Denton Wilde Sapte is ramping up its Middle Eastern presence by sending a newly-promoted London partner to Dubai.
Dispute resolution lawyer Paul Stothard was made up on 1 August and is due to move to Dubai next month to head the office’s international arbitration unit.
The news comes after The Lawyer revealed (28 July 2008) that Dentons is drafting a policy that offers incentives including partnership to lawyers who agree to move out to the Middle East.
Stothard, who spent three years in Dubai as an Allen & Overy associate between 2002 and 2005, argued that, as the incentivisation programme is still being drafted, making partner was not used to influence his move to the Middle East.
“Its not one of these deals in which I’m doing a tour of duty with the expectation of coming back. This is market driven and doesn’t have anything to do with that,” he added.
Stothard added that, while he has signed up for a minimum of three years in Dubai, his spell in the Middle East is likely to be open-ended.
A Dentons spokesman said the firm did not yet have a “formal” policy of offering the partnership carrot to fee-earners willing to make the move.
“We are formulating a plan to incentivise secondments, but exact details have not been concluded yet,” he added.
Stothard said the launch of the arbitration practice in Dubai is driven by the price incentive of providing advice locally rather than from London, as well as Dubai’s growing potential as an international arbitration centre.
The new partner will run a team of five associates. He said that the firm hopes to recruit another partner over the next year to join him.