The head of Berrymans Lace Mawer’s Dubai office is joining Sun Microsystems as its first in-house lawyer at its Middle East office.
Jason Blick, who announced his departure earlier this month, will be responsible for the Middle East and Africa and is the first internal lawyer to be based in Dubai.
Prior to his appointment, the area was overseen from the IT giant’s Geneva branch by Farzad Barkhordari who is now returning to Sun’s US office.
Cheryl Fackler Hug, legal director of Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa at Sun, who Blick will report to when he joins the company in June, says growing business in the region has necessitated having a lawyer actually based there.
She says: “We just feel that lawyers should be closer to their clients. Especially in the Middle East and Africa, because the time gap is quite large, it will provide better support to both our internal and external clients.”
Blick is the second head of Berrymans’ Dubai office to leave in less than a year after Nigel Truscott jumped ship for Denton Wilde Sapte in July 1999.
During his time at Berrymans, Blick was responsible for building up the firm’s IT capability.
Sources speculated that on joining Sun, Blick will begin instructing his old firm.
At the moment, Sun uses a number of firms, including local practice Afridi & Angell.
But Fackler Hug says: “We have outside counsel in that region and it will be Jason in conjunction with my approval who will choose outside counsel.
“I do not anticipate any changes to the people we use there.”
Blick joins Sun as Berrymans continues talks with a local firm about forming an alliance.
It is still unclear who Berrymans is talking to. However, it has a long established relationship with Lufti Al Bahar, which manages local advocacy work and litigation for Berrymans.
Blick has yet to be replaced as the head of the Dubai office.