Norton Rose has won a place on the legal panel of Gulf International Bank (UK) (GIB UK), as none of the bank's existing panel firms offer a Bahrain office
The panel for the UK subsidiary of Bahrain-based Gulf International Bank (GIB) comprises Allen & Overy, Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, Dechert and Slaughter and May.
GIB UK head of legal and compliance Dominic Bacon also chose Norton Rose for its experience of advising on Islamic law. Additionally, Norton Rose has informal ties with GIB in Bahrain and has historically advised the Saudi International Bank, which merged with GIB two years ago.
Bacon said: "We wanted to have a firm on our panel that understood the cultural and technical differences between banking in the UK and banking in the Middle East. And they also had to have hands-on experience of addressing the legal risks that are inherent in Islamic banking and custom."
Stephen Parish, managing partner of Norton Rose's banking practice in London, will manage the relationship with GIB UK. He said: "This cements an informal relationship that goes back to 1979 when we opened our office in Bahrain. The Middle East is a very important market for us and we're always keen to secure links with clients who are major players in that area."
Last month Norton Rose received its first major instruction from the Bahrain International Bank, to advise on the restructuring of its $460m (£292m) debt (The Lawyer, 14 October).