Berrymans upbeat after Dubai office loses head

Berrymans Lace Mawer is losing the head of its Dubai office to Denton Hall sparking a major reorganisation of its Middle Eastern practice.

Nigel Truscott, partner in construction at Berrymans, is leaving the Dubai office this month and will be followed by his colleague, commercial solicitor Rita Semaani.

The appointments are among the first to Denton Hall's Dubai office which was set up in March (The Lawyer, 1 March).

Truscott will join Denton Hall in September as senior solicitor to head up the construction department with assistance from Semaani, who will start later on this year.

Paul Taylor, national senior partner at Berrymans, says Truscott was originally expected to work out a six-month notice period. However, his current employer decided to let him leave the firm earlier.

Berrymans' Dubai office will now be headed up by Jason Blick, a solicitor with experience in both construction and insurance, and will be assisted by Robert Stevenson, a senior solicitor in construction.

Taylor says: “There is a very interesting local insurance market. We are talking to a lot of companies.

“There has been a real resurgence in work. We have been asked by a number of insurers including CGU and Royal SunAlliance.

“We have been approached by a number of companies to look at setting up their claims handling in a centralised and innovative way,” he adds.

Blick will be assisted by Ameen Rashid, an insurance specialist, while Taylor and Tim Oliver, a partner in the personal injury department, will provide support from the London office.

Taylor also says Berrymans will be compounding its relationship with local firm Lufti Al Bahar by sharing support services.

He adds: “They will primarily do local advocacy work and litigation while we will handle construction and insurance.”

Denton Hall was unavailable for comment.