Global Islamic finance chief quits DLA Piper

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.