A vast network has been established involving three Middle East law firms and Cyprus’s largest practice.
The Middle East Legal Alliance (MELA) aims to capitalise on expected growth in the number of companies using Cyprus as a strategic base for Middle East business. This follows the island’s entry into the EU last month.
The plan is for 66 fee-earner Cyprus firm Andreas Neocleous & Co to handle local work for incoming businesses, which, in turn, will have their Middle East investment work dealt with by other members of the network.
A speech written for MELA’s inauguration ceremony by the former Secretary-General of the UN Boutros Boutros-Ghali stated that the network is vital for encouraging “exchange of information” and bridging cultural differences in the Middle East.
The launch of MELA marks a radical shift in strategy for Andreas Neocleous. Its main focus until now has been on the CIS and Eastern Europe, where it has offices in Budapest, Kiev, Moscow and Prague.
Other MELA members are Kuwaiti firm Anwar Al-Bisher & Partners, Cairo-based Kosheri Rashed & Riad, and Habib Al Mulla & Co, a litigation specialist firm in the United Arab Emirates.