Eversheds has become the first international law firm to be granted a licence to practise in Qatar’s new financial centre.

The firm joins a small but increasing number of global organisations, including Barclays, Morgan Stanley and Standard Chartered, to be given the authorisation to operate in Qatar.

Partner Chris Jobson will lead the new venture. Jobson is currently on secondment with Qatari firm A Rahman Mohamed Al-Jufairi, which has a cooperation agreement with Eversheds.

The new Eversheds office will operate from the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) building, which is currently under construction. Sami Abu Shaikha from Al-Jufairi will join Eversheds as a senior associate equivalent, and Jobson said he hopes to hire another two UK-qualified lawyers for the office.

Jobson told The Lawyer: “We hope we’ll be able to offer a blend of expertise -the best of international practice with the best of local practice.”

Eversheds Qatar will advise on matters such as banking and finance, commercial law, commercial property and oil and gas. The firm already has links to clients such as the Qatar National Bank, the Qatar National Olympic Committee and the Qatar Gas Transport Company.

Simmons & Simmons is the only other international firm with a Qatari presence.