Clydes in bid to seduce local Middle East talent

Clyde & Co has launched a recruitment drive to attract local lawyers to its Middle East offices as international firms continue their rush to the region.

Clydes, which has offices in Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai, has launched a two-year English-law training programme for Arabic-speaking lawyers, and has recruited trainees from Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Larry Archer, HR manager for the Middle East, said: “People who’ve got ties to the region and are interested in staying there are attractive.”

The venture is part of a Gulf recruitment drive that has seen Clydes bring in 136 fee-earners, mostly from the Commonwealth. But the firm believes it needs to set its sights closer to the region.

“You can’t sell sun to an Australian,” said Archer. “If you don’t look at the region, you’re missing out.”

Meanwhile, magic circle firms continue to bolster their Middle East practices. Following a roadshow aimed at convincing lawyers to relocate to the Gulf (, 7 April), Allen & Overy is sending 20 lawyers to Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Riyadh, while Linklaters is sending two finance ­partners from ­London to Dubai (, 29 August).