Clydes raids Pinsents, Simmons for Mid East talent

Clyde & Co has raided the United Arab Emirates offices of Pinsent Masons and Simmons & Simmons as it seeks to expand its contentious construction expertise.

Partner Mark Blanksby, together with associates Anna Scannell and Elise Gillians have joined the Dubai office from Pinsent Masons, while projects associate Emma Shepherd joins the Abu Dhabi office from Simmons & Simmons.

This takes the firm’s specialist construction team to a combined total of 10 partners and associates spread across office in Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai.

Clyde’s Dubai-based construction and projects partner Michael Grose said that the former Pinsents team was already active on the disputes side. He added: “Mark has a strong background in international arbitration and we also have others here looking at that.”

Grose said that the hires would give the firm an advantage over competitors: “This will give us an edge in terms of size of the team and depth of experience in the market place that no-one else will be able to match for the time being.”

Grose, who also has disputes experience, will now focus more on projects and infrastructure work.

The hires come a year after Dubai signed the Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards – the so-called “New York Convention” aimed at paving the way for the Emirate’s goal of being a world centre for international disputes work.

Following the departures, the Pinsent Masons Dubai office construction team has 12 lawyers, including four partners.

A spokeswoman added: “We are also broadening our offering to include other specialisms, namely Corporate, Property and Outsourcing, Technology & Commercial. These new teams are made up of lawyers who have transferred from our UK and Asia Pacific offices and external recruitment.”