Double partner appointment for DWF Middle East

International legal business DWF has appointed Former Clyde & Co. corporate partner and International Head of Defence and Security Matthew Donovan and its former Abu Dhabi Head of Commercial Disputes James Fox to its team in Dubai, as the firm continues to enhance its presence in the region and expand into new markets.

Corporate partner Matthew advises on a wide range of M&A, private equity and commercial transactions as well as public listings. He has extensive experience in joint ventures, acquisitions, restructurings and commercial contracts for a domestic and international defence contractors, medical service providers, retailers and recruitment specialists. With a practice that covers the broad spectrum of corporate and commercial work, Matthew's appointment complements DWF Middle East's well-established government advisory, corporate defence, litigation, arbitration, construction and infrastructure practices.

Litigation and arbitration partner James has almost 10 years' experience of the Middle East market and specialises in domestic & international arbitration and commercial litigation across the defence, security, real estate and hospitality sectors. His expertise comprises local property disputes, hotel management disputes, agency disputes, defence contract issues, joint venture disputes, corporate disputes and assisting foreign companies with criminal charges. James and Matthew will be working in unison to deliver sought after commercially-focused advice to DWF's growing defence and security client base.

Waseem Khokhar, DWF Middle East Managing Partner, said: "DWF is focused on building a far-reaching international litigation practice and Matthew and James's appointments are a significant part of this, reinforcing our capability in areas like real estate and international arbitration and opening us up to support clients in new sectors, including defence and security. We centre our growth around our clients' interests and business needs, building strong disputes practices across key jurisdictions globally so that our clients can continue to drive their businesses forward."

Matthew Donovan said: "DWF has been disrupting the legal market in the Middle East for the last two years and has clearly aligned its growth to demand in the region. The firm's established construction, real estate and litigation teams provide the perfect platform to develop an exclusively focused corporate and commercial practice to support clients who are now not only looking to invest but expand."

James Fox said: "DWF has a robust litigation practice in the Middle East and, against a backdrop of a reduction in oil prices and government spend, the disputes market is increasingly busy with many parties no longer able to fulfil contractual obligations. Building on the firm's current practice and wide ranging experience with a greater international element will enhance an already impressive team supporting clients across the UAE, the wider region as well as those further overseas."

The appointments follow a series of senior hires in Dubai over the last 12 months, including construction partners Dean O'Leary and John Coghlan, litigation partner Haytham Alieh, construction director Maria Deus and corporate director Ziyad Hadi.

Waseem Khokhar

Partner - Managing Partner (Middle East Region)

I am the Middle East Region Managing Partner. I specialise in legal government advisory work and matters involving corporate defence and white collar crime. I also provide regulatory advice and advise high net worth family groups on restructuring matters.

James Fox


I have close to a decade of experience of the Middle East market and specialise in domestic and international arbitration and commercial litigation across the defence, security, real estate and hospitality sectors.

Matthew Donovan