DLA Piper to launch Middle East dual assault with Abu Dhabi, Qatar offices

DLA Piper to launch Middle East dual assault with Abu Dhabi, Qatar offices” />DLA Piper has underscored its commitment to the Middle East with plans to expand into two more lucrative jurisdictions in the region.

The firm, which is well known for focusing on emerging markets, will ramp up its presence in the region by launching an office in Abu Dhabi by the end of the year, followed by one in Qatar during the first quarter of 2008.

Jayshree Gupta, former Dubai managing partner and head of corporate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is spearheading the firm’s Gulf/India cross-border development, linking its Indian and UAE client bases.

The firm, which opened its office in Dubai in January 2006, will have full-service capabilities in its new UAE offices, covering core practice areas such as real estate, corporate, IT and telecoms, Islamic finance and regulatory. David Church, the firm’s international development partner and Middle East regional managing partner, said: “It’s important that the firm can provide the full range of services in its offices across the Middle East. While some firms may focus on particular areas, we want to reflect the firm’s strong capabilities across the board and globally.”

Once both offices have been launched, DLA Piper will have on-the-ground presences in four jurisdictions in the UAE.

Earlier this year The Lawyer reported (2 February) that Oliver Agha, Clifford Chance‘s former alliance partner in Saudi Arabia, was joining DLA Piper and its affiliate Abdulaziz H Al-Fahad to head its global Islamic finance practice group.

Church said: “Our affiliation in Saudi launched in March last year and has been a great success for us. The idea is to expand on this and make sure we can replicate our strength across the region.”