White & Case secures Dubai licence in Middle East expansion

White & Case has been granted a licence to practise law in Dubai in an extension of its Abu Dhabi offering.

The US firm has been expanding its presence in the Middle East in the past few years, most recently with the appointment of a United Arab Emirates (UAE)-qualified partner in Abu Dhabi (13 November 2012). Abdulwahid Al Ulama was the first Emirati partner to join an international law firm in Abu Dhabi.

Details of White & Case’s Dubai office are still unclear. A spokesperson said the firm was working on the precise staffing details.

“We are pleased to confirm that White & Case has received a licence to practise law in Dubai. Our presence in Dubai is an extension of our expanding practice in Abu Dhabi,” the spokesperson added.

The Middle East has seen a significant amount of activity by international law firms in the past months. Addleshaw Goddard is launching in Qatar (28 May 2013) and Baker & McKenzie is merging with UAE firm Habib Al Mulla & Co (17 April 2013). Meanwhile Baker Botts recently forged an alliance with Kuwaiti firm International Legal Group (6 March 2013).

However recently-merged Dentons is to close its Kuwait office (21 June 2013) and Norton Rose Fulbright is also suffering from post-merger issues as it fights to hold on to the legacy Fulbright & Jaworski team in Dubai (10 June 2013).