Denton Wilde Sapte is launching in Kuwait, poaching the entire office of Bryan Cave, the only international law firm in the country.
Dentons will now have a presence in every jurisdiction in the Gulf Cooperation Council except Bahrain, with more than 100 lawyers on the ground.
“Our strategy is to be the leading international firm in the Middle East,” said Middle East managing partner Neil Cuthbert.
Bryan Cave Kuwait chief David Pfeiffer will head Dentons’ new office. He will take four fee-earners and five staff with him. “It’s a done deal: notices have been provided and certain clients have physically moved their files over,” he said.
Bryan?Cave?London managing partner Anthony Fiducia refused to accept that the office was lost. “Discussions are in hand, it’s too early to say,” he said, adding that the management was considering other opportunities in the region.
Under Kuwaiti regulations, Dentons has to operate in association with a local firm and has teamed up with The Law Offices of Dr Ahmad Al-Samdan to focus on M&A, investment fund and real estate work.
Pfeiffer said Dentons’ multiple regional offices were a clear selling point for him.
“Clients no longer focus entirely on Saudi or European investment, they’re seriously looking to the region as a first port of call for capital and development,” he said.