DLA Piper has bulked up its presence in the Middle East with the hire of regional corporate head Peter Monk.
Monk joins from Austalian firm Minter Ellison, where he spent 18 years, 12 as a partner, working across the firm's Australian and Asian offices.
At DLA Piper he will be charged with growing the firm's corporate team across the Middle East region. Currently the firm has an office in Dubai and plans to launch in Abu Dhabi, Qatar and Oman as soon as it receives relevant licences.
David Church, regional managing partner for the Middle East at DLA Piper, said: "The Gulf is an extremely important market for us and as we continue to build our teams we will strengthen the depth and visibility of our experience as leading legal advisers. Our commitment to the region and to clients needs to be supported with strong capabilities within the corporate market, which is why Peter's appointment is central to our long-term plans. In Peter we have more than two decades of strong, international experience which will bolster our existing capabilities."
Monk's practice focuses on domestic and cross-border M&A, private equity transactions and joint ventures. His clients come from a variety of sectors including financial services, media and telecommunications, energy and shipping and logistics.
Monk said he was attracted to DLA Piper because of its global approach to handling clients' needs.
"If you combine DLA Piper's commitment to growing its Middle East practice with the enormous success that the gulf countries have achieved in recent years, I believe there is no more exciting place in the world to be right now as a corporate lawyer," he added.
While at Minter Ellison Monk played a role in developing the firm's Asian practice and was also a member of the firm's international partner selection committee. Nobody at the firm was available for comment.