Dewey & LeBoeuf pulls in Akin duo for Dubai

Dewey & LeBoeuf has raided the Dubai office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld for its first launch since last October’s merger between Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae.

The firm has launched a Dubai office under partners Gavin Watson and Chris Sioufi, Akin Gump’s only partners in the emirate, with the intention of attracting at least some of their team of associates.

Dewey & LeBoeuf London-based partner Federico Salinas, who joined LeBoeuf from Baker & McKenzie last May, will relocate to Dubai in the coming weeks.

Dewey & LeBoeuf chairman Steve Davis said he intends to grow the office fairly substantially within the next 12-18 months.

“We’re targeting an office of 15-20 lawyers who’ll be doing capital markets work,” he said. “Dubai has really made itself like the Hong Kong or Singapore of the Middle East in the sense of being a real hub city. The country itself isn’t large, but it’s a jumping off point for doing work throughout the region.”

The office is to operate as an extension of the firm’s existing Riyadh offering, which comes from the legacy LeBoeuf side of the merger and which is headed by Khalid Al-Thebity.