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Mon 30 Apr 2007 03:13 PM

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Legal eagle

Top lawyer heads for Dubai.

Nigel Thompson, a project development lawyer experienced in structuring projects in the energy sector, will join Baker Botts L.L.P. on May 1 as a partner in the firm's Global Projects group. He will be based in Baker Botts' Dubai office.

"Dubai is a rapidly expanding hub for energy firms operating in the Middle East," said Walt Smith, Managing Partner of Baker Botts. "Many of our clients conduct business in the region requiring the support of our international lawyers. Nigel's wealth of experience in the energy sector will add significant depth to our Dubai team.

"And with the growing importance of Dubai as an international business and financial center, we have plans to further enhance the strength of our Dubai office in the near future," Smith added.

Baker Botts has provided service to its clients in the Middle East for more than 15 years. In 2005, the firm expanded its presence in the region by opening a regional hub in Dubai to complement its office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In addition to work across the energy sector, the firm also assists clients with their corporate, banking, finance (including Islamic finance), capital markets, telecommunications, government contracts and dispute resolution matters.

Thompson brings project development experience in the Middle East, Europe and the Indian subcontinent to his practice at Baker Botts. Much of his recent work has been in the Middle East. His areas of concentration include power, LNG and petrochemical projects. He joined the firm from the London office of Shearman & Sterling LLP.

"It is clear the Gulf region will be the focus for major energy and petrochemicals projects over the next few years," Thompson said. "Baker Botts also recognises that it is now a client expectation that the right experience, skills and resources are available to them on the ground in the region. "

Thompson obtained a law degree from Trinity College, Oxford University, in 1989. He took his Law Society Finals at the College of Law, Guildford, before starting his legal career at Freshfields in London.

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