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A wealth of International experience

Our team includes lawyers from the United Kingdom, Australia, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates. Our team collectively has over 50 years experience in the UAE, having previously trained and practised in well known local and international law firms as well as UAE government companies, NASDAQ and FTSE listed organisations.

Our People

Each member of our team is highly experienced in their field of expertise and strives to understand our client's specific needs to add genuine value and ensure their ongoing success.

Jonathon DavidsonRead More Andrew YoungRead More Alex WatsonRead More Kate WilliamsRead More Andy LyonsRead More Chris SmylieRead More Kimia KalantarianRead More Andrey PanferovRead More Victoria SmylieRead More Tanisha SaxenaRead More Finlay DonaldsonRead More Yousif AhmedRead More

Jonathon Davidson

Founding Partner

Jonathon Davidson

Jonathon is a dispute resolution lawyer and Founding Partner at Davidson & Co. Jonathon has 16 years dispute resolution experience and has acted in all manner of disputes for institutions, developers, investors and public companies, as well as for private companies and individuals.

Direct
Main Office
+971 50 775 3952
+971 4 343 889z
+971 4 343 8879

Jonathon’s first arrived in Dubai in March 1999 and prior to founding Davidson & Co. in October 2008, was a legal consultant at Clyde & Co, the international legal practice, based at its Dubai offices and, more latterly, Associate Legal Director of Sama Dubai, the international real estate arm of Dubai Holding.

Jonathon has significant experience of the GCC real estate market, in particular in the area of dispute resolution, having acted for many years for a range of clients in the conduct of mediations, arbitrations (DIAC, LCIA and UNCITRAL), local litigation (Dubai Court of First Instance, Court of Appeal and the Federal Court of Cassation) and the High Court of England and Wales (Admiralty, Queens Bench and Chancery Division).

Jonathon is particularly well known for his wealth of experience litigating in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts and the Dubai World Tribunal (DWT) and is often seen in the local and international business press providing case commentaries. Jonathon and his team have acted in relation to the majority of cases brought before the DWT since the tribunal’s launch and acted as counsel for the Claimants in the ground breaking case of Diamond Developers & Ors –v- Nakheel PJSC & Jumeirah Village LLC (DWT/0091/2010).

In addition to his work with the firm, Jonathon also sits as Chairman of the British Business Group of Dubai and the Northern Emirates, Co-Chairman of the Joint Committee of the British Business Groups of the UAE and as Chairman of the SME Task Force, a sub-set of the UAE-UK Business Council, an economic forum established jointly by the UK and UAE governments to promote bilateral trade and commerce.

Jonathon is an also experienced arbitrator and regularly conducts arbitrations under the auspices of Dubai International Arbitration Centre and Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Andrew Young

Head of Private Client Services

Andrew Young

Andrew is an English lawyer who has been based in Dubai since 2007. Andrew has over 30 years experience of advising wealthy individuals, families and family offices in relation to both personal and business assets.

Direct
Main Office
+971 50 873 5810
+971 4 343 8897
+971 4 343 8879

Prior to joining Davidson & Co. Andrew was Group Director of an international trust company, and before that a partner in a leading London law firm, where he headed the firm’s Private Client Department.

Andrew’s specialist areas of practice are wealth structuring for asset protection, (particularly using trusts), succession planning, family governance and advice to family offices. His work is often complex, and frequently contains a multi- jurisdictional element.

Andrew has been the recipient of several private wealth industry awards, is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, and an Academician of the prestigious International Academy of Estate and Trust Lawyers.

Alex Watson

Head of Corporate Services (Middle East)

Alex Watson

Alex is a non-lawyer and runs the firm's very successful Corporate Services Department. Alex has over 10 years experience in Dubai and works closely with a large number of senior officials across the various UAE government departments.

Direct
Main Office
+971 50 551 7924
+971 4 343 8897
+971 4 343 8879

Alex's team provides a variety of corporate services, to the highest standards, including turnkey company formations (Free Zone and onshore UAE), government department lobbying and practical, solutions driven assistance with all company registration, labour, immigration, residency and regulatory issues, all of which impact upon the efficient day to day running of our clients' businesses.

Alex's clients include a huge range of SME, owner-managed and blue chip companies who, with the assistance of Alex's team, have set up a branch, Free Zone or UAE onshore company and continue to use the firm's Corporate Services Department for their every day business requirements.

Kate Williams

Corporate Services Manager

Kate Williams

Kate works alongside Alex Watson in the firm's Corporate Services Department.

Direct
Main Office
+971 50 272 9339
+971 4 343 8897
+971 4 343 8879

Kate has over 9 years experience in the UAE and has extensive experience in dealing with all government departments in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi including Departments of Immigration and Labour, Economic Departments and Municipalities. Kate’s role encompasses company formations, government liaison and lobbying services, visa procedures, immigration and labour dispute management.

Prior to coming to the UAE, Kate was the Administrative Manager for a leading Resort Group in the UK. Kate's administrative background has allowed the firm to implement cutting edge administrative and procedural practices in both the firm’s client facing and internal functions.

Andy Lyons

Partner

Andy Lyons

Andy Lyons is a dispute resolution lawyer based in our Dubai Office having joined the team in 2011.

Direct
Main Office
+971 50 912 8649
+971 4 343 8897
+971 4 343 8879

Andy was trained and qualified in Scotland where he worked closely with our Specialist Counsel, William Frain-Bell. He was involved in a number of high profile litigation cases in the High Courts and Supreme Court in Scotland and was involved in many cases which shaped the law within that Jurisdiction.

Andy specialises in commercial litigation, Arbitration and Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution and has worked closely with Joe Durkin in a large number of litigation proceedings in various jurisdictions including the Dubai World Tribunal (DWT), the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC), the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) and the DIFC-LCIA. Andy's recent case load has seen him advise clients on a range of contractual matters from construction and real estate disputes to employment, commercial and corporate matters.

Andy is currently very active within our Construction Litigation team dealing with high value, contentious disputes which are the subject of complicated proceedings within the Dubai Courts, DIFC-LCIA, DIAC and the ADCCAC (which includes tendering pre-litigation advice).

Andy enjoys Rights of Audience under Part II of the DIFC Court's Register of Legal Practitioners, Andy’s commercial experience and high value litigation background puts him in an ideal position to ensure our clients’ specific needs are identified quickly, enabling him to tailor the advice offered to clients accordingly.

Andy's clients range from global contractors to High Net Worth individuals and corporations.

Chris Smylie

Senior Consultant

Chris Smylie

Latterly Chief Executive of a major UK-national law firm, Chris joined Davidson & Co in August 2014 to guide the firm through the next stages of its growth strategy.

Direct
Main Office
+971 50 701 2507
+971 4 343 8897
+971 4 343 8879

A solicitor by profession, Chris draws on over 30 years of experience in the legal sector, both client-facing and management. Chris was first assumed as a partner in 1986 and went on to establish himself as one of the foremost planning solicitors in the UK. From 2000 to 2010 he was Head of Planning & Environment at Maclay Murray & Spens LLP, specialising in inquiry advocacy and representing major developers, institutions and other private and public sector clients at more than 100 public local inquiries.

In 2011, Chris became Chief Executive of MMS with overall responsibility for the strategic direction and operational management of a complex, multi-layered £40m+ business, leading a senior management team of Finance, Marketing, IT, HR and Facilities professionals.

He successfully managed MMS through a period of intense structural and regulatory change, including leading a root and branch strategic review of the business and driving the subsequent implementation phase to deliver sustainably profitable growth.

He has also established a reputation for thought-leadership, contributing various articles and providing commentary to the national and legal press.

Kimia Kalantarian

Trainee Solicitor

Kimia Kalantarian

Kimia is a trainee solicitor within the corporate and employment departments of the firm.

Direct
Main Office
+971 50 2043660
 
+971 4 343 8879

Kimia completed her bachelors degree in the UK at University of Kent and holds a Masters degree in International Business Law from King’s College London. Prior to joining Davidson & Co she worked as a paralegal in London dealing with a range of legal matters including private client and private client work. Kimia also speaks Farsi and has extensive knowledge of the Iranian Market.

Andrey Panferov

Senior Consultant

Kimia Kalantarian

Andrey is based in our Dubai Office and heads up the firm’s Russian speaking desk.

Direct
Main Office
+971 52 7527758
+971 4 3438897
+971 4 343 8879

Andrey is based in our Dubai Office and heads up the firm’s Russian speaking desk. As well as a Law Degree, Andrey holds an MSc from Heriot Watt University and has over 12 years of experience, both in Russia and Dubai, in a broad range of areas including corporate law, mergers & acquisitions, dispute resolution and construction. Fluent in both Russian and English, Andrey looks after the firm’s Russian speaking clients and is well known in the extended C.I.S. business community in the UAE.

Victoria Smylie

Associate

Chris Smylie

Victoria is an Associate in the firm’s Private Client Department. She is a Scottish Notary Public.

Direct
Main Office
+971 58 531 0591
+971 4 343 8897
+971 4 343 8879

Victoria was trained and qualified in Scotland, where she worked at one of the UK’s top private client firms, based in Edinburgh. Victoria specializes in advising individuals and families on succession planning, wealth structuring, and asset protection, often involving a multi-jurisdictional element. Victoria also specializes in drafting both DIFC Wills and Foreign Wills. Victoria is a Scottish Notary Public.

Tanisha Saxena

Associate

Tanisha Saxena

Tanisha Saxena is an Associate in the firm’s Litigation and Arbitration departments.

Direct
Main Office
+971 56 234 9842
+971 4 343 8897
+971 4 343 8879

Tanisha Saxena is an Associate in the firm’s Litigation and Arbitration departments having trained and qualified with the firm following a brief secondment in the litigation department of Mishcon de Reya’s London office. Tanisha graduated with honours from the London School of Economics, having completed a degree in Philosophy and Economics, prior to studying law with the BPP University in London and is admitted as a Solicitor in the Senior Courts of England Wales.

Tanisha has successfully represented clients before the DIFC Courts, the Dubai International Arbitration Centre, International Chamber of Commerce, DIFC-LCIA and the London Court of International Arbitration, and is also highly experienced in disputes falling under the jurisdiction of the Dubai Courts. Her areas of practice include high value construction and real estate disputes, as well as commercial and banking disputes and proceedings before the Courts of England and Wales. She is a member of the Young International Arbitration Group and in the process of registering as a Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitration.

Finlay Donaldson

Trainee Solicitor

Finlay

Finlay is a Trainee Solicitor currently working within the firm’s Corporate and Private Client departments.

Direct
Main Office
+971 56 460 1655
+971 4 343 8897
+971 4 343 8879

Finlay holds a bachelor’s degree in Modern History and Economics from the University of Manchester and completed his LPC at BPP University, London. Finlay has previous experience working for a boutique private client firm in London, specialising in tax advisory, trust administration and wealth structuring.

Yousif Ahmed

Senior Lawyer

Finlay

Yousif Ahmed, is a senior lawyer based in our Dubai office and acts for clients all around the World including the UAE, the Middle East & GCC, UK & Europe and beyond.

Direct
Main Office
+971 58 588 9710
+971 4 343 8897
+971 4 343 8879

Yousif Ahmed, is a UK-qualified Solicitor and Notary Public. He maintains a broad and varied practice in all aspects commercial law. His core practice areas include: Real Estate (both residential and commercial); Corporate and Company Law; Commercial Contracts; Dispute Resolution; Employment Law; and general counsel corporate and commercial advisory work.

Prior to joining Davidson & Co in 2018, Yousif worked at one of Scotland’s premier commercial law firms and was also a former Crown Prosecutor. More recently, he was Director of Legal Services at a boutique commercial law firm based in the heart of Scotland where he headed up their commercial law department. Clients particularly value Yousif’s ability to combine legal advice and representation with pragmatic commercial solutions. He is focused and committed to providing and delivering a high quality, first-class, client-driven service.

Yousif is registered with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, UK and is authorised to notarize UK documents for use in foreign jurisdictions including Dubai and the UAE. He is also multi-lingual and can speak fluently in Urdu, Punjabi and Hindi.

Yousif has a keen interest in charitable work and in offering his time and assistance to help people, particularly those in need or suffering in hardship. He is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chairman of a Scottish registered charity and some of the pro bono campaign work he has led has featured in mainstream press reports.

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