Herbert Smith Freehills builds Dubai corporate capability with Simmons partner hire

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) has boosted its Dubai office with the hire of corporate partner Haitham Hawashin from Simmons & Simmons.

Hawashin’s practice covers general corporate and corporate finance work including joint ventures, private equity, cross-border M&A and debt and equity capital markets transactions.

His experience includes advising in sectors such as asset management and investment funds, financial institutions, TMT, real estate, energy/infrastructure and utilities.

He will work closely with HSF Middle East managing partner Zubair Mir.

Mir said: “Haitham is one of the few lawyers in the region who has the international experience and technical expertise to provide top quality advice to our clients doing business in the region and globally. His knowledge of the regional market and Middle Eastern entities, as well as his local language and cultural capability, will be a perfect addition to our team.”

Hawashin joined Simmons in 2013 from Jordan-headquartered firm Khalifeh & Partners.

HSF realigned its strategy in the United Arab Emirates to focus on Dubai in 2015. The firm closed its Abu Dhabi office that year and transferred its lawyers and staff to Dubai. Later that year, it announced it was re-entering Saudi Arabia with an exclusive association with local firm Nasser Al-Hamdan and the hire of a partner from White & Case.

In February the firm announced it would close its office in Qatar this summer, joining other firms in pulling out of the country.