Clydes gears up for Abu Dhabi, India and Pakistan

After many years of waiting, Clyde & Co is finally set to launch an office in Abu Dhabi.

For a long time the firm, currently on a major drive to expand its overseas presence, has openly discussed Abu Dhabi as a location where it wants to set up an office. However, the move has in part been held up by difficulties in getting a licence, which have now been successfully resolved.

Clydes’ Middle East investment has so far focused on its Dubai base, which is the largest international office in the region, although the firm has been keen to set up an office next door in Abu Dhabi for almost five years.

“It makes a difference for clients to be on the spot in Abu Dhabi,” said Michael Payton, Clydes managing partner.

The firm is also preparing for a major push into Pakistan, where it plans to set up associations with one or more of the country’s four largest law firms, and India.

In the short term, Clydes does not intend to place people on the ground, but will use its staff in Dubai to liaise with clients and other lawyers in these countries.

The advantage of Pakistan is that few international firms have much experience in the region. English law principally governs Pakistani contracts, and Clydes is hopeful of winning instructions to advise on the increased flow of oil and construction contracts that have resulted from US investment since the World Trade Center attacks.

Clydes has two London-based Pakistani-qualified lawyers that it intends using to market the firm in Pakistan. It plans to handle Indian and Pakistani disputes through London and transactions through Dubai.