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About Proelium Law LLP

The UK’s foremost legal authority on high-risk jurisdictions and specialist risk services

Companies are good at what they do, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into being business-savvy when it comes to operating in frontier markets – that’s where Proelium Law LLP adds value.

About Proelium Law LLP

Proelium Law LLP was originally founded in 2015. Although UK-based we are very much both UK and internationally focused. Broadly, we provide legal advice and assistance, specialist investigations and consultancy services across the world to companies, organisations, governments and individuals in the security, defence, international development, extractives, cyber, legal & insurance and manufacturing industries.

Whether you are in a profession with a high risk focus or running a business located in complex environments, we draw on our own professional experiences of having worked in the UK and some of the most recent conflict zones, post-conflict reconstruction areas and emerging markets of the Middle East, Southern Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.

We don’t just sit in our offices claiming experiences of these locations, our Partners and Consultants regularly travel to them as well.

If you are looking for that specialist, bespoke law firm, or want or need to do business in a challenging or conflict-affected environment, or you are setting up in one of the industries we specialise in, talk to us first. As experts with first-hand local knowledge we will help you to set up, build, grow and conduct your business in the UK or abroad safely, both within the confines of local laws and understanding the reach of international laws.

The core team

Adrian Powell is the managing partner of Proelium Law. He has extensive experience of providing a broad range of commercial, corporate, criminal and regulatory legal advice in both the UK and high risk and complex jurisdictions around the world. Clients have included the full scope of commercial and international organisations in the defence, security, international development, extractives, insurance and legal industries. He qualified as a Solicitor in 2004 following 11 years in the British Army. After several years in general legal practice, from 2006 to 2013 he spent the majority of his time in Iraq and Afghanistan as a legal advisor with various entities including the US DoD, a major private security company and the UK FCDO. From 2013 to 2015 he managed a significant legal project focusing on war crimes in Syria.  As our senior legal partner he brings expertise in the legal complexities and geo-politics faced by our clients. Adrian is security cleared to a high government standard.

Contact Adrian directly: apowell@proeliumlaw.com | +44 (0) 7725 329437 | +44 (0) 20 3875 7422

David Frend is a partner with Proelium Law and barrister of the Inner Temple and a member of the International Bar Association. He was called to the Bar in 1994 practicing as a criminal defence advocate before commissioning into the Army Legal Services in 1997. There he undertook a multitude of roles including prosecution advocacy before the Court Martial and the Court Martial Appeal Court; legal advice to the chain of command on internal discipline, administrative and employment matters and legal advice on the lawfulness and conduct of military operations. David was the first permanent military legal advisor to the United Kingdom Special Forces. Following 18 years’ military service, David took up a position of Specialist Prosecutor with the Crown Prosecution Service specialising in proceeds of crime. Since 2016, David has advised on a European Rule of Law Project in Montenegro focusing on prosecuting offences of bribery, corruption and money laundering. In February 2017 he was appointed through the United Nations as the international prosecutorial mentor and advisor to the newly formed Afghan Anti-Corruption Justice Centre; a role he still performs. David’s expertise enhances Proelium Law’s ability to advise clients on domestic and international legal aspects of AML, CTF and appropriate due diligence in financial transactions.  He became a partner with Proelium Law in July 2018 and remains involved in our major cases. David is security cleared to a high government standard. 

Contact David directly: dfrend@proeliumlaw.com | +44 (0) 7786 224729 | +93 7995 57694 (Afghanistan) | +44 (0) 20 3875 7422

Alan Taylor is a partner and qualified solicitor. Formerly a senior officer and member of the Army’s general staff, Alan began his career transition to law in 2015. He joined Proelium Law in January 2018 becoming a partner in the July. Amongst other areas, he brings to the firm his previous experience within very large organisations as the disciplinary lead under the Armed Forces Act 2006 for the investigation and prosecution of contraventions of service and civil matters within the discrete environment. This acute understanding of allegations of civil and criminal acts and complaints and subsequent investigations into allegations against individuals who are accused of wrongdoing or negligence and dealing with the outcome is directly relevant to our clients. As a former head of the confidentiality and disclosure branch for specialist military troops he has  worked with the Government Legal Services, usually under Public Interest Immunity conditions, at coronial Inquest and in civil and criminal courts dealing with allegations emanating from operations in Northern Ireland and Iraq in the historic context and contemporaneously from Afghanistan and other recent operational theatres. Since coming over to the legal world, Alan has developed a particular specialism in  providing corporate law focused legal advice. Alan is security cleared to a high government standard.

Contact Alan directly: ataylor@proeliumlaw.com | +44 (0) 7703 162523 | +44 (0) 20 3875 7422

Israa Almusawi is a qualified lawyer in Iraq and a member of the Iraqi Bar Association. Israa is an experienced legal practitioner with a particular specialty in commercial cases and matters relating to foreign companies. She provides expertise and is a legal advisor to international companies operating and registered in Iraq. Among her numerous responsibilities is advising corporates on Iraqi legal issues, contracts both commercial and employment, liaising with governmental ministries and other institution on legal matters. Israa also specialises in civil law, personal status and sharia law. Besides her native Arabic language, Israa is also a fluent English speaker and is a member of the Iraqi Translators’ Association.

Contact Israa directly: ialmusawi@proeliumlaw.com |+964 7827 24108544 (Iraq) | +44 (0) 20 3875 7422

Martin Cartwright is our lead investigator. He is an experienced civil and criminal law investigator with 30 years experience.  Martin served with both the Royal Military Police and Metropolitan Police Service during which he conducted and managed numerous criminal investigations including major crimes. After leaving the police, Martin continued his career focusing on civil law investigations both in the UK and overseas. More recently MArtin has engaged extesnively in cyber investigations including into cryptocurrency. He has represented Proelium Law on investigations in UK and Afghanistan utilising his extensive experience of evidence gathering to support a significant civil litigation case. In 2016 he was appointed as a board member of the UK Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) serving for 2 years. Martin is security cleared to a high government standard.

Contact Martin directly: mcartwright@proeliumlaw.com | +44 (0) 7887  802802 | +44 (0) 20 3875 7422

Sinead Keenan is a consultant solicitor specialising in employment law. Sinead has acted for clients (including FTSE 100 companies and SMEs) in defending employment tribunal claims covering a wide range of issues such as discrimination, unfair dismissal, whistleblowing and equal pay. She regularly advises clients on day to day employment matters including disciplinaries, sickness absence, performance management and employee rights as well as advising on redundancy situations and TUPE.  Sinead also drafts and negotiates employment contracts, settlement agreements and employment law policies and provides employment law support on corporate and commercial transactions. Sinead trained with a magic circle firm in London before moving to the North West and working for a national law firm for 6 years.  Sinead also has in-house experience after undertaking a client secondment with an international airline.

Contact Sinead directly: skeenan@proeliumlaw.com | + 44 (0) 20 3875 7422 | +44 (0) 20 3875 7422

David Ashcroft joined Proelium as Senior Legal Consultant in October 2020 and is a practising solicitor.  For the previous 6 years he was Senior Legal Counsel with a Top 100 law firm in Herefordshire, specialising in defence and security work for commercial clients operating within the defence and security nexus of Hereford, Cheltenham and Malvern.  For the first 6 years of his career after qualifying David worked in City of London firms, specialising in the construction, sale, purchase, finance and operation of very large ocean-going ships.  He was then recruited by his largest client to join them as General Counsel.  He then went on to be one of four founding directors and shareholders of a company contracted by international banks to provide commercial management of ships they took over when their owners defaulted on their loans.  After 5 successful years he sold his shares and returned to private practice in London before relocating to Herefordshire.  David is also a Governor of Hereford Cathedral School and is something of an after-dinner speaker.He is security cleared to a high government standard.

Contact David directly: dashcroft@proeliumlaw.com | + 44 (0) 20 3875 7422 | +44 (0) 20 3875 7422.

Advisors & Consultants

Sylvia White is a lawyer who brings a large scale corporate understanding of legal issues for our clients. As a former General Counsel of two of the largest and most active private security companies over the past 15 years, Sylvia provides exceptional globally focused legal advice ranging from steering boards post M&A integration to legal risk management at the operational level. Sylvia has worked across numerous industries both in-house and when she practised as a solicitor, with experience spanning complex legal scientific , intellectual property and corporate governance she combines all of this to offer clients a truly comprehensive legal and business savvy approach.

Contact Sylvia directly: swhite@proeliumlaw.com | +44 (0) 7818 013258 | +44 (0) 20 3875 7422

Alan Donohue is a US lawyer who has extensive experience in the core skills of Proelium Law.  Alan has significant experience providing legal advice to the private security industry, NGOs and businesses operating in challenging environments, both in-country and from the US legal perspective. His experience includes providing advice in such diverse geographical locations as Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Somalia, Mozambique, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda and the UAE. He was for many years Vice President of Legal affairs to the Constellis Group and General Counsel to the Cohort Group/Edinburgh International. More recently he has been General Counsel to Reed International.  Alan acutely understands the complexity and interaction of both host nation laws, US laws and extra territorial application of US law. He brings a wealth of knowledge concerning compliance related to US DoS’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls; internal development and implementation of various international standards; procuring and maintenance of US security licences and tax. Corporate registrations, licensing of defense articles, and liaising with host country governments for the countries mentioned. Alan has spoken at the United Nations and was the US security companies representative to the International Code of Conduct Association (ICOCA), located in Geneva, Switzerland.

Martin Tobin left the British military in 2014 following a career spanning 28 years, 22 of which were with UKSF. Starting in the ranks and being awarded a rare UKSF commission, Martin brings a wealth of knowledge of global high risk and complex environments over the past 3 decades. More recently he has been a senior advisor to one of the world’s largest nuclear energy companies. Martin is ideally placed to advise all manner of companies on their business resilience and risk, as he has a proven track record both commercially and in government in planning and change management.

Dr. Wadhah Al Safi is an Iraq-based legal consultant. He is a qualified lawyer in Iraq and an experienced legal practitioner with a particular specialty in commercial cases and matters relating to foreign companies. He provides expertise and is a legal advisor to several international companies operating and registered in Iraq. Additionally, Dr. Al Safi is experienced in the field of “Trade Marks” being licensed by the Iraq Supreme Judicial Council and by the Companies Registration Department – Ministry of Trade, as a Company Registration Agent in Iraq. As a geologist, he also has experience in the area of oil marketing and maintains relations with the oil sector in Iraq. His experience in oil related matters combined with his legal experience as a lawyer ideally places him to advice many clients wishing to do business in Iraq. Besides his native Arabic language, Dr. Al Safi is also a fluent English speaker. (Click here for an Arabic version.)

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Proelium Law LLP

Proelium Law LLP is a Limited Liability Partnership registered in England and Wales No.OC411568.

Proelium Law LLP is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority No. 629608 (www.sra.org.uk)

VAT Registration No. 242 4002 59

D-U-N-S Number 21770643

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