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Two senior New Zealand corporate lawyers are joining the move offshore that is mostly undertaken by their younger brethren, to join UK mega firm Norton Rose in Dubai.

Simpson Grierson commercial partner Andrew Lewis leaves his firm on Friday (29 August) while long-standing Bell Gully commercial partner Andrew Abernethy is joining the firm also.

The partners join after being headhunted via a Sydney recruiter, who were looking for partner-level corporate lawyers to join Norton Rose’s expanding Mid-East practice. Norton Rose is a major international firm with 1000 lawyers in offices from Amsterdam to Warsaw with about 50 lawyers in the Middle East.

Apart from the challenge of corporate work on the international stage, working for Mid-East law firms also offers lawyers, particularly senior commercial lawyers like the two Andrews, tax free and other benefits.

Abernethy told NZLawyer that he was excited by the chance to handle “high octane” M&A work in Dubai. He previously worked for US megafirm Shearman & Sterling in New York and told the magazine he missed the excitement of the work. The Dubai challenge is also one where the lawyers can “reinvigorate” themselves, as Abernethy says.

Abernethy was named as a leading mergers and acqusitions lawyer in AsiaLaw’s 2007 guide and identified as a leading energy and resources lawyer by Australasian Legal Business.

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