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Mon 5 Nov 2007 03:56 PM

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Ashurst to expand in Middle East

International oil and gas law firm announces plans to launch a new office in Abu Dhabi.

Ashurst to expand in Middle East
David Wadham is optimistic about the future of Ashurst in the Middle East.

Ashurst recently announced plans to expand its business in the Middle East, with a new office due to open in January 2008.

"We've been here in Dubai for a few years now, and been active in the Middle East for considerably longer than that. We are committed to growing our Middle East practice, and we feel that we can strengthen and grow that practice by putting a foot on the ground in Abu Dhabi as well," said David Wadham, a partner in the energy, transport and infrastructure department in Dubai.

The office will initially be resourced with a team of at least five lawyers and will have strong focus on upstream oil and gas, petrochemicals, power, water and international infrastructure projects.

"There are some interesting opportunities coming up in Abu Dhabi, particularly in infrastructure, and the growing level of general corporate activity. There is a strong level of oil and gas activity down there also so we can strengthen our position by being on those grounds," said Wadham.

"Oil and gas is what we would like to get into more - we do work for a number of international companies who are active in Abu Dhabi, for example, we do a lot for the Japanese trading houses, such as Mitsui, Marubeni and the Japan bank for international co-oporation," he added.

Ashurst already has a five-partner Dubai office, with possible plans to expand further.

"There aren't any definitive plans to expand business although we are very keen to grow the practice across the Middle East. We will do whatever is best to meet the needs of our clients in the region," said Wadham.

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