DLA Piper Middle East boss quits to set up new law firm

Abdulaziz Al Yaqout says Meysan Partners would be the most exclusive law firm in the region and already had “a strong and enviable” client list

The former Middle East head of international law firm DLA Piper has quit to establish a new regional firm.

Abdulaziz Al Yaqout said Meysan Partners would be the most exclusive law firm in the region and already had “a strong and enviable” client list, some of which had transferred from DLA Piper.

Meysan will only practice in areas of bank finance and restructuring, capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, project development and finance, and dispute resolution, differentiating itself from other regional firms that cover a sweeping list of legal areas.

The first office opened early January in Kuwait, initially with five lawyers including senior partners Al Yaqout and Bader El Jeaan.

It would expand to 20 staff by the end of the year, with a network of offices across the region within five years, Al Yaqout said.

The firm would be top-heavy, with a ratio of partners to associations much higher than other firms, giving it an edge to attract cases such as high-stakes commercial litigation.

“We recognized a gap in the market for high-quality, regional legal advice, led by a senior team with in-depth experience advising clients in the Middle East,” Al Yaqout said.

“Our unswerving focus will be on providing the highest quality of advice combined with unrivalled levels of client service to support our clients in achieving their respective objectives.”

Al Yaqout had been a senior lawyer at DLA Piper for more than a decade, setting up the US-based firm’s Germany business before taking over the Middle East region.

He told Arabian Business he resigned from the company partly to also help run his family business in Kuwait.

El Jeaan was previously senior executive officer and General Counsel MENA at The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms.

He has particular experience in mergers and acquisitions, international joint ventures and strategic alliances, and project development and finance transactions, including advising on the Sulaibiya Wastewater Project in Kuwait, the first build-operate-transfer deal in the Gulf state.

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