Addleshaw Goddard Strengthens Core GCC Capability with Dubai-based Corporate Partner

Addleshaw Goddard has strengthened its GCC offering with the appointment of corporate expert Ben Gillespie to its Dubai office. Ben joins the firm’s International Division as a partner on 4th November and is the latest in a series of strategic overseas investments targeting new income streams in high growth areas.

Commenting on the appointment, International Division Managing Partner, Andrew Carpenter, said: “Ben’s hire is another exciting investment which broadens our existing capability and provides us with specialist M&A and private equity expertise that can be leveraged across our three GCC offices and the UK.  We are very pleased that Ben has joined us. He is very well networked and his experience on high value deals across the GCC will strengthen our regional profile and enable us to pursue additional opportunities in the local market for new and existing clients.”

Addleshaw Goddard opened its Dubai office in September 2012, following the appointment of projects and construction expert Andrew Greaves. Since then, the firm has accelerated its growth in the region by opening two further offices in Muscat and Doha and making four partner appointments – Roger Byrne and Charles Schofield in Muscat and Hussein Damirji and Martin Brown in Doha.  Ben will support Andrew on the day-to day running of the Dubai office and work alongside corporate partners Keith Johnston and Tim Field whose practices include advising clients active in the UAE.

Ben joins the firm from Clyde & Co’s Middle East Group with an established reputation in the region for advising multinational corporations, regional businesses and household names on a wide variety of corporate transactions.

Ben has extensive knowledge of the local market, having spent seven years working in Dubai where he built up extensive experience of regional and international mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and private equity investments. He is a recognised thought leader in the region and is author of the ‘United Arab Emirates’ chapter of the Directors’ Duties and Liabilities Handbook published in 2009. Ben has been quoted by Legal 500 as a “calm, patient negotiator who is knowledgeable about customs and practices in the region”.

His recent transactions include:

  • Advising a major European plc on a planned merger of its UAE operations with that of a dominant local player which would create the market leading business in its sector
  • Advising a leading GCC service provider to the oil and gas industry in connection with the reorganisation of its business and affairs in connection with a US$300 million plus banking facility
  • Advising a major US plc on its joint venture with a Government of Abu Dhabi owned entity and the subsequent establishment and structuring of operations in the GCC
  • Advising major UAE family group on the restructuring of its operations throughout the GCC and beyond for enhanced flexibility, efficiency  and governance
  • Advising major UAE education and healthcare companies on matters relating to private equity investment and regional acquisitions
  • Advising US fortune 500 company on its acquisition of a software company in Kuwait and operations in the UAE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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