As part of concerted push in the Middle East, international law firm Reed Smith has hired two influential figures from rival firm Pinsent Masons’s UAE office.

Sachin Kerur, Pinsent Masons’s head of the Middle East region will assume the role of office managing partner for Reed Smith Dubai and Abu Dhabi, while Michelle Nelson – also from Pinsent Masons – will join Reed Smith’s international arbitration team, also in Dubai.

Both Kerur and Nelson will start in September this year, a spokesperson for Reed Smith confirmed to Construction Week.

READ: Pinsent Masons expands Middle East energy and infrastructure teams

Reed Smith also hired arbitration lawyer Shourav Lahiri, formerly a partner at Pinsent Masons, this month. 

Lahiri specialises in infrastructure and gas disputes, and will bring more than 20 years’ experience of practice throughout Asia and the Middle East to Reed Smith.

Citing Construction Week’s Power 100 – the annual ranking of the most influential construction leaders in the Middle East – Reed Smith said Kerur, who was listed 64 out of 100, has advised both regional governments and the private sector on some of the most significant infrastructure projects across the Middle East and India.

READ: 2018 Construction Week Power 100: 61-70

Nelsons specialises in international arbitration, with an emphasis on high-value and highly complex infrastructure, energy, and construction projects, the firm said in its statement on Wednesday.

The firm said she will be a “strong addition” to its international arbitration team.

Speaking on his move, Kerur told Construction Week: “The regional construction sector faces significant challenges and yet considerable opportunities exist for sustained development and reward.

“Reed Smith have articulated a renewed commitment to supporting clients in the regional sector through its bases and relationships in the region and by bringing the weight of its global business to helping clients operating in and out of the region.”