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Eversheds has been appointed to advise Qatar Shipping Company (QSC), the world’s leading transporter of liquified natural gas (LNG).
The win follows a successful tender and is a significant coup for the firm. QSC’s 18 tankers are responsible for transporting 96 per cent of Qatar’s LNG. Qatar boasts the largest gas reserves in the world.
It is understood that QSC previously sent some of its work to Richards Butler, which used to have an association with Doha firm Dr Najeeb bin Mohammed Al-Nauimi. That relationship ended a few months ago, after Richards Butler’s only Qatar lawyer, Hugh Thompson, left the firm after being appointed head of legal at the Commercial Bank of Qatar. Richards Butler has since forged links – which do not stretch to a formal association – with Qatar firm Hassan Alkhater, whose name partner is a former senior legal adviser to Gulf Air in Bahrain.
Other Western firms in Qatar, which only has around 45 lawyers in total, are Simm-ons & Simmons and Washing-ton DC’s Patton Boggs. Eversheds set up an agreement of cooperation in February 2003 with Doha firm Al-Jufairi, which acts for Qatar’s Sultan, Al-Abdullah. Chris Jobson, a partner who previously worked for Clyde & Co in its Dubai office, was the first Eversheds lawyer to be based full-time in Doha. He moved there from Newcastle in January 2004.
Jobson said his presence in the gas-rich state meant he could serve as an intermediary between Asian clients looking to make contact in Europe and vice-versa.