abu dhabi

HFW launches in Abu Dhabi as part of regional expansion

Global law firm Holman Fenwick Willan has expanded its Middle Eastern presence, with the launch of a new Abu Dhabi office.

It comes as two new partners join the firm to begin in the Abu Dhabi office, nabbed from fellow global firm Reed Smith.

Finance and corporate partners Vince Gordon and Tania de Swart have taken up their new positions, with more than 23 years of experience in the Middle East between them.

Mr Gordon leaves his role as Reed Smith’s Middle East regional managing partner for the gig. He has advised clients on a range of complex corporate, finance, infrastructure and projects transactions and has worked across debt capital markets, M&A and joint ventures, funds, corporate and trade finance, regulation and project finance work.

He previously chaired Reed Smith’s Africa and Australia business teams, vice chaired its business and finance department, as well as sat on the management committee of the firm’s global financial industry group.

Ms de Swart is a corporate and commercial law specialist, with a focus on M&A, joint ventures, restructurings, corporate governance, foreign direct investments and employment law.

She has advised clients across a range of industry sectors, from defence and aviation to construction, oil and gas, healthcare, manufacturing, communications, hospitality and education.

Speaking on the firm’s launch in Abu Dhabi, HFW’s Dubai office head Richard Gimblett said the move is “an important step in the continued development of our Middle East offering.”

“We’ve been looking at the market for some time, but we wanted to make sure we found the right people to lead our practice.”

Regarding the appointment of Mr Gordon and Ms de Swart, Mr Gimblett said he was thrilled that the firm had “managed to attract two such experienced and high-quality partners.”

“Vince and Tania have outstanding reputations in the market and their arrival is a big boost to our corporate and transactional practice, which is one of the fastest growing parts of our business,” he noted.

“We’ve been in the Middle East for a long time and we’re now one of the biggest law firms in the region, but we plan to continue to strengthen across our core industry sectors.”

Speaking on his own appointment, Mr Gordon said he was excited to be joining a firm with “such a deep and longstanding commitment to the Middle East.”

“My clients will really benefit from HFW’s extensive network in the region and globally, and I’m looking forward to helping the firm continue to strengthen its position as one of the leading practices in the Middle East.”

Joining offices in Dubai, Riyadh, Beirut and Kuwait City, the new office is HFW’s 20th worldwide. It is the eighth international office opening, merger or association for the firm since January 2016.

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