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Cobbetts has agreed a link-up with a Saudi Arabian lawyer in a bid to capture work coming out of the region.
The strategic tie-up with Jeddah-based Dr Nidal Atta will give the firm a presence in the Middle East and North Africa area, Cobbetts said. It is the first strategic alliance of this kind for the Manchester-headquartered firm.
It is on the hunt for public and corporate work, with Atta’s clients including Al Altoun Steel Industries, food and packaging manufacturer AK Saeed Group, private equity investor El Salam International and Gulf environmental protection company, Sepco Environment.
At the moment Cobbetts no plans to send any lawyers to the Kingdom.
Cobbetts partner Mark Green, who is driving the firm’s Middle East expansion, said: “We’ve been actively seeking to further expand our international footprint, particularly in the Middle East, which is a region of key economic importance.
“As business relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and UK continue to flourish, it becomes ever more important that we establish a reliable local presence in that country.
“Dr Atta enjoys an excellent reputation in Jeddah and Riyadh, having acted for a number of the Saudi Arabia’s leading businesses. We look forward to developing a long association with him, to help serve the growing international demands of our clients.”
Cobbetts, which also as offices in London, Birmingham and Leeds, posted a 20111-12 turnover of £45.4m – down two per cent after failed £132m merger talks with DWF(31 January 2012).
The management structure has been streamlined, with three new business practice groups and an executive team led by managing partner Nick Carr, in a bid to make the firm an attractive proposition (5 July 2012).
Dr Atta said: “For some time I have been looking for the right international firm to bring UK legal expertise to my firm’s clients in the areas of corporate, commercial law and public market advice, as well as real estate and banking law.
“Having visited Cobbetts in the UK, and having discussed our joint vision on a number of occasions in Jeddah, I am delighted to confirm our co-operation.”