Qatar: standing room only

The City’s legal landscape is being transferred to the Middle East as magic circle firms continue to grow and to vacuum up the big-ticket mandates.

The growth of the magic circle in Dubai is forcing firms that had earlier enjoyed the cream of the market in the Middle East to seek out more emerging markets, such as the slew of firms now looking to launch in Qatar.

“It’s a slow evolution in Dubai of what you now already see in London – it’s just happening before our eyes,” one Dubai-based partner said.

Firms strong in the Middle East, such as Clyde & Co, Denton Wilde Sapte and Trowers & Hamlins, wouldn’t expect to get a look-in on a big City mandate, and so they are finding it increasingly difficult to do so in Dubai now. Once the global giants take over, where will be left for those firms to turn?