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Simmons & Simmons has hired Clifford Chance senior associate Payam Beheshti as a partner in its Dubai office.
Beheshti worked at the magic circle firm for 13 years specialising in commercial disputes, contentious regulatory work in the financial sector and has also advised on cyber crime.
Simmons head of regional disputes in the Middle East David Risbridger said: “Payam further enhances our offering here in the Middle East with his focus on financial litigation, including investigations.
“This compliments our strong sector expertise both in the region and globally and allows us to provide a full service offering to our financial institutions and asset management clients.”
This is the second high-profile acquisition for Simmons this month after it hired capital markets partner Jonathan Mellor from Allen & Overy in London.
Clifford Chance has had a turbulent 12 months in the Middle East after it was forced to abandon its Saudi Arabia office in favour of a local tie-up following regulatory restrictions on international law firms.
The move followed a legal battle concerning the validity of international joint ventures in the region, which was understood to have put Clifford Chance’s office under threat.
Clifford Chance’s LLP accounts, released earlier this month, revealed its operations in the UK, Middle East and Asia contributed to the firm’s overall growth in turnover from £1.35bn to 1.39bn last year.
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