ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES and DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES–(Marketwired – June 3, 2013) – King & Spalding today announced the addition of a team of three international arbitration and construction lawyers from Simmons & Simmons to its Abu Dhabi and Dubai offices, the latest move in its plan of expansion of its global disputes capabilities.
The team is headed up by partner Adrian Cole, the former head of Simmons & Simmons’ dispute resolution and construction practices, and includes Raza Mithani as counsel and associate John Packer. Cole and Packer are resident in the firm’s Abu Dhabi office; Mithani is Dubai-based. Their arrival brings the number of lawyers in King & Spalding’s offices in the Middle East to 26, including 8 partners.
“The specialty of Adrian and his team — arbitrations involving the construction, infrastructure and energy sectors — provides synergies with our energy and global transactions practices,” said Jawad I. Ali, managing partner of King & Spalding’s Middle East offices. “Adrian was responsible for building the construction disputes practice at his former firm, and his and his team’s knowledge and expertise in that area bring additional depth and breadth to our disputes practice. We welcome them to the firm.”
Cole focuses on commercial arbitrations and disputes work, with an emphasis on construction-related arbitrations and litigation, and advises on energy and infrastructure-related matters. He has advised international contractors on projects to upgrade and operate the main highway from Saudi Arabia to Abu Dhabi, the building of the first rail project in the United Arab Emirates and the construction of a 3,300-kilometer gas pipeline crossing Europe and Asia.
Cole is an experienced counsel and arbitrator under the rules of various arbitral institutions as well as ad hoc rules commonly used in construction arbitrations. He is licensed to practice in Dubai International Financial Center proceedings and served as counsel in high-profile DIFC cases. A British national, Cole is a qualified solicitor in England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland. He is a trained, experienced mediator and arbitrator and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Building and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.
Mithani led the commercial disputes practice of his former firm’s Dubai office. He specializes in high-value and complex disputes across a number of sectors, including financial services, energy and infrastructure, and aviation. He has advised and acted on behalf of governments, financial institutions and a wide range of multinationals in matters of substantial importance involving the laws of various MENA countries (including the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait), England, Wales and Jersey.
Packer is a construction law specialist with broad experience in advising on energy and infrastructure projects. His clients have ranged from developers, utilities and financial institutions to contractors and professional consultants. He is familiar with all forms of standard, international EPC contracts including the FIDIC suite of contracts.
Cole said: “King & Spalding offers a global, world-class arbitration and disputes platform, with leading practitioners in jurisdictions such as Singapore, Paris, London and New York. I have been attracted by the firm’s strong commitments to the Middle East and expansion of the global disputes practice — and by the collaborative, integrated, cross-office nature of the arbitration team. This is a natural fit for me and a move that will allow us to take our practice to the next level.”
King & Spalding has increased its global disputes practice with 10 international arbitration partner hires in the past 16 months: Joël Alquezar (Paris), Vanessa Benichou (Paris), James Berger (New York), Harry Burnett (New York), Joëlle Herschtel (Paris), Peter Megens (Singapore, beginning July 2103), Jane Player (London), Jan Schäfer (Frankfurt), Ilia Rachkov (Moscow) and Sarah Walker (London).
“The firm has significantly expanded its international arbitration and disputes practice in selected markets around the world,” said Robert D. Hays, Jr., chairman of King & Spalding. “The Middle East is an arbitration market of significance, and we are pleased to establish on-the-ground dispute resolution capabilities in the region with the strong team of Adrian, Raza and John.”
King & Spalding is a world leader in both foreign investment arbitration and international commercial arbitration. In 2013, Global Arbitration Review ranked King & Spalding fourth among the world’s top global firms serving as arbitration counsel. In the Chambers Global 2013 guide 12 King & Spalding arbitration lawyers received a total of 33 listings, and the 2012 edition of Legal 500 U.S. selected King & Spalding as one of four firms recognized in Band 1 for arbitration experience. In 2011, the firm earned the number three spot in Focus Europe’s arbitration scorecard, a worldwide survey by The American Lawyer.
“The firm has arbitration and cross-border litigation practices in London, Paris, Frankfurt, Moscow and Singapore, in addition to a significantly expanded U.S.-based practice in the firm’s offices in New York, Washington, Atlanta, Houston and San Francisco,” said Edward G. Kehoe, leader of King & Spalding’s international arbitration practice. “We have a conscious strategy of expanding our global commercial arbitration platform through lateral recruitment to complement our preeminent treaty arbitration practice.”
About King & Spalding
Celebrating more than 125 years of service, King & Spalding is an international law firm that represents a broad array of clients, including half of the Fortune Global 100, with 800 lawyers in 17 offices in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The firm has handled matters in over 160 countries on six continents and is consistently recognized for the results it obtains, uncompromising commitment to quality and dedication to understanding the business and culture of its clients. More information is available at www.kslaw.com.