Wragges’ Middle East plan takes shape with Abu Dhabi launch

Wragge & Co has opened in Abu Dhabi two years after The Lawyer first reported the firm’s plans to launch there.

As revealed by The Lawyer in 2009 (5 January 2009), the firm had put together a Middle East team that was focused on launching an office in the region by the end of that year.

The office is Wragges’ first base in the Middle East and comes off the back of relationships struck up by corporate partner Bijan Sedghi, who joined in 2009 after having established a Dubai office at his previous firm HBJ Gateley Wareing, as well as work for clients such as Amec.

Wragges has tied up with local lawyer Mohamed Al Mehairi, who will become the firm’s local sponsor, chairman and senior partner. Wragges projects partner Jane Pittaway will relocate there as managing partner. The firm will be known as Wragge & Co Legal Consultants.

Wragges currently has international offices in Brussels, Guangzhou, Munich and Paris.

Abu Dhabi has tightened up its licensing process of late, in an effort to avoid going the same way as Dubai, where an influx of lawyers between 2006 and 2008 was followed by widespread job cuts after the local market slumped (2 November 2009).