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 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.
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.
William Frain-Bell is an external counsel who regularly consults with Davidson & Co's dispute resolution team . William deals with all types of commercial dispute avoidance and resolution. Having qualified as a solicitor (1998), he was called to the Bar firstly in Scotland (1999) and then in England & Wales (2000 Middle Temple) and has extensive advocacy experience in courts and tribunals at every level in the UK. He has full rights of audience in the DIFC Courts in Dubai and is also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and has been involved in a number of high level arbitrations and adjudications.
William has a post graduate diploma in international commercial arbitration from the School of International Arbitration in London and has lectured extensively in contract law and dispute resolution to oil and gas executives from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Sudan.
William is regularly called upon to provide immediate advice to operational directors in the field to assist with dispute avoidance and management. He is currently advising a UK oil services company with the implementation of a joint-venture drilling project in Latin America.
Described as "reliable" by Chambers & Partners, William is an expert in the provision of a versatile, discrete, effective and rapid response to problems and is accustomed to travelling at short notice to assist parties around the world. He is also listed in the prestigious Legal 500 as a leading counsel in commercial law.
Head of Private Client Services
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.
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.
Head of Corporate Services (Middle East)
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.
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.
Corporate Services Manager
Kate works alongside Alex Watson in the firm's Corporate Services Department.
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 is a dispute resolution lawyer based in our Dubai Office having joined the team in 2011.
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.
Viktoria supports the firm’s corporate and commercial departments and has extensive experience in dealing with company formations, document drafting and advising, visa procedures, dispute management, administrative and government liaison responsibilities.
Viktoria was formerly employed within the legal department of a large free zone located in Dubai where she acquired a wide range of legal and problem solving skills.
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.
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.
Rhea is based in our Dubai office having joined the team in 2014. Rhea has spent over 18 years in Dubai and graduated with Honors in Law (LLB Hons) from the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom. She completed her LPC and Masters in International Legal Practice at the University of Law, London.
Her areas of practice include corporate restructuring and commercial transactions, both in the UAE and Internationally with experience of emerging markets, cross-border, multi-juristictional mergers and acquisitions, commercial dispute resolution, corporate governance and compliance as well as being part of the firm's private client team.
Rhea has been described by clients as “a great young legal mind to work with” and “willing to go the extra mile to meet deadlines and get the job done”
Stephanie is a trainee solicitor in the firm’s dispute resolution and corporate department.
Prior to joining Davidson & Co, Stephanie was employed as a paralegal by one of the largest international law firms in the GCC, where she assisted with the representation of parties in some of the regions’ largest and highest profile construction and engineering disputes. As a result, she has experience of conducting arbitration in the UAE, both under the rules of the Dubai International Arbitration Centre (DIAC) and the DIFC Courts. Stephanie assisted with various document management tasks in the successful defence of a DIAC arbitration claim against a UAE public sector client totaling circa AED 4.5 billion, arising out of a landmark development in Dubai.
Kimia is a trainee solicitor within the corporate and employment departments of the firm.
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.