Freshfields raids A&O for Middle East star

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Readers' comments (17)

  • Big mistake to leave for Abraaj and hand over "relationships" to replacement AO partner. Clients have institutional loyalty - so AO won't be too upset.

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  • Anonymous @ 5:07 -- you are entirely wrong I'm afraid. Clients are immensely loyal to Pervez, especially Abraaj. "Institutional relationships" in the Middle East are not quite what they might be elsewhere.

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  • Just about every UAE law firm is looking for a big hitting corporate rain-maker and Pervez is simply the best. Good luck to him and a great coup for FF.

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  • Akhtar is undoubtedly the best M&A lawyer in Dubai. This is a big win for Freshfields and a major blow for A&O.

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  • The last few comments sound a little suspect and overly defensive - dontchya think. A&O official line says it all I'm afraid. Good luck to him anyway.

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  • I disagree, he was the best corporate lawyer at A&O (period) and they will suffer not just in Dubai but also in London.

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  • "Institutional relationships" in the Middle East are not quite what they might be elsewhere.
    Tell that to Aramco / White and Case. Latham have hardly poached that work away...
    A+O's offering is very strong in all areas and doesn't rely on 1 or 2 star names like most of the other firms (you know who you are).
    Mr. Akhtar obviously has a strong link to Abraaj and hopefully that will serve him well in what remains a struggling market.

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  • Why did Pervez leave A&O - why was he unhappy?

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  • Superb move from Freshfields, massive blow for A&O.
    Re institutional loyalty: it is simply not enough these days to have servile, mediocre partners powered by a strong brand, that is definitely not a sustainable strategy

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  • Ive come across this guy before. A rainmaker like very few but in all fairness, really (and i mean really) few technical skills. oh well, it takes both kinds to make a partnership work doesnt it. good luck to him.

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  • Pervez chasing the money again.....

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  • I agree with anon at 12.17pm. Most of these comments lack the balance you'd expect to see here. FF is not remotely close to A&O in terms of relationships or revenue out here and, in the past, it hasn't generally been the heavyweights that have left the established practices for the newcomers, even MC ones. I doubt this is a blow for A&O.
    No doubt FF will announce spectacular % revenue rises in due course as they are on a hiring spree but, as we've seen, it's quality not quantity that counts.

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  • I work for a rival firm, but I do agree that Pervez is both an outstanding M&A lawyer (hands down the best in the Middle East) and a sterling individual. All those haters are obviously envious of someone who is really successful at what he does. I wish Pervez well.

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  • It has some way to go, but Dubai is becoming an increasingly sophisticated market. Clients want a firm that has sufficient resources and sufficient UAE experience to deliver, which A&O has in spades over FF in Dubai. I suspect that FF wont be inheriting his little black book.

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  • As Flavor Flav famously said,
    "Don't believe the hype - its a sequel
    As an equal, can I get this through to you
    My 98's boomin' with a trunk of funk
    All the jealous punks can't stop the dunk
    Comin' from the school of hard knocks
    Some perpetrate, they drink Clorox" etc

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  • Pervez Akhtar spent a year living as our Rotary Foreign exchange student in the States, almost 30 years ago. We have stayed in close contact , I have seen the inside and the outside.
    The most important thing I can say is that Pervez is a good, good man who balances personal performance with fairness and kindness: today's business world needs more men like him. Kudos to Freshfield's, he loved his time at A&O.

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  • "I have seen the inside and the outside" please elaborate (ducky!)

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