Dechert skittish about following British

US firm Dechert is hoping to expand its international capabilities by launching in the Middle East. While the firm has built up a strong client base in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it is yet to have a presence on the ground in any of the jurisdictions.

While many US and UK firms made the move to warmer climes, with Clifford Chance, Baker & McKenzie and White & Case having been established for decades, Dechert has opted for a cautious approach.

One partner argued that piling into Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other jurisdictions to compete with rival firms is not necessarily the best move. Some of these may suffer closures because of their haste and a lack of local knowledge.

Dechert, which is in the early stages of moving into the region, is discussing the pros and cons of potential locations.