Trowers & Hamlins has closed its office in Jeddah less than a year after opening in the Saudi Arabian city.
A spokesperson at the firm confirmed the closure and said head of the Jeddah office Julien Sweeting had returned to London.
Trowers has prided itself on a strong presence in the Middle East for more than three decades and opened the Jeddah office, its sixth in the region and second in Saudi Arabia, in May 2010.
It included three lawyers at its peak and operated under an association with Saudi firm Feras Al Shawaf Law Office. Trowers has denied industry rumours that its relationship with the local firm is under threat.
The spokesperson said: “Jeddah was a serviced office and we opened to test the market on opening long-term. We decided that we could service our Saudi Arabian clients from the Riyadh office.”
Industry sources have also pointed to wider problems for the firm in the region, with a steady exodus of lawyers from its offices in Dubai and Riyadh, and political unrest taking its toll on the Cairo and Bahrain offices.
“Like most firms practising in the Middle East, the market is quiet [for us],” the spokesperson added.