Akin Gump Strauss & Hauer has opened its first office in Abu Dhabi, sending in lawyers from its US and UK offices for the launch.
The firm has transferred New York partner Natasha Kohne to be managing partner of the new office. Kohne is accompanied by Los Angeles partner Lee Kolodny and New York partner Elisabeth Cappuyns. Three associates from New York and London will join the team in the Middle East.
The move comes after Dewey & Leboeuf raided Akin Gump’s Dubai base for a new office in the region, with partners Gavin Watson and Chris Sioufi transferring to Dewey.
Akin Gump chairman, Bruce McLean, said: “Akin Gump’s new office in Abu Dhabi represents a significant opportunity for the firm and its clients, given the Emirate’s important position in the Middle East, the speed with which it is growing commercially and the pace at which it is attracting companies and investors alike.”