Legal Business Blogs

CMS extends Middle East footprint with Oman launch

CMS will join only a handful of international law firms with a presence in Oman, as the top 10 LB100 network today (10 March) announces a new office in Muscat, its second office in the Gulf region.

With an initial focus on energy, projects and financial institutions clients, the team leading the launch include Aberdeen-based energy, projects and construction practice group head Stephen Millar and Dubai managing partner Matthew Culver, as well as new hires Ben Ewing from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Amur Al Rashdi from local firm Khalifa Al Hinai, both who join as consultants and will be based in Muscat.

Oman’s legal market has stayed strong despite ongoing instability in the Middle East, attracting foreign investors through its focus on infrastructure, power and water projects. Early last year saw Addleshaw Goddard launch via a tie-up with local firm Nasser Al Habsi. Other players in the Sultanate include Dentons, DLA Piper and Trowers & Hamlins, which in January announced it was pulling out of Egypt, due to continued uncertainty in light of the political upheaval.

Oman is CMS’ second Middle East office after Dubai.

Millar said: ‘The energy, projects and financial services sectors are growing in Oman and throughout the Middle East. They are strategically important areas for our clients and priority sectors for CMS. Our strategy is to be where our clients need us to be, and a presence in Oman complements our global offering.’

This latest move by CMS to grow its international offering follows the launch of an office in Istanbul in November, where the firm relocated Döne Yalçin and John Fitzpatrick to lead a team offering services in project finance and infrastructure work, with further plans to expand in the fields of energy, capital markets, and M&A.