Chicago, October 30, 2008 (LAWFUEL) – Baker & McKenzie has announced plans to expand its presence in the Gulf when it enters Abu Dhabi later this year. The Firm has been active in the Saudi Arabia market since the mid-1970s and opened in Manama, Bahrain in 1999.
The Abu Dhabi office will become the Firm’s 69th location worldwide with a team of more than 50 attorneys, specializing in banking and finance, corporate and M&A, private equity, securities, capital markets, major projects (particularly in the oil and gas and infrastructure sectors), arbitration and real estate to serve its international and domestic clients.
“Having been involved in the Gulf for over three decades, Baker & McKenzie has a deep understanding of the region’s unique legal, regulatory and commercial practices – something our multinational and local clients find to be of considerable value,” said John Conroy, Chairman of the Firm’s Executive Committee. “Recently, the region has seen higher levels of economic growth and investment in the energy-related industries, as well as real estate and other sectors. By expanding to Abu Dhabi, we will be better positioned to put our decades of experience to work for clients looking to grow their business in this dynamic region.”
Recently, International Financial Law Review ranked Baker & McKenzie’s banking, capital markets, project finance, and M&A practices in the Middle East in the Tier 1 category. Earlier this year, PLC Which lawyer?’s annual survey of more than 5,000 in-house counsel named Baker & McKenzie its International Law Firm of the Year, Law Firm of the Year in the Middle East and law firm of the year in several other regions. In the Gulf, the Firm was noted for its international reach, which is seen as “a major asset.”
Baker & McKenzie Partner Borys Dackiw, who was involved in the establishment of the Firm’s Kyiv and Prague offices, and was most recently the Managing Partner in Prague, will become Managing Partner of the Gulf region, with responsibility for the further growth and development in the region.
Rafael Jimenez-Gusi, a member of the Firm’s Executive Committee with responsibility for the Firm’s Gulf initiative, said: “The Firm already has what is acknowledged to be one of the strongest teams and practices in the Gulf. This creates an excellent platform for expansion and will allow us to better serve our clients in the region.”
The Firm is currently applying for the relevant business licenses, reviewing possible office locations and identifying prospective legal and professional talent in Abu Dhabi. It is anticipated that the new office in Abu Dhabi will open later this year.