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Clifford Chance has announced it will close its Doha, Qatar office this month around six years after it opened the practice.
Head of the office Jason Mendens will relocate to Dubai. The magic circle firm has drastically scaled back in the country in recent years, with no other permanent lawyers or staff now on the ground in Qatar.
The firm opened in Qatar in March 2009 with finance partner Richard Parris and counsel Greg Englefield fronting the base, which consisted of six lawyers. Parris has since relocated to Abu Dhabi while Englefeld left the firm to join Confluent Law Group as managing partner in Iraq.
A spokesperson said the decision was part of “long-term plan”. A statement added: “Our well-regarded Qatar practice, led by Jason Mendens, remains a core component of our highly successful Middle East offering. However, from our ongoing discussions with both our Qatari clients and international clients looking to invest in Qatar it is clear that there is no longer the same need for a presence on the ground in Doha.”
Mendens will continue to work with Clifford Chance’s Qatari clients from Dubai.
Elsewhere in the Middle East, the firm was closed its Saudi Arabia office after a legal battle in 2016 in favour of a local association. The move followed a legal challenge concerning the validity of international joint ventures in the country.
The post Clifford Chance to close Qatar office appeared first on The Lawyer | Legal News and Jobs | Advancing the business of law.
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