Construction and energy law firm Fenwick Elliott has announced it is making significant investment in 2019 to strengthen its global ties, including relaunching the Dubai office as its international hub.
The Dubai base, located in Jumeirah Lakes Towers, currently serves UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman territories with growing opportunities across the MENA region. It was first opened in 2015 in conjunction with Ibrahim Law Firm, headed by partners Patrick Stone and Ahmed Ibrahim.
While Fenwick Elliott employs 50 lawyers as a specialised construction and energy law firm, Dubai hosts a growing team of partners and associates, and with the move to make the city its main overseas base, there are imminent plans to expand further into new, larger premises.
Already amassing extensive experience in the Middle East having acted for contractors in relation to projects like Palm Jumeirah, Doha Expressway and Dubai World Central, the firm plans to capitalise on increasing demand for its services in the UAE and Saudi in particular in the next 12 to 18 months.
Stone said: “It’s an exciting time to be at the forefront of our Dubai operation as we look to cement our presence in the UAE and explore new opportunities further afield. We are continually investing in our business here and to make way for new faces and improved facilities, we hope to relocate into a larger space in the coming months.”
The announcement coincides with a recent seminar held in London, which addressed the emergence of technology in construction and its potential impact; the first in a series of thought leadership events Fenwick Elliott will be involved in this year.
The Legal 500 top tier firm warned against new legislative and contractual risk issues associated with digitalisation and developing technology in the industry, such as the use of BIM, drones and 3D robotics.
Chaired by senior partner Simon Tolson, the event saw a panel of experts present talks including partners Jeremy Glover and Jonathan More, senior associate Dr Stacy Sinclair, as well as Erland Rendall, founder of Atorus Consult Ltd and Wavelength chief scientific officer Dr Ben Gardner.
Delegates representing a large number of the UK’s major construction, engineering and property services companies, decision makers and local government influencers attended Strand’s ME London hotel to hear from the panel.
Tolson, alongside the speakers, called for the industry to modernise by embracing what is now possible in design to move from mass production of standardised components to mass customisation, while remaining vigilant to the legal issues surrounding modern methods of construction and DfMA (Design for Manufacture and Assembly) for off the peg approaches.