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Dubai Legal Market: Everything Lawyers Think?

Mining Legal Gold In Dubai - Is It Everything The Prospecting Lawyer Thinks?

The booming Dubai 'legal' market - attracting lawyers from all over the world to the land of massive construction projects, financial deals and the skyscrapers, theme parks, hotels and motorways that befit any modern western city, do not necessarily create the ideal work situation for lawyers seeking to work there.

Although an increasing number of international law firms, including almost all the UK 'magic circle' firms (except Slaughter and May) have moved to Dubai, along with an increasing rush of US firms, there are issues that lawyers need to be aware of. Local firms are perfectly capable of giving the international 'white shoe' firms a run for their money, reports Jonathan Ames in The Times.

"Many English and American firms find that when they are on the ground the work continues to go to their head offices in London, New York or Texas because they do not have the "proper quality" of lawyers locally," says Jimmy Houala, the managing partner of Bin Shabib & Associates, a Dubai-based firm.

"The expectations from the international law firms when they come to the local market are not satisfied once they have established themselves," Houala says. "They realise that the quality of work is not really the quality of work that they were aiming for. A lot of them are not looking for anything other than cross-border transactions -- until recently they have not been interested in the more local transactions."

Ames report indicates that clients are beginning to witness an increasingly sophisticated approach to their work, requiring special skills and experience to receive instructions in relevant practice areas.

The gold in Dubai may be, in some cases, fools gold where the rush has created a situation where newer entrants risk being burnt.

ENDS

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