BigLaw in Dubai World

by Vault Law Editors | December 03, 2009

  • My Vault

•   Dubai World’s debt default roiled the world markets. As markets roil, lawyers will bill. According to this cautiously worded report in The Lawyer, these are the firms in play:

Allen & Overy is thought to have a role advising some of the banks. …

On the debtor side Clifford Chance’s Dubai office is understood to be advising Dubai World on the proposed restructuring of certain aspects of the business, with partners Simon Clinton and Robin Abraham thought to have key roles.

Latham & Watkins is believed to have a role on matters linked to the debt standstill. [emphasis added]

•   Umair Haque explains “Why Dubai Defaulted — And What America Should Learn From It”:

Dubai was a mini-America: finance and real estate made up the lion's share of its economy. Today, both are discovering the consequence is unsustainable, brittle, meaningless growth; growth that is bubble-driven, prone to crash, in many ways illusory, and that fails to create an authentically shared prosperity.

•   What about all those law firms that so recently were “bubble-driven” to seek a piece of the palm tree-shaped boomtown? The AmLawDaily checks in with Jawad Ali, a Dubai-based King & Spalding partner who heads the firm's Middle East & Islamic Finance group. In addition to a handy little primer on Shariah-compliant financing, Ali describes the Dubai’s BigLaw climate:

[A] lot of firms have rushed recently to the Middle East, and not all of them have a well-developed Middle East strategy. Some firms saw the Middle East and said, "We can see the Middle East is on the rise, so we'll go there and hire some people and develop a strategy." Those firms have experienced a hard time already and will continue to experience hard times. They will have to really change their model.

-posted by brian

Filed Under: Law

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