Morgan Lewis plans UAE expansion
London, July 2, 2013
Leading law firm Morgan Lewis has announced plans to open its office in Dubai in line with its global strategy.
The company will rope in Ayman A. Khaleq, a leading structured finance and debt capital markets lawyer in the Middle East region who has a particular knowledge of Islamic finance and Jim Knight, a corporate and transactional lawyer with over 20 years of experience in energy and other industries for its Dubai operations.
They will also be joined by London-based energy transactions partner Lewis Jones, whose fluency in the development and financing of international energy projects under English law solidifies the trio’s top-shelf service for clients with interests in the Mena and Asia, said a company statement.
All three lawyers join the firm from Vinson & Elkins.
For Morgan Lewis, the additions and planned office will provide on-the-ground, specialized services in this global business hub and in nearby emerging markets that are critical for clients across all major industries.
Khaleq and Knight will be based in Dubai, while Jones will work from London but will spend significant time in Dubai, having recently spent over four years in the UAE. Until the Dubai office opens its doors, Khaleq will spend time in the firm’s London office and Knight in the Houston office.
With this launch, Morgan Lewis will boast of 25 offices worldwide and more than 1,400 lawyers.
“The scale of deal, project, development, and investment opportunities that our clients entertain in the Middle East is vast—and we’ve done well to meet those needs, utilizing our global network of support,” remarked Firm chair Francis M. Milone. “But we’ve been looking for the right, best-in-class talent to augment our services, and Ayman, Jim and Lewis are it,” he noted.
The planned Dubai office opening follows roughly a year on the heels of the firm’s office openings in Moscow and Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Working closely with the firm’s full-service London office, and with the rest of the firm’s talent across Europe, Asia, and the US, the Dubai team will provide guidance in energy and infrastructure transactions, debt capital markets, structured finance, private equity funds, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, and Islamic finance.
"Morgan Lewis offers us and our clients a platform that we could not find with any other firm," said Khaleq.
"The firm’s diverse set of practices and broad geographic footprint—complete with a strong London office, full-scale capabilities in Europe and a unique ability to provide service in Africa and other key emerging markets—will allow us to serve our clients from virtually any location worldwide," he added.-TradeArabia News Service