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DWF appoints new Managing Partner of DWF Qatar

14 August 2018
Managing reputation
International legal business DWF has appointed a team of construction and corporate lawyers from K&L Gates' Doha office, including head of infrastructure and energy Kirk Durrant.
Kirk brings with him a legal director, two associates and one paralegal. Kirk will also take on the role on Managing Partner of DWF Qatar.

DWF secured a practising license for Qatar earlier this year in order to strengthen its Middle East presence and in response to client demand in the region.

Kirk has over fourteen years' experience in the construction sector with ten of those years based in Qatar. He moved to Doha in 2007 after being recruited by Patton Boggs (now Squire Patton Boggs), to provide construction claim and dispute resolution support, and joined K&L Gates' Doha office in 2012.

The range of Kirk's work covers both non-contentious transactional matters as well as contentions claims/dispute matters. His team are known in the Qatar market for being specialists in FIDIC and public-private partnerships (PPP) across a number of business sectors. Kirk and his team have strong capabilities in claims management, negotiation and dispute resolution. His experience includes advising on many major infrastructure development public sector entities in Qatar including airport, port and rail projects and he has experience in representing family businesses in the real estate sector. Kirk's team has also worked on matters further afield including a number of urban transport projects in Pakistan, Tanzania and Rwanda.

Shiraz Sethi, Managing Partner of DWF Middle East, said: "Qatar has a strong construction industry which continues to grow both domestically and internationally, with investors looking for foreign opportunities. The addition of Kirk and his team adds specialist local expertise and knowledge of the Qatar market to DWF's construction offering in the Middle East. This will provide further value to our clients who already have business interests in Qatar and will allow clients to access our international network of experts to meet their needs in other jurisdictions."

Kirk Durrant added: "DWF has entered Qatar at an exciting time for the construction industry which is very competitive and yet still evolving. I am pleased to be able to bring not only my expertise but the expertise of my team to DWF to provide solutions to our clients. DWF is committed to doing things differently and I am proud to be at the beginning of the business's journey in Qatar."

Stefan Paciorek, CEO of DWF's International Division, added: "The Middle East is a key growth area for the business and the launch of a local office in Qatar allows us to bring our unique and innovative legal services to this growing market in the GCC. We have worked with clients in Qatar for some time now and formalising our presence on the ground is enabling us to develop the practice further and demonstrate our commitment to the region."

DWF launched its Middle East offering in 2015 and now has a full service offering across the MENA region, with a focus on the business's key sectors of real estate; construction and infrastructure; retail, food and hospitality; financial services and technology. Key practice areas across these sectors include corporate, commercial, construction and infrastructure, banking & finance (including Islamic finance), employment, real estate and dispute resolution. The Middle East team also have niche expertise in the defence and security sector. In May 2018 Shiraz Sethi was appointed Managing Partner of DWF Middle East to lead the expansion of DWF's offering in the region. Also in May partner James Fox was named Head of Dispute Resolution for the Middle East to lead the growth of the business's litigation practice in the region and a Middle East banking and finance team was launched with the appointment of partner Umera Ali.

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