CWB Board Appoints Halim Shehadeh as Group CEO, Shehadeh Forms Leadership Team

CWB emerged as an unrivalled super-regional IP firm in 2023 following the merger of leading intellectual property specialists Cedar White Bradley, Hahn & Hahn and PETOŠEVIĆ Group. With 29 offices, 150 practitioners, and 250 employees, CWB now services and manages the portfolios of some of the world's leading IP owners across 100+ jurisdictions in Africa, Central Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East. The merger was backed by Gulf Capital, one of the largest and most active private equity firms investing from the GCC to Southeast Asia.

Following the recent launch of the new firm, the CWB Board appointed Halim Shehadeh, founder and former Chief Executive at Cedar White Bradley, as Group CEO, and tasked him with assembling a leadership team that will ensure the firm’s performance is aligned with its overall strategy and remains on track to fulfil its vision of “transforming how IP services are delivered and consumed”.

Shehadeh did just that when he selected industry mogul Slobodan Petosevic, founder and former CEO of PETOSEVIC Group, to lead and harmonize the firm’s practice as Group COO; Africa IP veteran Victor Williams, former Director at Hahn & Hahn, as Africa Managing Partner to lead the firm’s Sub-Saharan Africa expansion; long time Middle East & North Africa BD Director Shafic Eid as Chief Commercial Officer to lead the firm’s Marketing & Business Development initiatives; Nilay Soysaldi as CFO to transition the group on to a single P&L; and George Chelala as CTO to lead customer experience and drive the firm’s digital transformation program.

“We are integrating all firms into one organization with one culture that operates through unified systems, policies, and processes. I am very fortunate to have such a high caliber leadership team around me, and one that shares the ambition of creating a unique client-centric firm, with dedicated client-specific, cross-jurisdiction teams providing consistent quality IP services across a large geographical area, despite all the challenges inherent to the jurisdictions we operate in. Each one of us is focused on implementing innovative, cutting-edge technologies and on leveraging automation and artificial intelligence to enhance the client and employee experience and to achieve industry leading efficiencies”, explained Shehadeh.

Speaking of Shehadeh’s appointment as Group CEO and the newly formed leadership team, Managing Director at Gulf Capital and CWB board member Mohammad Madani said: “With Halim at the helm, we are confident that we will achieve great things. Halim has already managed to surround himself with a magnificent team of highly qualified, accomplished, and dedicated decision makers. CWB’s unrivaled leadership team, geographic reach, and technology initiatives place it in a unique position that allows it to offer its clients a single front door to access seamless service delivery across multiple regions, rooted in local expertise and a large network of on-the-ground offices, critical differentiators when it comes to navigating varying legal frameworks across secondary markets”.

Halim Shehadeh concluded: “CWB is already a one-of-a-kind firm with an enviable portfolio of clients and professionals that are among the very best in our regions and we are ecstatic to be mandated with building the next generation super-regional IP firm!”

CWB is an IP services provider with 29 offices, including 5 in Africa, 3 in Central Asia, 12 in Eastern Europe and 8 in the Middle East. Its largest service hubs are in Dubai, UAE; Beirut, Lebanon; Belgrade, Serbia; and Pretoria, South Africa.