Dewey & LeBoeuf will open two new offices in the Middle East and have two partners relocate to South Africa. The firm will open the offices in early 2009 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and Doha, Qatar.
Today's announcement comes on the heels of a press statement yesterday that Dewey would be closing its Charlotte, N.C. office. According to the firm, the decision to close the Charlotte office was "made in part due to the economic conditions in the market, which has seen the consolidation of several major banking institutions and a challenging structured finance market."
In April, according to an article in Legal Week, a sibling Incisive Media publication, the firm closed its doors for business in Hartford, Conn., Jacksonville, Fla., and Austin, Texas. Legal Week reported that the U.S. office closings were "part of [Dewey's] efforts to focus on major commercial and financial centers around the world."
Kenneth Freeling, a partner who focuses on antitrust and intellectual property litigation, will leave the firm’s Washington office to relocate to Qatar. Stephen Jurgenson, a finance partner in the firm’s London office, will relocate to Abu Dhabi to start that office. It is still unclear who will act as managing partner in each office, according to Angelo Kakolyris, a firm spokesperson.
The firm says the plan to expand in the Middle East is to hire laterally and to continue relocating firm partners and associates to the new offices in the practices of project finance, construction, infrastructure, real estate, corporate, and finance. Kakolyris would not say how many more partners and associates would relocate but added that the number of laterals "would not be a big number."
Peter Baumgaertner of Dewey’s New York office and Scott Brodsky of the firm’s London office - both finance partners - will relocate to the firm’s Johannesburg, South Africa office.