There is something momentous unfolding in the Gulf. The wave of protests and general revolutionary feeling that has swept through the Middle East since December 2010, otherwise known as the Arab Spring, has seen governments ousted in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, while civil unrest has even battered the traditionally stable reputations of financial centres such as Bahrain and Kuwait.
Law firms have been just as affected by the tide of uncertainty as any other business and the dramatic extent of regional turmoil has seen international law firms downsize in their droves across the Middle East. As traditional thinking goes, any degree of change creates opportunities; however, the sheer scale and velocity of the market disruption makes this particular situation uncharted territory. Generally speaking, firms remain optimistic about economic growth across the region’s hotspots and recruiters are already starting to see the market look towards replenishing those areas that were the first to be cut back in 2009 and early 2010. So it seems that the outlook for the main financial centres is one of subdued growth following a few lean years. How are the region’s law firms poised to meet demand?