Watson Burton moots Middle East expansion

Watson Burton is looking to expand its focus beyond North East England with a Middle East launch slated for the next 12 months.

Senior partner Rob ­Langley and London-based head of construction David Jones are looking for a Saudi sponsor that would allow the firm to launch its first international office.

Langley said: “The ­opportunity came through our petrochemical practice. One quarter of our turnover relates to this practice. We’re considering a launch in the region and have had discussions with a Saudi firm.”

Langley added that the international liquefied ­natural gas (LNG) business was a core focus for the Newcastle-headquartered firm and that a number of LNG plants have been built in the ­Middle East.

“We’re looking at international opportunities and the Middle East makes sense for us,” he said. “Our construction practice fits well with activity in the region.”

Meanwhile, the firm is in discussions with a group of partners about reducing their monthly drawings. It is not yet clear how many ­partners will be affected.