Cobbetts of Arabia

One is the story of a flamboyant and controversial British military figure blazing a path to glory in the Arabian desert.

The other is a tale of a law firm headquartered in a rainy north west city opening in the Saudi kingdom.

Truth, as they say, is stranger than fiction.

So when Cobbetts announced today that it had agreed a strategic co-operation with Jeddah-based Dr Nidal Atta’s eponymous firm, the comparisons between Lawrence of Arabia and the Manchester-based outfit were… erm, obvious.

Although something of a shock move, Cobbetts says it gives them access to public and corporate work in the Middle East, without having to send any lawyers over there.

Wags have suggested it simply involves putting Dr Atta’s direct number on speed dial. We trust it is much more than this.

It will hardly have DLA Piper, Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy quaking in their boots, but it is the second overseas manoeuvre from Cobbetts International – the firm’s Swiss Verein – after it partnered up with a Cairo firm last year.

The film rights for this one are still available by the way, if anyone is asking.

Elsewhere on

  • Clifford Chance has asked a small number of Singapore associates to take voluntary sabbaticals following a capital markets downturn in the city state
  • SJ Berwin partners like leaving in pairs: two disputes partners have now quit for a duo of US firms
  • Linklaters has launched a leadership scheme to make the most of potential female potential at the firm – 25 places are available on the course to female managing associates
  • And perhaps it is time to reconnect with your accountant, with a HMRC “task force” lurking in the shadows: This week’s litigation blog looks at what the crackdown on the legal profession could mean