2017.”

London-based partner Chris McGarry said: “I have known and worked with Tom for many years. He’s highly regarded by his clients and his practice aligns perfectly with the New York-London practice that David Thatch and I have been developing to service our transatlantic clients, as well as enhancing our wider EMEA structured finance offering.”

Recent successes for the White & Case securitisation team include advising Trafigura, one of the world’s leading independent commodity trading and logistics companies, on the establishment of the world’s first ‘true sale’ commodities securitisation programme, as well as regularly acting for arranging banks on CLOs and securitisations on both sides of the Atlantic.

Oliver Brettle, London-based member of White & Case’s global Executive Committee, said: “Our 2020 strategy includes a focus on profitable growth in London, in the global financial institutions industry and in our capital markets practice. Tom’s addition drives us forward in all three areas. He is the twelfth partner we have announced joining us laterally in London in 2018 to date, adding to seven internal partner promotions that were effective on January 1, 2018.”

Gilles Teerlinck Joins White & Case as a Partner in London

Global law firm White & Case LLP has expanded its Global Capital Markets Practice with the addition of Gilles Teerlinck as a new partner in London.

“High yield debt in Europe has continued to grow across all jurisdictions and in many key industries throughout the last decade,” said White & Case partner Stuart Matty, who leads the Firm’s Global Capital Markets Practice. “The market for high yield work will continue to grow and our clear ambition is to continue to build a leadership position in the international high yield market – Gilles is therefore an exciting strategic addition who adds further depth to our strong EMEA team and further enhances the services we provide to our clients.”

Teerlinck advises issuers, sponsors and underwriters on international securities transactions, with a particular focus on offerings of high yield debt securities. He has also worked on initial public offerings, private placements, restructurings, liability management transactions, corporate governance and other corporate matters. Teerlinck joins White & Case from Kirkland & Ellis, where he was a partner, and brings nearly ten years of experience.

“Gilles is a highly capable lawyer who is held in high regard by his clients, has worked on many leading deals in the London market and has strong relationships with top tier investment banks,” said White & Case partner Philippe Herbelin, Regional Section Head, EMEA Capital Markets. “He joins a growing high yield team in EMEA with strong practices in Frankfurt, London, Milan and Paris that continues to build market share and delivers exceptional service to its clients.”

London-based White & Case high yield partner Jill Concannon said: “The strong existing high yield team is excited to work alongside Gilles to continue growing our role advising clients on their most important, complex, cross-border transactions.”

Partner Oliver Brettle, London-based member of White & Case’s global Executive Committee, said: “Our 2020 strategy focuses on driving profitable growth in London, in the global financial institutions industry, and in our capital markets practice. The arrival of Gilles represents further progress in all three areas. London and the broader Firm achieved strong financial results in 2017 – evidence that the investments we’ve made over a period of years are bearing fruit – and our positive trajectory during 2018 to date is cause for continued confidence in our performance.”

HFW launches 20th international office with double Abu Dhabi partner hire

Global, sector-focused law firm HFW has continued to expand its fast-growing international network with the launch of a new office in Abu Dhabi and the hire of two partners.

Finance and corporate partners Vince Gordon and Tania de Swart have joined the firm in Abu Dhabi from Reed Smith. Vince was Reed Smith’s regional managing partner for the Middle East.

HFW now has 19 partners and more than 50 lawyers – including 28 Arabic speakers – in five offices across the Middle East, making it one of the largest practices of any international law firm in the region.

The new office is HFW’s 20th worldwide and its eighth international office opening, merger or association since January 2016, following a fully-integrated US merger and other moves in Brazil, China, Indonesia and the Middle East.

Richard Crump, Global Senior Partner, HFW:

“Our strategy is to be the world’s leading law firm to the aerospace, commodities, construction, energy, insurance and shipping sectors. As part of that strategy, we have been building capability in the international centres that are important to clients in each of those sectors. The Middle East is critically important to all of our industry groups and is also establishing itself as a key hub for international dispute resolution. It is one of the fastest-growing parts of our business globally.”

Vince has more than 13 years’ experience in the Middle East, advising clients on complex corporate, finance, infrastructure and projects transactions, including debt capital markets, M&A and joint ventures, corporate finance, funds, trade finance, regulatory and project finance work.

He also has significant management experience: in addition to being Reed Smith’s regional managing partner for the Middle East, he also chaired the firm’s Africa and Australia business teams, and was previously vice chair of its business and finance department and sat on the management committee of its global financial industry group.

Vince is ranked as a leading lawyer for banking and finance in the Middle East by independent legal directories including Chambers and Partners, The Legal 500 and the IFLR 1000. The latest edition of Chambers and Partners praised Vince’s “considerable market experience” for banking and finance in the United Arab Emirates.

Tania specialises in corporate and commercial work, focusing on M&A, joint ventures, restructurings, corporate governance, foreign direct investments and employment law. She has been in the UAE for more than 10 years, advising clients in a range of industry sectors, including defence, aviation, construction, oil and gas, healthcare, manufacturing, communications, hospitality and education.

Vince Gordon, Partner, HFW:

“I am excited to be joining a firm with such a deep and longstanding commitment to the Middle East. My clients will really benefit from HFW’s extensive network in the region and globally, and I’m looking forward to helping the firm continue to strengthen its position as one of the leading practices in the Middle East.”

HFW has operated in the Middle East for more than 12 years and also has offices in Dubai, Riyadh, Beirut and Kuwait City. It is one of only two international law firms with a presence in Kuwait.

The firm recently boosted its Dubai office with the hire of senior disputes partner James Harbridge, who specialises in construction arbitration and the Oman market. HFW also promoted two new partners in Dubai in 2018: aerospace specialist Charles Cockrell and litigation expert Sara Sheffield.

Bankim Thanki QC to succeed Stephen Moriarty QC as Head of Fountain Court Chambers

Fountain Court Chambers are pleased to announce the appointment of Bankim Thanki QC as the new Head of Chambers from 1 October 2018. After completing a full five year term as Head of Chambers, Stephen Moriarty QC is stepping down to return to full time practice.

On his appointment, Bankim Thanki QC said:

“It is a great honour to be asked to serve as the Head of a set of the calibre of and with the distinguished history of Fountain Court. We are very grateful for the leadership and dedication of my predecessor, Stephen Moriarty QC. During our time together as Head and Deputy Head of Chambers over the last five years there have been significant changes, including the expansion of our estate with the acquisition of 36-39 Essex Street, the opening of our Singapore office, the successful launch of a commercial crime team, the bringing in of some key lateral recruits and the enhancement of our clerking team under our superb Senior Clerk, Alex Taylor, and our administration team under the inspirational leadership of Julie Parker. We are well placed for the future. Fortunately, Stephen will still be very much around to guide me as he returns to full time practice in Fountain Court.”

Stephen Moriarty QC comments:

“It has been a real privilege to serve as the Head of Chambers at Fountain Court for the past five years, working alongside Bankim Thanki QC, Alex Taylor and Julie Parker. However, I am very much looking forward to being able to continue my legal practice free from the responsibilities of that role; and I am absolutely delighted that Bankim is our new Head of Chambers. We could not be in safer hands.

Kirkland & Ellis Opens Dallas Office

Kirkland & Ellis LLP announced today that it is expanding with the opening of an office in Dallas — the Firm’s ninth in the United States, second in Texas and 14th worldwide. Kirkland’s Dallas office will be located in Bank of America Plaza, 901 Main Street.

“Kirkland has established a powerful presence in Texas since opening our Houston office in 2014. Our expansion to Dallas makes sense given the increasing work we are handling in the state, and we are excited to bring together top transactional legal talent in the city for this expansion. We look forward to becoming an integral part of the Dallas business community,” said Jeffrey C. Hammes, Chairman of the Firm’s Global Management Executive Committee.

Kirkland will welcome some of Dallas’ top transactional lawyers to the new office. After completing their obligations and notice periods at their prior firms, Michael Considine, Kevin Crews and Thomas Laughlin will join the new office as partners.

Mr. Considine represents companies and private equity firms in connection with transformative events, including cross-border M&A, carve-out divestitures, co-investments and joint ventures. He has represented clients in a variety of industries including energy, consumer products, manufacturing, real estate and technology.

Mr. Crews focuses on M&A and private equity transactions, with a particular emphasis on the energy sector. He advises sponsors, portfolio companies and other public and private companies in connection with M&A, dispositions, joint ventures and restructurings, as well as strategic investments and financings involving equity and debt securities.

Mr. Laughlin focuses on private equity investments, energy transactions and M&A, including transactions relating to upstream and midstream oil and gas properties. His clients are private equity investors, their portfolio companies and a variety of other public and private companies.

Lanchi Huynh, Dilen Kumar and Alex Rose will join Mr. Considine, Mr. Crews and Mr. Laughlin as partners in Dallas after completing their obligations and notice periods at their prior firms.
Ms. Huynh focuses on capital markets transactions in the energy space. Her work covers securities offerings, including initial public offerings, by upstream, midstream, oil-field services and related companies.

Mr. Kumar concentrates his practice on representing private equity firms and public and private companies in connection with M&A, divestitures and investment transactions.

Mr. Rose represents public and private companies, as well as private equity firms and their portfolio companies, in complex domestic and cross-border M&A, corporate governance and other general corporate matters across a variety of industries.

Tax partner David Wheat and corporate partner Ryan Gorsche, who joined Kirkland earlier this year, will also work from the Dallas office. Multiple associates have also joined the Firm to support the new Dallas office.

“Mergermarket listed Kirkland as the number one M&A advisor for Texas-based companies in 2017 and the first quarter of 2018, which shows how busy we have been,” said Andrew Calder, a partner in Kirkland’s Houston office and a member of the Firm’s Global Management Executive Committee. “We have been working with clients in Dallas for some time and it makes sense for us to have a fixed presence there now. It is a robust market with some incredibly talented lawyers, and this extension of Kirkland to Dallas also allows the Firm to benefit from that significant additional talent pool to service our Dallas and out-of-state clients. Each of the partners and associates that has joined the new office has been carefully selected to fit the Kirkland Texas approach as an entrepreneurial, best-in-class team that will seek to be commercial in finding solutions to client issues.”

The approximately 225 lawyers in Kirkland’s Energy Practice Group have a strong presence in Texas, New York and Washington, D.C., and handle an array of sophisticated energy transactions and advisory engagements. Law360 recognized Kirkland as a 2017 Energy Practice Group of the Year, the second consecutive year that the Firm was recognized in that category.

Kirkland’s first Texas office, in Houston, opened in 2014 to complement and enhance the service provided to existing and prospective clients in Texas, the United States and abroad. Today, the office has approximately 140 lawyers who have experience on sophisticated transactions and litigation and are particularly active in the energy industry.

Mergermarket M&A rankings for 2017 and the first quarter of 2018 showed Kirkland represented Texas-based companies in 82 transactions in 2017 with a combined value of $83 billion.

Mergermarket also ranked Kirkland No. 1 in representing Texas-based companies during the first three months of this year with 16 deals totaling $5.5 billion. Visit to learn more.

Johnson Downie LLC assisted Kirkland in assembling the initial partners for the Dallas office.