The ever-entrepreneurial Clyde & Co has a habit of being first into a post-conflict jurisdiction.
In 2001 it won the race to launch in Belgrade shortly after the war between the Serbs and Croats ended. And in 2003 the firm became the first in the City to go into Iraq – through a tie-up with Numan Shakir Numan – even before hostilities began in earnest.
And now the firm is to open an office in Libya in the wake of the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.
Of course those familiar with Clydes will not be surprised by the firm’s latest launch. The firm has been mining links to Libya for years. As far back as 2004 The Lawyer reported that observers were predicting a Tripoli launch on the back of the firm’s work for Libya’s Iron and Steel Company and its national shipping company.
Former partner Paul Turner – whose lawyering skills must have been pushed to the max – also used to advise Gaddafi on defamation issues. More recently, however, the firm advised Libya’s National Transition Council as it sought legitimacy and recognition across the world during the country’s troubles.
For some partners at Clydes, the launch couldn’t come too soon. Legacy BLG has been having a spot of bother extricating itself from its Libyan-owned City lease. With a new office in Tripoli, every little helps.
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