No lawyers will be based permanently in the new office, but Arnaud Depierrefeu, the partner in charge of the Doha and Ras Al Khaimah offices, and newly hired associate Hala Akl will make the short flight from Doha on a ‘project basis’.
“We want to say that we have an office there [in Ras Al Khaimah] because we have a space available there and we’re working with the local authority building contacts and have a clear identity,” said Depierrefeu. “But we won’t have people onsite because it doesn’t make sense at the moment.
“We’re a French independent firm, although obviously not a global brand. That doesn’t mean we just go to secondary markets, but we do like to do things differently. We’re the only French firm in Doha.
“We see no sense going to Abu Dhabi, not only because there’s a crisis there, but because there are some very good French and English lawyers there too, and so it would be difficult for us to find our place.”
UGGC also has offices in Paris, Brussels, Casablanca, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Taipei, as well as an India desk in Paris.