Categories:Middle East,UK

Trowers first to fall prey to Middle East downturn

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  • so what happens to the guy seconded to the Syrian affiliate?

    Will his employment be governed by Syrian law, with no UK benefits?! Very sad!

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  • Balanced?

    I have to say that such black and white articles like this are poor "sensationalist" journalism. Dubai is not "dead" - the international banking sector is struggling globally, not just in Dubai. The local banks are in decent shape (backed by the Central Bank) and vital infrastructure projects and other sectors in Dubai (and the UAE generally) still remain relatively strong, compared to other global centres. they will continue to grow as the market matures. Trowers laying off 7 people out of close to 100 in the region, no doubt partly due to a performance management process in tougher times, hardly suggests Dubai (or other areas of the Middle East) are crashing down. The whole world is affected at the moment but the fundamentals, which are much stronger than almost anywhere in the world apart from China, means Dubai and the wider Middle East will rapidly reap the benefits of the demise of the debt ridden UK and US. That is why so many law firms are here Luke....and with some proper reporting you would know that.

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  • Its true!

    The article is womewhat accurate. Many in-house counsels from a regional Conglomerates have been made redundant recently. We have been asked to look for external opportunities a month ago. I personally consulted with many recruiters, law firms and received the feedback that the most of the "live" positions are on hold! Its definitely a dead end for lawyers.

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  • Dubai

    Poor sensationalist journalism (been reading Ms. Greer's article in the Guardian, no doubt!).

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  • Callous Attitude

    The comments by the head of HR reflect poorly on him and the firm.

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  • Dubai

    The bloke's just another bonusless bitter banker.
    Dubai has today received a US$10 billion injection from the UAE central bank (with another US$10 billion to follow) which will help relieve its liquidity problems. With a projected GDP growth of 3.5% its still doing much better than most western economies. More low quality reporting from a low quality rag!

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  • Apples and pears

    Its absurd to compare rates of growth of Dubai and western economies. Dubai is an emerging economy, the UK and US are not. In case you'd forgotten the UK and US also injected billions into their banks, unfortunately this measure has not yet helped relieve their own liquidity problems. Time will tell whether it helps Dubai or not.

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  • Burglar Bill

    Burglar Bill, yes the US and UK have injected liquidity into their banks but you may have missed the slight issue that by doing this they have left both countries with enormous deficits which will have to be paid back via increased taxation in the future. The UAE has no such problem (those damn budget surpluses...) and so you are right it is like comparing apples and pears - 2 bankrupt countries, compared with one with enough money to buy most important assets globally at bargain basement prices. I know who is in the best position - the UK and its reporters should concentrate on bagging its own politicians and financial systems and the mess they have inflicted on ordinary people rather than trying to compare it with other countries.

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  • Quality of lawyer not quantity required across the UAE...

    As a recruiter in the region and working for one of the major players on the ground here, I have to say times have suddenly become tough and in a very short space of time. However, what people are losing sight of is the mass over recruitment that has occurred in the past 12 months, based upon the growth that was anticipated to continue across the UAE. With a slowdown, and it's happened very quickly here, there has to be some adjustment in numbers and more firms and in-house teams will be reviewing their numbers over the coming months. Furthermore, the region is littered with average lawyers who have done little to enhance the reputation of the profession out here. When you look across the legal market, a shake up and improvement in the quality of lawyer, at the senior end in particular, is badly needed. A number already here are overpaid and not demonstrating true commercial value to their client(s). In an emerging market where many clients are still learning the value of good quality legal advice, this has now hampered the growth of the profession. There is still opportunity in the region but in order to realise it, more lawyers with strong business acumen and wider technical ability are needed. Quality, not quantity is the approach required.

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  • Dates and Olives

    The main difference is that the Dubai government doesn't have to pump billions into failed banks. Given a choice between working in a country with negative growth and a 3.5% growth (even if its an "emerging" market), i know which I would prefer.

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  • On the ropes

    Let's not get carried away - its very very grim at the moment here in Dubai. No clarity as to what is going on or what the plan is to get us out. No payments being made. Trowers will be the first of many to make redundancies.

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  • Dubai dumba$$es

    Hey Expat Joe James Horton sorry to break the news to you, but Dubai is finished. The government hasn't had to pump in billions? You sure are clueless. They've already had to rescue the largest lenders there, Tamweel and Amlak. The UAE has had to "help" out Dubai with 10 billion in funds. Mark my words, this is only the beginning.
    I used to be a lawyer, and trust me, when I was in your position, I was myopic about the market around me. Law firms are the last entities to wise up to what's going on around them. Property prices will collapse in Dubai. Foreign capital is exiting in droves and the financial system is being exposed as the chimera it is. Dubai is California II, except the property price declines will be much, much worse. I hope you can stand the 40 degree heat when they turn the power in your respective buildings because the tenants have all vacated and no one is paying the rent. Here's a tip, get out of Dubai before it's too late. Don't say you weren't warned.

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  • Dabai haters

    Eddie Bling, as a lawyer based in Dubai who has been asked to advise on two US$ billion plus deals since yesterday (when the US$20 billion bond was announced), i have to disagree with your ill informed view of this part of the world.

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  • Bright comments

    Always useful to have informed comment from someone like Eddie Bling. No-one is saying Dubai is perfect, just that the UAE (and Dubai) have less issues than other places in the world and happen to be sitting on hundreds of billions of dollars due to their oil reserves. I think turning out the lights is more likely to happen in the UK with its massive debt which it cannot service and a service led economy which is unlikely to return quickly, as well as a draing public sector. Still, carry on being bitter Eddie - did you lose your job in Dubai by any chance?

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  • Fail

    Hi Anonymous, you clearly fail at logic and hence I question your legal acumen. Let me guess, you're a junior lawyer? What you just stated is the fallacy of anecdotal evidence. Clearly, just because you worked on deals doesn't mean the market is running smoothly. Here's a newsflash for you. People were working on securitisations even after the securitisation market died. There are derivatives lawyers still doing derivatives now, does that mean that market is also thriving, no, it means deals are unwinding and many of those lawyers will be out of work unless they move to restructuring or insolvency in due course. Do you know what CDS levels are on Dubai? Of course CDS spreads aren't everything, but take a look at the number, 750bps, more than Slovakia and Austria. The market views Dubai as riskier than Casio Computers. Do you know what Dubai's foreign currency reserves are? Do you know what their debt to GDP ratio is? Do you know how much sovereign wealth funds have lost this year? Do you know that Dubai cannot break even on oil with the price of oil at its current level? Do you know that indebted foreigners are leaving Dubai and leaving their cars at the airport because Dubai arrests debtors who don't make good on their debt? Have you not learned from this whole crisis to heed the warning signs.
    As for James Horton, no, I didn't lose my job in Dubai, I'm retired, and have been retired for 6 years. I have had friends in the legal industry and financial industry who were considering Dubai due the ongoing problems in the UK and I advised them against it. Clearly, I'm aware the UK is in bad shape, but you are living in fantasy land if you think Dubai is the place to go. It is one of the many additional dominos to fall. All the best to you in any case. It seems you have a vested interest in Dubai. Take a break from drinking the Kool-Aid and wake up to reality, you'll thank me.

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  • What oil reserves?

    Dubai has minimal reserves left. It depends on logistics and tourism for its wealth. It has had to be bailed out by Abu Dhabi and at a price which will become apparent all too quickly. Key assets, key commercial reforms will be sacrificed to keep the Sheikh Mo Show just about on the road. The focus of life in the UAE will return to Abu Dhabi where growth will continue on a more sensible and sustained basis.

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  • Dubai in the Sky

    Build it and they shall come...have you ever heard of anything so dumb?

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  • Oil Reserves

    They may not have much oil in Dubai but they are part of the UAE - that is like saying England doesn't have any but doesn't benefit from North Sea oil. Yes Dubai has been bailed out and will be more controlled by Abu Dhabi - is this a bad thing as it will control some of the previous excesses?

    The fact remains that Abu Dhabi knows what Dubai has created is a successful "business model" and attracts business, wealth and people to the region. It will not let it falter and will make its own conservative progress over the next 20 years.

    The 2 emirates will dovetail in what they offer to people, companies etc and be a powerful force with the world's "financial" powerhouses like New York and London stymied by regulation and higher tax. Where do you think profit seeking corporations and financial institutions will end up?

    Eddie Bling, whilst there is some truth in some of what you said like SWF's losing money, people losing jobs etc, it is a bit glass empty rather than half full. The reality is that if the UAE is in deep trouble, then the rest of the world can forget about society as we have known it. With riots already likely over unemployment in the UK, there is a reason why people still want to come to the Middle East. I think you are deliberately missing the relative strengths/positions of the various economies and the amount of population they have to actually support. Take your pick - a government which is cash rich supporting a population of 4 million or a bankrupt government supporting a population of 60 million? Not rocket science even if the UAE does take a short-term hit.

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  • Reality

    The Dubai "bubble" was always going to burst with or without a global recession. Dubai will come out of this experience stronger and better organised (with less bling!).

    The likes of Eddie Bling needs to understand how the Dubai legal market works. Not more than 15-20% of the business undertaken by the major international firms (ie. not Trowers) based in Dubai relates to Dubai. The rest is work done in the GCC and the wider ME region and there hasn't beem much reduction in the amount of work in region outside of Dubai.

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  • pet project

    The truth is no-one really knows what will happen, although I get the impression that when oil prices bounce back up Abu Dhabi will continue to pump cash into Dubai as much as it needs to - at the moment it is an unfinished pet project.

    The UAE leadership has had a long term plan since the 70s, that will eventually see Abu Dhabi emerge as the financial capital, with its sparkly, glamorous little sister just up the road. Dubai was always designed to be a playground to attract the wealthy, where nothing exceeds like excess, and until the project is finished I doubt the leaders in Abu Dhabi would cut them off.

    The government might seem like they want everything in a hurry but these plans have been in existence for 40 years - with probably another 10-20 left to go - so I dont think that them restricting the cash flow, especially during a time that they're making a loss on oil, is a valid indicator that Dubai is "finished".

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