Clinton is replacing Ewan Cameron who was poached by Linklaters in December to head up its newly launched Dubai office.
Cameron took Scott Campbell with him, who also joined Linklaters as a partner. He was a senior associate in Clifford Chance’s Dubai office.
Clinton joined the firm in 1988 and was made a partner in 1996. He has spent time in the Middle East and south-east Asia.
Dubai managing partner Graham Lovett said: “Simon is one of the brightest stars in the firm’s corporate group, and we are very excited about the prospect of him joining us. The markets here are becoming much more sophisticated, and we plan to expand to meet increasing demand for high quality legal services in the Middle East region. Simon’s appointment demonstrates the continued importance of this region to the firm.”