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Edinburgh-headquartered McGrigors has opened a base in Qatar, marking its first expansion into international markets.
London-based energy and infrastructure partner James Elwen has relocated to Doha to run the office on a full-time basis. He will be supported by two associates from the time of the launch, with the expectation that a number of UK-based partners will also spend varying amounts of time in the Middle East.
Managing partner Richard Masters said the firm has no plans for major expansion in Qatar, adding that the aim of the new office is to service a small number of existing clients.
“This is very much led by client demand,” he explained. “It’s something we’ve been looking at for some time and builds on work we’ve been doing for clients in the UK.”
This is the same strategy the firm employed when it opened in Manchester in January 2008, launching an office to service infrastructure clients based in the North of England.
Since then the firm has beefed up its Manchester offering, adding Hammonds construction and engineering head David Moss, partners Paul Giles and Richard Anderson and seven lawyers.
The Manchester team has just moved into 11,000sq ft of space in the town’s Spinningfields development.
While Qatar is McGrigors’ first international launch, it does have some overseas capabilities.
In October 2009 the firm bulked up its Northern Ireland offering via a merger with local firm L’Estrange & Brett, while in 2006 it gained a Falklands Islands base as part of its acquisition of half of Ledingham Chalmers’ business.