The moves will further strengthen the firm’s well established presence in the Middle East, with five partners and more than 40 lawyers based across the region in the firm’s offices in Dubai and Bahrain, and in Saudi Arabia through Freshfields’ association with Fares Al-Hejailan.
Finance partners Bob Charlton and Charles July, and corporate partner Ian Poynton, have recently relocated to the region. To date the firm has moved, and will continue to move, partners and associates in and out of the Middle East, in response to client demand and deal activity, to supplement the permanent team in the region.
Bob will head the firm’s Saudi presence and Middle East and North Africa (MENA) finance practice while Charles will focus on finance and energy and infrastructure activity in the region. Ian will be working with financial institutions on their corporate requirements as well as co-heading the MENA corporate practice with Bruce Embley.
‘We are increasing our resources in the region in response to growing client demand and the success of the current practice under the leadership of Joe Huse and Bruce Embley. We have advised on some of the most important transactions in the region in recent years and were top of the 2007 M&A league tables for MENA,’ said Guy Morton, joint senior partner, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.
‘Some of our largest clients have established significant operations in the region and demand for our services, both in relation to inward and outward investment opportunities, has increased exponentially. The oil and gas, infrastructure, financial services, TMT, private equity and real estate sectors are particularly active, reflecting the political stability and diversifying economies, which has led to very rapid growth,’ he said.
Bob Charlton joined Freshfields as a partner in 1999 and has spent time in London, Tokyo, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam. Bob, previously head of the firm’s London finance practice, has a broad base of experience in financing assets with particular emphasis on aircraft and rolling stock, as well as considerable experience of advising governments and export credit agencies.
Charles July has been a partner at Freshfields since 1988 and led the London-based energy and infrastructure team. He specialises in infrastructure acquisition and project financing as well as project development, with particular sector experience in energy, infrastructure, transport and utilities acting for trade, strategic and financial investors.
Ian Poynton has been a corporate partner since 1998. His practice covers the broad range of corporate transactions, with a particular focus on financial institutions and the insurance sector.