Clifford Chance has won a trophy mandate to represent the organisational body of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, almost two years after opening an office in the emirate.
The magic circle firm has been appointed by the Supreme Committee for Qatar 2022 to advise on its technical programme, including the development of the centrepiece Foster & Partners-designed Lusail Iconic Stadium.
Clifford Chance Doha managing partner Richard Parris said in a statement: “It’s a privilege to be working on a high-profile project such as the Iconic Stadium, which will set the benchmark for stadium development.”
Other partners involved in the mandate alongside Parris are Sandy Hall, David Metzger and Tim Steadman.
The firm launched in the Qatar Financial Centre in June 2011, with Parris then highlighting the World Cup bid win as a significant opportunity for the firm’s nascent local office (24 January 2011).
Andrew Longmate, a former London partner at Latham & Watkins and now general counsel of the Supreme Committee, said: “The 2022 Fifa World Cup is a prestigious and high-profile event. It’s essential that we work with suppliers who are best in class and can deliver a quality service.”
He added that Clifford Chance’s appointment was “the first of a number of major legal advisory mandates that will be tendered over the coming months”.
Another figure involved with the committee’s advisory team is Romi Nayef, a former partner at SNR Denton’s Doha base (11 September 2012). Nayef was seconded to the bid committee as head of legal during the successful tender process. Qatar was advised externally on the bid by an SNR Denton team led by Middle East managing partner Leigh Hall, who has since left the firm (19 June 2012).
Qatar was awarded the World Cup contract in December 2010 and plans to build nine new stadia and renovate a further three, according to an evaluation of bids published by Fifa, football’s global governing body.
A recent report by Standard Chartered estimated the country’s spend on related infrastructure at $115bn (£76bn) between now and 2022.
Clifford Chance has previously advised on projects including the Pearl-Qatar artificial island and Doha Festival City and acted for QNB on the acquisition of Société Générale’s stake in National Société Générale Bank Egypt.
It has also advised on infrastructure and development projects such as the London 2012 Olympic Games, Poland’s Euro 2012 programme, Wembley Stadium, Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge and the Spartak Stadium in Moscow.
The news follows Clifford Chance’s announcement of the launch of a mixed local and foreign practice in Saudi Arabia through the integration of the transactional arm of longstanding co-operation partner Al-Jadaan & Partners (6 March 2013).