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Middle East: Dentons ends period of upheaval in Kuwait with decision to close local office

Dentons’ partnership has voted in favour of shutting its Kuwait office following a review, bringing to an end a turbulent chapter in the region.

The firm, which has had an office in Kuwait since 2008, only in January entered into a new association with local lawyer Jamal Ahmed Al-Shehab, replacing its association with International Legal Group.

This latest move follows the three-way merger of SNR Denton with international firm Salans and Canadian firm Fraser Milner Casgrain, which went live at the end of March. The 2,600-lawyer firm, which will continue to service its Kuwait clients from its other Middle East offices, has not commented on whether it will continue working with Al-Shehab & Partners in the region.

The Kuwait office currently houses a five-strong team led by managing partner Stuart Cavet, and advises local businesses and international investors in the public and private sectors on inward and outward bound investment. The firm did not confirm whether there would be any redundancies in Kuwait or whether local lawyers will be relocated as a result of the decision by partnership.

A statement released by the firm said: ‘We regularly review our global and regional presences to determine how best to serve our clients’ needs and, accordingly, to set our investment priorities. In this context we have decided to cease operating in Kuwait shortly.

‘However, we remain committed to the representation of clients on our many Kuwait-related matters, and we will – as we have done very successfully over many years – continue to serve their needs through our capabilities in our other Middle East locations as well as from our offices in other regions, such as London and Washington, DC.

‘As one of the oldest and largest international law firms in the Middle East, Dentons continues to view the region as a strategic priority, as reflected by the recent addition of a number new partners within the region, with further growth planned.’