Norton Rose has kickstarted a rapid expansion of its Middle East capabilities with the relocation of London-based projects partner Jonathan Brufal to its Abu Dhabi office.
Brufal is the first partner to move as part of the firm’s bid to increase its partner count from six to 16 within 12 months.
Stephen Parish, Norton Rose global banking chief, said that, in addition to ramping up the partner numbers, his firm has a long-term plan to increase the associate offering in the region from the current level of 30 to around 100.
“A number of banks have said the Far and Middle East will be their focus as a result of Europe entering an uncertain market, so it makes sense for us to continue our growth in these regions,” said Parish. Part of this strategy will see the firm’s international HR director David Simons move to the Middle East to oversee the expansion.