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Mounting departures: Trowers loses another partner in the Middle East as CRS hires a new construction chief

Trowers & Hamlins’ former head of Bahrain construction Paula Boast has returned to Charles Russell Speechlys (CRS) as its Middle East head of construction, after spending almost nine years at Trowers’ Bahrain office.

The departure comes after Trowers’ head of UAE Abdullah Mutawi, and fellow partner and international disputes resolution chief Lucas Pitts, exited the firm in March to join Baker Botts’ corporate and disputes practice in Dubai.

Boast left Trowers in February this year having joined in June 2006 as a construction and projects partner. During her tenure at Trowers, she headed the Bahrain construction team and advised on construction and procurement for developers, funders, contractors and consultants. She is also a registered mediator with the Bahrain chamber for dispute resolution. Before Trowers, she was a solicitor at legacy Charles Russell from April 2003 until June 2006.

The hire forms part of CRS’ post-merger growth plan, as the firm expands its construction practice in Bahrain. ‘Construction continues to thrive in the Middle East and we are retained on a number of transformative projects, such as the Bahrain Airport,’ said Patrick Gearon, head of CRS’ Middle East offices. ‘Bringing Paula into our already strong team supports our ongoing growth in the region bringing additional expertise for clients based here and also for those not based in the region, it brings significant additional ‘on the ground’ insight and support in response to their international legal requirements.’

Speechly Bircham and Charles Russell’s respective partnerships voted in July last year in favour of a merger that created a 500-lawyer firm with 170 partners, and combined revenues of £135m. ‘Charles Russell Speechlys is a regional leader in the construction and real estate sector,’ added Boast. ‘This is an exciting time to come back to the newly merged firm and I hope to be able to share my industry knowledge and expertise to build on our considerable success in the region.’