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A giant referral network encompassing three Middle Eastern law firms and Cyprus’ largest practice, Andreas Neocleous & Co, has been forged.
The Middle East Legal Alliance (MELA) hopes to capitalise on expected growth in the number of companies using Cyprus as a "strategic base" for Middle East business, following the island’s entry into the European Union last month.
Although not in attendance Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former Secretary-General of the United Nations, allowed a speech of his to be read out to inaugerate the MELA.
He stated that the network is vital for encouraging "exchange of information" and bridging cultural differences in the Middle East.
The launch of the MELA marks a radical shift in strategy for 66-lawyer Andreas Neocleous & Co. Its main focus until now has been on the CIS and Eastern Europe where it has offices in Moscow, Kiev, Prague and Budapest.
The other MELA members are Kuwaiti firm Anwar Al Bisher & Partners, Cairo-based Kosheri Rashed & Riad, and Habib Al Mulla & Co, a litigation specialist firm in the UAE.