Winston & Strawn strengthens Dubai office with double Eversheds hire

Winston & Strawn has hired Eversheds Sutherland partner Ben Bruton and counsel Nick Sharratt to boost its Dubai office.

Bruton was head of Eversheds’ UAE practice and joined the firm from Norton Rose Fulbright in 2009. He was made head of the office three years ago.

His arrival brings the number of partners based in the Dubai office up to four, with a further two partners split between its Dubai and London offices.

Sharratt, who spent seven years as principal associate in the firm’s dispute resolution practice, joins as counsel to Winston & Strawn’s litigation practice.

The dual departures are the latest to leave Eversheds Sutherland since the merger went live on 1 February this year. Last month, DWF announced it was opening in Singapore with a four-lawyer hire from the firm, followed a day later by the exit of its entire Newcastle-based shipping team to Clyde & Co.

For Winston & Strawn, the moves halt a run of losses across its offices in Paris, Beijing, Taipei and Hong Kong.

Winston & Strawn’s Dubai office opened in 2015 with the hiring of Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman finance partners James Simpson and Stephen Jurgenson.

The pair join finance partner Christopher Skipper, Middle East banking and Islamic finance head Shibeer Ahmed and Middle East managing partner Campbell Steedman who were added to the office in the last 12 months.

Steedman said: “Ben and Nick will add significant value as we continue to expand upon the strong business connections between Dubai and other global business hubs to better serve our clients.”

As Eversheds’ UAE head, and head of dispute resolution, Bruton nearly tripled the number of lawyers in the office – from 10 to 27 – in his three-year period as head.

Sharratt’s practice focused on cross-border litigation and regulation work for Middle Eastern, European and African clients.

Winston & Strawn chairman Tom Fitzgerald said: “We are delighted to welcome Ben and Nick to the firm. With a strong background in dispute resolution across the Middle East and in London, their arrival continues the momentum we have created in strategically growing our Dubai office.”