Wragges team to work on Middle East opening

<a class=Wragges team to work on Middle East opening” />Wragge & Co has put together a Middle East team that is focused on launching an office in the region by the end of 2009.

London ;office ;head ­Nicola Mumford is responsible for Wragges’ Middle East strategy, while head of outsourcing David Hamlett is overseeing much of the fee-earning work.

Partner Bijan Sedghi, who joined the firm at the end of October 2008, is also expected to have a key role. Prior to joining Wragges, Sedghi was chairman at HBJ Gateley Wareing, where he played a central role in the firm’s 2007 Dubai office launch.

Wragges senior partner Quentin Poole said: “An office in the Gulf is moving further and further up the agenda – if we can make the business case, we’ll do it. The downturn won’t dissuade us. I wouldn’t be surprised if it happens in the next 12 months.”

While no firm decisions have yet been made on the location of the office, Wragges is looking at Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai.

Wragges’ Middle East work is focused on projects and energy, with central governments and sovereign wealth funds among its clients. The firm’s international expansion strategy has traditionally been to launch niche practices as a springboard for opening into other practice areas.

Wragges currently has three international offices – in Belgium, China and ­Germany – which opened in 1999, 2007 and 2008 respectively.

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