Abu Dhabi – LAWFUEL – DLA Piper is pleased to announce that it has moved into its permanent offices at Al Bateen in Abu Dhabi. DLA Piper opened in Abu Dhabi, its second office in the United Arab Emirates, earlier this year and already has a team comprising four partners and eight lawyers.
Real estate partner Duncan Pickering will become the fifth partner in the office when he officially relocates from the London office in September. He has experience of a range of commercial real estate transactions for developers, hotel operators, investors and occupiers and his skills will enhance the collective strength of the practice in the country and across the region. Duncan will join well-known media partner Ken Dearsley and project finance partner Debbie Barbour, who also relocated from London this year, construction partner Tim Burbury, who joined from Minter Ellison in April, and Office Managing Partner Stephen Webb.
DLA Piper is known for its full service approach to legal services and will be expanding the range of services offered by lawyers in Abu Dhabi as it continues to develop the office. The practice already has a significant team specialising in projects and banking and finance. In line with DLA Piper’s growth strategy for the Middle East, the Abu Dhabi office is set to more than double in size by the end of this year. This expansion will include at least three more partners and is in response to the growing demand for inbound and outbound legal services.
Commenting on recent developments Stephen Webb, Office Managing Partner for Abu Dhabi, said: “Having the right people and specialist capability on the ground is the key for us. Clients we have been fortunate enough to work for to date have told us they appreciate our commercial approach and the depth of our Abu Dhabi based team as well as our international reach. We now have a very strong construction and project/finance team in place and are replicating this in other core areas, including real estate and corporate.”
Stephen added: “The government is now well advanced in the execution of its vision for building an iconic city, diversifying its economy and investing its oil revenue wisely. The leaders are quite impressive in pushing this in the right direction and encouraging the private sector’s participation. The pace of this development is incredible and we are enjoying the challenge of trying to keep up.”
Nigel Knowles, Joint Chief Executive Officer at DLA Piper, said: “Our intention is to continue to invest significantly in Abu Dhabi and build a real presence there to serve the needs of this very important Emirate, which is of strategic importance to our business globally. We are helping new and existing clients across the Middle East and it is essential that we expand in Abu Dhabi in order to continue to do this well. There is a huge demand for quality legal services in the Gulf and countries across the surrounding region and this will result in further expansion in Abu Dhabi in the coming months.”
DLA Piper’s presence across the Middle East is strengthened by its 100-strong lawyer team in Dubai, offices in Doha and Muscat, which opened earlier this year, and a dedicated Saudi Arabian practice that works exclusively with the Law Office of Abdulaziz Al-Bosaily in Riyadh.