DWF is to open an office in Dubai - its first outside the UK and Ireland - to support clients in the Middle-East and north Africa (MENA).

Led by partner Chris Ryan, a four-strong team including two partners will advise on contentious and non-contentious construction matters, professional indemnity and non-marine insurance work.

DWF is taking 1,000sq ft of office space in the Dubai International Finance Centre. It plans to build ‘a range of complementary service lines’ over a three-year period which will see DWF supporting both new and existing clients. 

Andrew Leaitherland (pictured), managing partner and chief executive, said: ‘There is a real opportunity for us in Dubai. We’ve supported clients in Dubai and across the MENA region for many years and it’s become increasingly clear that there is demand for our services on the ground, particularly in relation to construction and insurance work.

‘We’re building a strong team with superb credentials and have a pipeline of work from existing clients already underway so we’re off to a very strong start and look forward to consolidating our commitment to this hugely important region.’

Last year DWF saw profits rise from £39.6m in 2013 to £51.5m, on turnover up from £143m to £189m.

The accounts, taking the firm up to April 2014, reflected the impact of acquisitions and mergers in 2012/13 – the most high profile of which was the pre-pack buyout of national firm Cobbetts.