Dechert targets top laterals for new Islamic finance practice

Dechert‘s London office has sent out the headhunters after management gave the green light to a massive investment following the launch of its new global Islamic finance practice.

The firm has identified Islamic finance as a key practice area, and one to which very few law firms have made a serious commitment. Dechert has already hired respected Islamic finance veteran Michael McMillen from King & Spalding and former Norton Rose associate Abradat Kamalpour, who joined as a partner.

McMillen is now on the hunt for top-level partners to join the London team. He is already in advanced discussions with a high-level private equity partner and wants at least another four or five to boost the London ranks. Key areas of Islamic finance for the firm include insurance, private equity, projects and securitisation.

Islamic-compliant finance has hit the headlines in recent weeks through deals such as Dubai Ports’ record-breaking $3.5bn (£1.96bn) Sukuk. However, few firms have made a serious push in this area. UK firms with recognised practices include Clifford Chance, Denton Wilde Sapte (both acting on Dubai Ports) and Norton Rose.