Simmons’ Qatar base wins Quest instruction

Following a year-long flurry of work in the banking and telecoms sectors, Simmons & Simmons’ Qatar office has scooped the work on a key sponsorship deal with the state’s national Olympics committee.

The work is for new client and champion yachtswoman Tracy Edwards. The round-the-world sailor who, in an unrelated case was last week fighting a claim to repay a £100,000 loan, needed funding for her company’s involvement in next year’s Oryx Quest. This is the first non-stop, 50-day race around the world, which starts and ends in Doha.

The deal saw Simmons Qatar partners Charles Pollock and David Salt acting for Quest International Sports Events (QISE), which was set up by Edwards to create the world’s most challenging sporting events, in its bid to raise $11.5m (£6.1m) sponsorship from the Qatar National Olympics Committee. The money will go towards funding QISE’s role in next year’s Oryx Quest.

Edwards instructed Simmons after consulting clients of the firm in Qatar, said Pollock. “There were a lot of disparate threads involved in bringing the deal together, including the need to get security,” he added.

Quest will receive a further £3m of funding from HSBC and at least one other sponsor. Edwards herself has raised a total of £38m in recent years to cover the costs of yacht construction and various challenges.

Simmons has advised on a number of Qatar deals in the last year, including for Qatar National Bank and Doha Bank on deals worth $285m (£150.6m).