Increasing numbers of lawyers are braving hostilities in Iraq as reports emerged last week of US firm Bryan Cave sending an SAS-backed mission to the country’s southern cities.
Bryan Cave has sent partner David Pfeiffer, a Middle East transaction specialist, to scout southern Iraq as a prelude to establishing an office there.
Pfeiffer hopes the office will serve as a conduit between Kuwaitis planning to develop islands near the southern Iraq town of Umm Qasr and local Iraqi authorities.
An office will also enable Bryan Cave to act on the ground for Western clients in Iraq – largely construction specialists based in massive armed camps – and Kuwaiti clients looking to invest in the war-torn country.
The firm boasts some 25 clients with investment plans in Iraq, ranging from specialists in storage facilities for fresh water fish to explosive experts.
Pfeiffer said: “Our clients are very active in Iraq. [We’re] inclined to consider establishing an office there at the right time and my trip was part of the process of considering this issue.
“The main issue is, ‘what is the right time?’, in terms of client needs that must be served on the ground as opposed to how we’re doing it now.”