Freshfields’ Akhtar named Mena head a year after defecting from A&O

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has appointed Pervez Akhtar as regional managing partner for the Middle East and North Africa (Mena), less than a year after hiring him from Allen & Overy (A&O).

Akhtar, who joined Freshfields in December (17 December 2010), will also continue to hold the position of corporate head for the region. He replaces Bertrand Pellet in the role of managing partner.

The promotion is yet another role for Akhtar, who switched jobs from A&O to private equity house Abraaj Capital in 2008 before rejoining the magic circle firm in 2009 (20 March 2009).

In a statement Akhtar stressed the importance of the Mena region to Freshfields, saying it had shown resilience in the global downturn.

The news follows the recent relocation of litigation partner Jonathan Rawlings to Dubai to strengthen the local global investigations and disputes offering.

Meanwhile Freshfields has also announced the promotion of IPO specialist Richard Wang to partner in Beijing. The promotion comes as equity capital markets work is booming in China and Hong Kong (9 May 2011), leading many international firms to beef up their presence in the region.