Leading UAE construction disputes boutique grows international reach and influence
LONDON – UAE-based law firm MANTLE LAW launches a new office in London this week, headed up by leading construction litigator Gurbinder Grewal, formerly a partner at Dentons. The practice will concentrate on offering core legal services to the leading contractors, employers and construction/engineering professionals in the market, with a singular focus on arbitration and disputes. The firm intends to grow rapidly in the Capital, with an expansion strategy to match the remarkable momentum of the UAE practice.
Grewal comments: “I’m excited to be joining Mat and the team, and to grow a brand new practice in the London market. The pandemic has created a diverse range of headwinds for the construction industry. As we emerge from the eye-of-the-storm, the economics of the sector and the balance sheets of contractors have fundamentally changed. Cashflow is the lifeblood of the industry and tensions on the supply chain are immeasurable. Right now, cost certainty and clarity on fees, coupled with rapid trans-national solutions in litigation aren’t just helpful, they’re essential to survival. This is what MANTLE LAW provides”.
Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, MANTLE LAW has made a significant impact in the market, competing directly with local outposts of global law firms that have spent decades building a significant presence. The Middle Eastern construction disputes market is one of the largest in the world, with over $2.5tn worth of projects planned to complete by 2030.
The specialist litigation and arbitration boutique was founded last year by Managing Partner Mat Heywood, a leading figure in construction disputes and former partner within Clyde & Co’s band-one practice. The firm was borne out of the increasing market need for a focused and agile boutique designed for the construction, infrastructure and energy sector, especially one specialising in arbitration and litigation.
Heywood comments: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the success of MANTLE LAW in the UAE. International expansion was always part of our ambition and London was the important choice in our clients’ eyes. I’m delighted to have Gurbinder leading the firm in London. I spent over a decade in this market, plus the rest of the team all have considerable experience in the UK and many of our clients have offices and people here, too. Put simply, London is THE preferred location for international litigation and arbitration, it has some of the highest quality cases and clients. Crucially, no other UAE firm has looked West for a launch, so this is a unique proposition for us and the markets we operate in.”
When it launched last year during lockdown, MANTLE LAW positioned itself as a serious alternative to ‘big law’, with services designed from the ground-up to meet the changing needs of clients. The London practice can be seen as a direct response to those needs.
Heywood continues: “Since day one, our clients have asked whether (and when) we’d be making what they saw as the natural and sensible move of opening in London. Our firm is built around the client experience and this move demonstrates that we respond to their needs, with pace and commitment. It’s typical of the way we operate, of course. We spoke to clients pre-launch and their enthusiasm (and loyalty) was a huge factor in our belief and passion for launching our MANTLE LAW in London.”
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