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Weil shuts its Dubai office
17 February 2017
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Weil Gotshal & Manges is closing its office in Dubai.

The US firm has adopted a light touch approach since setting up shop in the Emirate in 2009. It currently has just one partner, Joe Tortorici, and two associates working in the office. Weil has now decided to vanish completely from the region as it will exit Dubai, its sole office in the Middle East, later this year. Tortorici will relocate to Europe, from where he will still work on Middle East matters, although it seems that much of the firm's strategy for the region will be buried in the sand.

  "After all the cutbacks, this is what they meant by hot-desking"

Weil's planned departure follows the news last week that Herbert Smith Freehills and Clifford Chance are both scaling back in the Middle East by closing their offices in Qatar.

Other firms have also looked to consolidate in the Middle East recently. In 2015 Latham & Watkins closed its Doha and Abu Dhabi offices, while Baker Botts shut its Abu Dhabi operation, and in 2016 Simmons & Simmons closed its Abu Dhabi office.

On the flip side, Dentons (with its fingers in its ears) have expanded in the Middle East this month by opening an office in Jeddah, its second base in Saudi Arabia alongside Riyadh.


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