A&O in the Middle East: one new partner, back-up on the way

Friday, April 7th, 2008, 17.15
A&O in the Middle East: one new partner, back-up on the way

Allen & Overy‘s official announcement on its latest partnership round reads that the firm has continued its ‘investment in its international network, with over 70 per cent of the new partners coming from outside London’.

Basic maths tells you that this leaves Londoners with an all-time low of only 29 per cent of total promotions, although with eight promotions this year, London has still had a bigger transfusion of new partner blood than any other single office.

This ties in neatly with outgoing managing partner and senior partner elect David Morley’s credo that A&O will emerge stronger from the credit crunch by focusing its energies on emerging markets.

A case in point is former consultant and new partner Anzal Mohammed, whose brief will be to establish a separate capital markets team for A&O in Dubai, where to date have been just four capital markets lawyers, none of whom are partners.

“I’m relieved that the [partnership election] process is over, but establishing a capital markets practice is clearly a very exciting opportunity going forward,” Mohammed tells The Lawyer.

Mohammed trained with A&O in London in 1997 and whet his capital markets appetite in the London, Frankfurt and Amsterdam offices, moving to Dubai 15 months ago.

He says he will be banking on a significant amount of sukuk work going forward, but also hopes derivatives and structured finance will bounce back, and that he would like to grow the team into 10 or more lawyers in the next 12 to 18 months.

And reinforcements are on their way.

As reported in The Lawyer, A&O’s UAE head, Simon Roderick, held a presentation to rally the troops last week, to entice up to 20 lawyers and partners from Amsterdam and London to emigrate to the Emirates (as reported in The Lawyer 7 April).

Interestingly, however, the rest of the capital markets practice did not fare as well as that portion in the Middle East, with promotions in capital markets worldwide fallen by half since last year’s record eight made up.

London: sunny as usual, but first cloud on the horizon?
Corporate and banking: Still making rain.
Emerging markets: Morley forecasts sunshine.

Previous Partnership 2008 blogs.

Slaughter and May: ladies, long hours and longevity – Thursday, April 10th
Russell Jones & Walker: More to the core – Tuesday, April 8th
A&O in the Middle East: one new partner, back-up on the way – Monday, April 7th
Clifford Chance: Popham puts his money where his mouth isMonday, April 7th
Nabarro, Hunton & HosseiniFriday, April 4th
Addleshaws: managing associatesFriday, April 4th
Nabarro promotions down (under) Thursday, April 3rd
Hunton & Williams: The London eye Thursday, April 3rd
The corporate partnership: Superwomen only?Wednesday, April 2nd
Ashurst promotions: expectation management Wednesday, April 2nd
Pinsents’ Leeds’ ladies take the lead Monday, March 31st
Herbies…continued… Thursday, March 27th
Herbies shakes things upThursday, March 27th
Macfarlanes predicts a good yearThursday, March 26th
Burges Salmon talks the talkWednesday, March 26th
Trowers promotions dwindleTuesday, March 25th
Wragges’ ups the firm’s real estate profileThursday, March 20th
Olswang‘s year of change Thursday, March 20th
Camerons goes East Wednesday, March 19th
Ince & Co: happy days for men in boats Tuesday, March 18th
Freshfields refills partnershipMonday, March 17th