Middle East business expansion experts HFI Consulting International has made a key appointment to its legal management team.
Malcolm Kelly, who amassed over 20 years of experience with global engineers Weir Group, has joined the team as a senior legal consultant.
Mr Kelly will primarily work out of HFI’s Aberdeen office, supporting clients operating in the energy industry and water sector to implement expansion plans in the Middle East. A corporate and commercial lawyer, he was a senior legal advisor with Weir Group and acted as the firm’s chief commercial and compliance counsel.
During his tenure, Mr Kelly was responsible for overseeing many high-value corporate deals as Weir rationalised its diverse engineering portfolio to focus on the energy and mining industries. For many years he was the group’s primary legal resource for manufacturing, contracting and service operations around the world.
Mr Kelly was instrumental in growing the company’s legal department from what was virtually a one-man operation to a team of around 20 legal and intellectual property specialists, and latterly led the group’s legal operations in the Middle East, China and India.
“This is a very exciting time for HFI Consulting International, and I am pleased to be joining the firm as it embarks on this new chapter,” says Mr Kelly.
“Although I am a lawyer, my role for the past 20 years has been so much more than administering legal advice. My job has been to help businesses develop strategies to promote growth and opportunity while at the same time ensuring they have appropriate systems for assessing and managing risk. The correct balance is fundamental in reassuring shareholders that their interests are being looked after.
“That wider experience will be essential to clients of HFI. The HFI team is of a similar mindset in that we all feel that legal advice must be set in the context of the bigger picture to unlock added value for clients.
“The Middle East is a challenging region in which to do business, and our aim is to work hand-in-hand with companies expanding in the area to increase the level of successful ventures and reduce the number of failures.”
HFI was originally launched by Scots lawyer Hugh Fraser – a former head of legal at John Wood Group – in 2003 and he has spent the past four years establishing the Dubai offices of a large international law firm.
He now feels the time is right to reinvigorate his own consultancy due to the significant new opportunities that are emerging in the Middle East. Mr Fraser has been based there for 15 years and will continue split his time between Dubai and Aberdeen, as well as two further offices planned for the Netherlands and Saudi Arabia.
Mr Fraser adds, “We are delighted to have someone of Malcolm’s calibre and experience on board and we believe that he will add significant value to our client offering. Not only is he extremely experienced in legal affairs, he has an excellent understanding of business and how it operates on a global scale.
“The current prospects in the Middle East for companies with the right kind of technology and business proposition are significant.
“The region is on the up, and none more so than Saudi Arabia where the government has recently launch a major development initiative – the Saudi Arabia Economic Vision 2030 and National Transformation Plan – to drive the economy and create jobs.”