Lovells’ decision to parachute London-based corporate partner Nick Parden into Dubai as joint office head is part of a strategic refocus of the firm’s Middle East presence.
As revealed by TheLawyer.com last week (5 February), current Dubai head Shibeer Ahmed has resigned and will leave Lovells at the end of April.
The firm has no plans to recruit into Ahmed’s areas of expertise, project finance and banking.
Parden will head the office from the beginning of May alongside Dubai-based partner and global Islamic finance head Rahail Ali.
As a result three of the office’s five partners will be corporate lawyers, with the remaining two working in Islamic finance. There are 14 additional lawyers based in Dubai.
A spokesperson said: “We were quite keen to make sure we had someone of Nick’s level and experience in Dubai – it allows us to re-emphasise the corporate side.”
The firm is also in discussions about forming a joint venture in Riyadh, said sources close to the firm.