UAE’s Fichte & Co bolster practice with two hires

UAE shipping boutique Fichte & Co Legal Consultancy has made a duo of senior hires in a bid to diversify its practice.

The firm has brought on board Donald Francoeur as a partner to head its corporate and commercial team.

Francoeur originally qualified as a lawyer in Canada, and was a partner at Stikeman Elliott for 14 years before joining Fraser Milgrain Casgrain, also as a partner. He moved to the Middle East in 2007, working at Qatar firm Gebran Majdalany before joining Norton Rose as a senior counsel in Riyadh. Francoeur spent four months as general counsel for Saudi Arabian company Al-Rushaid Petroleum Investment Company in 2011.

Fichte & Co also hired Ghada Qaisi Audi as head of dispute resolution from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts, where she was most recently acting deputy registrar.

Audi’s hire follows the November 2011 decision of the DIFC to widen the courts’ jurisdiction, allowing any company to choose Dubai as the venue for dispute resolution rather than just those based in the DIFC.