International Law

BigLaw Firms Converge on Dubai: Jones Day Launches, CC Amps Up

Adding to an ongoing trend of looking to the Middle East for new legal business, two major international law firms are establishing a bigger foothold in Dubai.

Jones Day has just announced that it will be opening an office there with six lawyers, reports Legal Week. They are: project finance partner Arman Galledari, who is relocating there from London and will head the new office; Washington, D.C.-based litigation partner Sheila Shadmand; two other lawyers from London; an associate raided from the Dubai office of Baker Botts; and a local attorney in Dubai.

“The Gulf Region continues to become ever more important in the global economy. As the largest and leading economy in the region, Saudi Arabia has been an important source of client representations over the past several decades, says managing partner Steve Brogan in a Jones Day press release. “Our historic relationships in the Kingdom have led to other opportunities for the Firm in the region, including in the United Arab Emirates.”

Says Galledari: “Our international strength in mergers and acquisitions, capital markets, private equity, energy, finance, real estate, and international arbitration makes Dubai an ideal place for us to establish an office so as to be of maximum service to clients.”

Meanwhile, Clifford Chance is also amping up its Dubai presence, among other efforts to boost the London-based megafirm’s presence in the Middle East, reports Legal Week in another article today.

Capital markets partner Michael Dakin moved to the firm’s more than 30-year-old Dubai office from London earlier this month, and a London practice group is also relocating to Abu Dhabi, the legal publication reports. It includes Andrew Rolfe, the co-head of the firm’s public/private partnership practice, real estate partner Catherine Cook and a team of associates.

There are now six partners and 18 associates in the Abu Dhabi office of Clifford Chance.

Related earlier coverage: “Another US Law Firm Opens in Dubai: Kilpatrick Stockton” “King & Spalding Goes on an 18-Month ‘Expansion Spree’” “Middle East Legal Recruiters Inundated with Résumés from U.S. Lawyers”

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