Ross Barfoot_Stephen McKenna

Dentons Welcomes New Partners to Abu Dhabi Corporate Team

Global law firm, Dentons has expanded its Corporate practice in Abu Dhabi by welcoming two new partners, Stephen McKenna (pictured right) and Ross Barfoot (pictured left), formerly of Clyde & Co. This strategic move reinforces Dentons’ commitment to meeting the diverse corporate legal needs of the Middle East region. Both partners officially joined the firm on February 5th. 

Stephen McKenna brings extensive regional expertise to Dentons, specializing in a wide range of corporate transactions and advisory services. His areas of focus include cross-border M&A, joint ventures, regulatory and licensing matters, commercial contracts, market entry, and corporate structuring across key sectors such as Aviation, Logistics, Healthcare, and Industrials. 

Ross Barfoot, with a decade of partnership experience, joins Dentons with a comprehensive practice covering corporate transactions and advisory services. His expertise lies in cross-border M&A, joint ventures, regulatory matters, market entry strategies, and corporate structuring, particularly within the Education, Hospitality, Oil & Gas, and Healthcare sectors. 

Jon Nash, Managing Partner of Dentons Middle East, emphasized the significance of Stephen and Ross’s addition to the Abu Dhabi Corporate team, stating that their expertise enhances the firm’s service capabilities in the region. He highlighted the anticipated increase in demand for corporate execution capability, particularly in Abu Dhabi and the wider Middle East, in 2024. 

Paul Jarvis, CEO of Dentons UK, Ireland, and Middle East (UKIME), underscored the strategic alignment of integrating Stephen and Ross into the Abu Dhabi office. He emphasized Dentons’ focused five-year strategy for UKIME, which includes expanding the Corporate team’s expertise to seize growth opportunities in the dynamic Middle East region and enhance client services. 

The appointments of Stephen and Ross follow a series of recent senior hires in the Middle East by Dentons, including David Pang in the Corporate team and Hazel ShakurQuinn in the Real Estate team. Other notable hires include veteran ETI lawyer Kenny Paton, who relocated from Scotland to Abu Dhabi, and Edward Rose and Guy Danalis, who joined from Jones Day, Saudi Arabia.