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DLA Piper’s Dubai-based head of global Islamic finance Oliver Agha has left the firm, taking a three-lawyer team with him.
Agha spent less than 18 months at DLA Piper, having joined in February 2007 from Clifford Chance Saudi alliance firm The Law Firm of Yousef & Mohammed Al-Jadaan.
Agha said: “I’ve decided to move on to other opportunities and DLA has been graciously supportive.”
He and his team have yet to join a new firm, but Agha told The Lawyer: “All options are on the table.”
It is understood that Agha has been in discussions with his ;former ;Al-Jadaan colleague and DLA Piper’s current Saudi sponsor Abdulaziz Al-Bosaily regarding setting up together.
It is just three months since DLA Piper sent Al-Bosaily to Riyadh to become its sponsor following the end ;of its previous relationship with Abdulaziz Al-Fahad.
A DLA Piper spokesperson denied such a move would spell the end of the firm’s presence in Saudi, saying: “Our Saudi practice is going to continue. If there are any departures they won’t be until the end of the year.”
It is understood that Debbie Barbour, a partner in DLA Piper’s Abu Dhabi office, will take on the Islamic finance head role.