Simmons sharpens Qatar focus with new hire

Western law firms in Qatar are continuing to expand after Simmons & Simmons has taken on a partner from leading local firm Gebran Majdalany.

David Salt, an energy and construction specialist will joins Charles Pollack as the office’s second partner.

Commenting on his decision, Salt said: “Simmons is an international firm doing work I am more used to.”

As well as oil and gas projects – Qatar has the largest liquefied natural gas reserves in the world – the office is involved in a major aid-to-Iraq project.

Competition among law firms is stiffening in the tiny Middle East state. Until Eversheds arrival there in February 2003, when it set up an association with Doha firm Al-Jufairi, Richards Butler was the only western firm with a local presence.

For years Richards Butler had been associated with Doha firm Dr Najeeb bin Mohammed Al-Nauimi. Simmons and Washington DC firm Patton Boggs set up last September after the Qatari government allowed foreign firms to establish their own branch offices.