Neale Downes

WFW Dubai expands with Islamic finance specialist partner hire

30 November 2015

Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has expanded its finance group with leading banking and finance partner hire Neale Downes in the Dubai office. Neale’s experience includes corporate lending, structured finance, acquisition finance, trade finance, project, construction and development finance and in particular, Islamic Finance.

Formerly of Trowers & Hamlins in Bahrain and more recently SGH Martineau LLP in London, Neale has been ranked in the Chambers Global 2015 Guide in the Corporate & Finance – Bahrain, Foreign Experts category. He is noted as having “numerous years practising in Bahrain”, as well as offering “significant experience advising on banking and finance matters, with a particular emphasis on Shari’a-compliant structuring.” He has previously been named as a leading practitioner in the field of Banking and Finance in the Global Chambers and Partners’ Guide to the Legal Profession 2013 and the Legal 500 ME Guide.

WFW Dubai Office Head and Asset Finance Group partner Andrew Baird said: “Neale’s extensive banking and finance experience, particularly in Islamic Finance make him a great fit for Watson Farley & Williams Dubai. His particular experience across a range of sectors, including real estate, construction and development and infrastructure projects, align with WFW’s key sectors, making him a welcome addition to the firm globally.”

Partner Neale Downes added: “WFW’s strategy and commitment to grow its finance group in the Dubai office makes this an excellent opportunity for me to develop my practice, and benefit my clients through access to the additional sector-based expertise the firm provides. WFW has a distinct offering through its sector-focussed strategy and its depth of expertise in its chosen sectors, making it an exciting time to join the firm.”