US firm Dewey & LeBoeuf is preparing to launch a Kuwait office in October, becoming one of only a handful of international firms on the ground in the oil-rich nation.
The office will be Dewey’s fifth in the Middle East, adding to its existing network in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai and Riyadh.
Oil and gas transactional partner Karl Hopkins, who divides his time between the firm’s Doha and Houston offices, is overseeing the Kuwait opening, which will involve forming an association with a local firm.
Dewey already advises on a raft of government work in Kuwait, while Hopkins’ personal deals have included representing Kuwait Airways on a privatisation bid.
An industry source in the region commented: “To go to Kuwait makes perfect sense because it’s a nation that has a ton of cash and it’s pretty much all from oil – and Dewey is very much an oil and gas firm.
“I suspect they’ll be the first of the big firms to go there, but I’d be amazed if they were the last.”
He added: “There’s major urban development work there, government development work, lots of oil-related work, sovereign wealth funds and several big Kuwaiti banks.”
Dewey is in the process of negotiating licensing for the new office and declined to comment on the opening.