Baker & McKenzie Habib Al Mulla has hired a counsel from Clifford Chance in Dubai.

Sandeep Puri has joined the firm – a merger of the international outfit and a domestic UAE operation - as partner in Dubai.

Admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales, Puri specialises in finance, advising on conventional and Islamic structures including asset, corporate and project finance, and sukuk (Islamic bonds). He joined Clifford Chance as a trainee in 2001, making counsel in 2013.

His notable roles include advising Axis Telekom on a $1.2 billion murabaha (deferred sale) financing in what was, at the time, the largest Islamic financing ever undertaken in Indonesia.

Baker & McKenzie Habib Al Mulla was established in 2013 when the US based firm merged with UAE outfit Habib Al Mulla. A landmark deal for the jurisdiction, it was the first example of a local and international firm combining. 

Puri's hire gives the firm three banking and finance partners in the UAE. The partner headcount in the Emirates has now increased by a third, to 12, since the joint operation was established, with it adding three other partners through lateral hires.

The other recruits were corporate partners Jayshree Gupta and Will Seivewright, who joined from DLA Piper and Latham & Watkins respectively, and Clifford Chance real estate partner Steven Henderson.