Eversheds prepares for Middle East expansion with leadership change

Eversheds has overhauled its Middle East management team as the firm axes its head of international post in the wake of overseas expansion.


Lee Ranson
Lee Ranson

Eversheds has appointed Dubai-based banking and finance lawyer Nasser Ali Khasawneh as its managing partner for the Middle East. Ali Khasawneh was deputy managing partner and replaces Chris Jobson, who will become the firm’s Middle East chairman. Jobson has also been tasked with helping the firm expand in Qatar. Ali Khasawneh will take up his new post on 1 November.

The shake-up comes as Eversheds does away with the role of head of international, which has been filled by Stephen Hopkins since 2009. Hopkins, who has been named head of global accounts, is also relationship partner for one of the firm’s most lucrative clients, Tyco International (6 January 2012).

Eversheds managing partner Lee Ranson told The Lawyer: “Over the last five years our business, responding to our clients’ demands, has become increasingly global in its outlook. The idea of one person being head of international therefore no longer reflected the reality of a business where all our practice and sector group heads, and indeed all our partners, are thinking and acting internationally as part of their everyday activities.”

Bryan Hughes
Bryan Hughes

At the same time, Eversheds is also gearing up to vote in a new chief executive in the autumn, as incumbent Bryan Hughes’ four-year term expires in April 2013. Sources within the firm said that it is unlikely that anyone will challenge Hughes, who is expected to seek reelection. Once elected, the chief executive will appoint the firm’s overall managing partner.

Eversheds trebled its Middle East presence in 2011 through a merger with KSLG, gifting the firm offices in Amman, Baghdad, Dubai and Riyadh, in addition to its existing offices in Abu Dhabi and Doha (25 May 2011).