Legal Business

Sponsored Q&A: Dentons

1. What are the key labour laws and regulations that employers in Taiwan need to be aware of?

Employers should be aware of several key labour laws and regulations. These include the Labour Standards Act (LSA), Enforcement Rules of the Labour Standards Act (Enforcement Rules of the LSA), Labour Pension Act, Regulations of Leave-Taking of Workers, Occupational Safety and Health Act, Employment Services Act, Act of Gender Equality in Employment, Labour Incident Act, and the Labour Union Act, among others.

Legal Business

Sponsored Q&A: Dentons (Morocco)

1. What are the key tax laws and regulations in Morocco that individuals and businesses should be aware of?

The General Tax Code consolidates all the tax laws related to corporate tax, personal income tax, value added tax (VAT), and registration duties.

With regard to the municipal taxes to which companies are subject, these are governed by Law 47-06, in particular with regard to business tax and tax on communal services.

2. Can you explain the tax obligations for residents and non-residents in Morocco?

Morocco operates a territorial tax system. Companies (both resident and non-resident) are generally subject to corporate tax only on income generated from activities carried on in Morocco. Foreign corporations are subject to taxation on income arising in Morocco if they have, or are deemed to have, a permanent establishment in Morocco. Morocco has signed several tax treaties to avoid double taxation.

Morocco applies a special company income tax for all the non-residents who provide services to Moroccan resident companies. The tax rate is 10%. This tax is collected as withholding tax paid by the Moroccan beneficiary of the service.

3. What are the different types of taxes imposed in Morocco, such as income tax, VAT, and corporate tax?

Corporate income tax
The definition of ‘corporate’ covers limited liability companies, limited partnerships by shares, general and limited partnerships in which at least one partner is a corporate entity, civil companies, branches of foreign corporations, public sector companies having profit-oriented activity and joint ventures having business-oriented activity.

The normal rate is:

  • 20% from 1 MAD to 100,000,000 MAD
  • 35% above 100,000,000 MAD

A higher CIT rate of 40% applies to leasing companies and credit institutions.

Foreign contractors carrying out engineering, construction or assembly projects relating to industrial or technical installations may opt to be taxed at a rate of 8% calculated on the total contract price net of VAT and similar taxes.

Companies are always subjected to a legal minimum tax (cotisation minimale (CM)) of MAD 3,000 or 0.25% of the annual turnover. The CM is not payable by companies during their first 36 months of operation.

A social solidarity contribution on profits and income is hereby introduced and payable by companies and individuals.

A 15% branch remittance tax is imposed on profits remitted to the head office. The Moroccan-sourced income of Moroccan branches of foreign companies is subject to income tax at the ordinary corporate rate of tax. The taxable income is calculated as if the branch was a separate entity from the foreign company.

Value added tax
Suppliers of goods and services must add VAT to their net prices. Where the purchaser is also liable for VAT, input VAT may be offset against output VAT. The standard VAT rate is 20% and applies to all suppliers of goods and services, except those taxed at other rates or those who are exempt. A reduced rate of 10% applies to specific items such as banking and credit services, leasing, gas, water and electricity.

Personal tax
Individuals, regardless of nationality or activity, who have their habitual residence in Morocco are subject to a personal income tax (impôt sur le revenu or IR) on their worldwide income on a progressive scale between 10% and 38%.

Capital gains derived from the disposal of immovable property are generally subject to tax as part of the personal income of the individual, ie, 20%.

4. Are there any tax incentives or exemptions available for businesses or individuals in Morocco?

There are specific areas which provides tax incentives :

  • Areas for industrial acceleration: incentives on corporate tax and withholding tax on dividends
  • Casablanca Finance City: incentives on corporate income tax and income tax on salaries and withholding tax on dividends
  • Offshoring services areas: incentives on corporate income tax and income tax on salaries

5. What are the requirements for tax registration and filing in Morocco? Are there any specific deadlines that need to be followed?

The calendar year is normally the fiscal year although a company may opt for a different fiscal year. Accounts for income tax purposes must be filed within three months after the end of the relevant accounting period. Corporate tax is payable in four equal instalments, based on the prior year’s assessment. Foreign companies that have elected for the 8% default taxation must submit a declaration of their turnover before 1 April following each calendar year.

6. Can you provide guidance on the taxation of international transactions and cross-border investments in Morocco?

Article 214-III of the General Tax Code provides a framework for analysing international transactions between affiliated companies:

  • Obligation to provide the tax authorities, by electronic means, with the documentation needed to justify the transfer pricing policy, the list and procedures for which are set by regulation, including :
    • a master file
    • a local file
  • Documentation must be produced when the turnover achieved and declared, excluding VAT, is greater than or equal to 50 million DH; or the gross assets shown on the balance sheet at the end of the financial year concerned are greater than or equal to DH50 million.
  • Obligation to make a country-by-country declaration in accordance with OECD guidelines.
  • Possibility of making prior agreements with the tax authorities valid for four years.

7. How does Morocco address tax evasion and tax avoidance? What are the penalties for non-compliance?

A fine equal to 100% of the amount of tax evaded is applicable to any person who has taken part in manoeuvres designed to evade payment of tax payment, or assisted or advised the taxpayer in carrying out the said manoeuvres, independently of any disciplinary action if he holds a public office.

8. Are there any specific tax considerations for specific industries or sectors in Morocco?

Newly incorporated companies whose activity (22 activities available) is industrial and provided in a specific act are exempted from corporate income tax for five years. Example of activities:

  • Food industry
  • Textile industry
  • Clothing industry
  • Leather industry
  • Wood and cork products industry
  • Paper and cardboard industry
  • Printing and reproduction of recordings
  • Chemical industry
  • Pharmaceutical industry

9. Can you explain the tax implications for expatriates working in Morocco, such as residency status, tax treaties, and foreign income reporting?

Since a Moroccan resident is taxed on worldwide income, the Moroccan tax system provides relief from foreign taxes paid on such worldwide income by means of a foreign tax credit. This foreign tax credit cannot exceed the Moroccan tax otherwise payable in respect of the foreign-source income.

Individuals who do not have their habitual residence in Morocco are subject to tax only on Moroccan-source income.

10. What are the options for resolving tax disputes in Morocco, such as administrative appeals or legal proceedings?

In case of tax disputes, taxpayers can present their claim in front of :

  • Local tax commission
  • Regional tax commission
  • National tax commission
  • Administrative court

For more information contact

Mehdi Benouna
Of counsel, Casablanca

Legal Business

Sponsored Q&A: Dentons (Bolivia)

1. Can you provide an overview of the current tax laws and regulations in Bolivia?

Bolivia operates a territorial tax system based on the principle of source taxing income generated by individuals and/or legal entities arising from goods and assets located or used economically within its territory and from any activity carried out in the country, regardless of the nationality and/or residence of the parties involved or where the contracts were entered into.

A corporate income tax taxes entities incorporated or carrying businesses in its territory, including subsidiaries/branches of foreign entities. No personal income tax exists as such for individuals; thus, they are subject to a complementary tax on the value added tax on any income obtained as employees and/or as direct taxpayers.

The tax legislation has not experienced significant changes and has not evolved since its last major reform in 1986. For that matter, an integral reform is essential not only to amend existing flaws and inconsistencies in the norms, but to adapt them to new realities of industrialisation, technology, digitalisation and entrepreneurship.

Legal Business

‘Following a trend across the industry’: Dentons reveals deceleration in revenue growth against backdrop of high inflation

Dentons has released its financial results for its UK, Ireland and Middle East business, reporting a significant decrease in the rate of revenue growth from last year’s 14% spike to a modest 2% increase from £260.4m to £265.1m this year.

In an interview with Legal Business, chief executive for the UK and the Middle East, Paul Jarvis (pictured), spoke about the significant deceleration in the rate of revenue growth: ‘Our financials are following a trend that we are seeing across the industry. Last year was a record performance for us, but we are not disappointed with our results this year. We are in a high-inflation environment, and we are clear that our strategy is not about growing revenue for revenue’s sake, but to ensure that we continue to grow in a sustainable way.’

He elaborated: ‘Would we have liked the revenue to be higher? Of course. However, it has been our second-best year on record.’

Last year, Dentons unveiled its five-year strategy, which is designed to improve the firm’s relationships with its clients, global colleagues, and people.

Jarvis explained: ‘We are into the first year of the strategy, having had a soft launch towards the end of last year. Many of our latest lateral hires have joined us from firms that don’t have the kind of global presence that we do.’

The firm acquired 27 new partners over the past year, 13 of which were internal promotions with the rest being lateral hires, bolstering Dentons’ new practices in Dublin and the Middle East.

‘We have bolstered and continued to invest in Dublin through recruiting a number of excellent senior partners from law firms,’ Jarvis said. ‘Karyn Harty from McCann FitzGerald was the biggest hire of the year – she is Ireland’s most prominent litigator. She is spearheading the litigation practice over in Dublin.’

He added: ‘We are looking to expand in the Middle East and we promoted Paul Prescott who will move to Saudi to focus on construction and construction disputes’

Asked about the firm’s highest-performing practice areas and jurisdictions, Jarvis responded: ‘Dublin was the highest-performing jurisdiction this year, with Saudi continuing to perform in line with our strategy.  Our regulatory and investigations group has had an outstanding year, which is a key part of our overall disputes strategy.

‘Our corporate colleagues also had a good year, but we want to get stronger in corporate more generally, which is why we hired James Vernon in London from Eversheds.’

Dentons has historically opted not to disclose its overall profitability and PEP. ‘The approach taken by previous management is that those figures are not relevant to clients and can be easily manipulated,’ Jarvis clarified, noting: ‘We are comparing very well to our competitors.’

Legal Business

Sponsored briefing: M&A in troubled waters? Bridging the value gap

Dentons’ James Vernon reflects on how difficult economic conditions are impacting the M&A market

Geopolitical and economic volatility continues to impact the global M&A market, driving uncertainty around asset valuations. In brokering deals against this backdrop, there is an increased emphasis on the need for parties to navigate valuation gaps. In response to this, we are seeing the use of contingent consideration structures, as well as elements of non-cash consideration, feature more prevalently in M&A transactions.

Legal Business

Dentons posts promising 14% revenue rise in UK and Middle East as investment hits DAC Beachcroft profits

Dentons has become the latest firm to post encouraging financials for 2021/22, announcing a robust 14% increase to its top line across its UK, Ireland and the Middle East (UKIME) business, which reached £260.4m.

Much of the growth was driven by a surge in corporate activity, with the UK corporate group seeing revenues hike by over 20%. Internal referral work also increased, as inbound work from outside the region surged by 40% to £35m.

While the firm does not disclose profit figures, profit per equity partner (PEP) is estimated to be near the £1m mark occupied by firms such as Simmons & Simmons.

Speaking to Legal Business, UKIME chief executive Paul Jarvis (pictured) said: ‘We saw a big increase in cross-border M&A and private equity across a number of key sectors. What we have seen this year is one of our USPs, the global presence, really coming to the fore.

‘In a very hot transactional market, where there’s a lot of cross-border M&A, clearly that plays into our sweet spot because we could service that M&A not just in the UK, Ireland, Middle East, but across the globe. That has given us a really big launchpad and you can see the upswing in work referred from international offices outside of the UK. Our referrals back have also really increased.’

The Dublin office also saw impressive development. In its first full year of trading, the outpost was able to contribute 18% to revenue growth across the collective regions.

Commenting on the firm’s plan for the office, Jarvis added: ‘It was never a Brexit play for us. We were looking at Ireland way before Brexit. What we have and continue to build in Ireland is a premium law firm. We have recruited the top talent from the top firms, and we are seeing that top talent deliver immediately.’

Assessing the current year, Jarvis concluded: ‘Last year was exceptionally busy. If you look at the activity levels that we’re at currently, they’re not quite what they were last year, but if you compare them to previous years we’ll be doing very well. When you’re comparing to a real high, you can say “oh look, we’re X percent below last year”, but last year was completely turbocharged.’

Meanwhile, in sharp contrast to last year’s booming results, DAC Beachcroft (DACB) today unveiled an investment-impacted set of financials blighted by a 7% dip in profit per member.

Likewise, profit before tax tumbled 8% from £67m to £62m, as the firm reported a year of heavy outlay on people and infrastructure. Total turnover was up a sedate 2%, from £275m to £280m.

The results mark a significant reverse from last year, when DACB unveiled pacey results headlined by a 19% uptick in both profit before tax and profit per member.

Managing partner David Pollitt told Legal Business: ‘The decrease in PEP is just down to the fact we had such a good year last year, and we decided to use some of that surplus to invest in the business.’

In terms of spending, DACB shelled out on a new practice management system, as well as cloud technology and cyber security to ‘futureproof the firm’, according to Pollitt. The firm also made 11 lateral hires over the course of the year and made 17 partner promotions in May 2022, going some way to explain the drop in profit per member.

Pollitt pointed to good performances in the firm’s insurance and healthcare businesses, and while real estate performed similarly, he admitted: ‘I’m not sure what the future holds there.’ Likewise, Pollitt identified a drying up of corporate work that had kept the market lively during the previous financial year: ‘Like many firms, it’s keeping the momentum rather than trying to forge ahead. Had the transactions carried on like they were, our numbers would probably look quite different.’

In terms of priorities for next year, Pollitt said: ‘Our international strategy is a key priority for us. One of the more frustrating aspects of the Covid year was that it made international growth more difficult. Finding the right partner takes time. We’ve got three or four projects on the go, two of which are very close.’

On the international front, during the year DACB signed a co-operation agreement with network partner BLD Bach Langheid Dallmayr in Germany. The combination gives both firms ‘more lawyers in Europe than any other insurance-focused law firm’, according to DACB.

Despite today’s unflattering numbers, Pollitt is confident that the concerted investment will translate into immediate growth, telling Legal Business that the firm is already up 6% for the first quarter as compared to last year.

Legal Business

Legal Business Awards 2020 – CSR Programme of the Year

After reviewing dozens of highly impressive entries, we are now delighted to reveal the winner of CSR Programme of the Year at the 2020 Legal Business Awards.

In recognition of either a single law firm, in-house team or chambers, or even a wider association, this award is given to those in the industry that have made the strongest overall contribution to corporate social responsibility. Reference can be made to a range of areas, including pro bono and community activities, environmental and workplace initiatives and responsible client selection.




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Winner – Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown wins plaudits for working with Zacchaeus 2000 Trust, the anti-poverty charity, to deliver its Tribunal Project to combat the injustices in the disability welfare system. To date, the firm has taken 16 cases to tribunal; successfully accessing close to £200,000 in financial benefits for Z2K clients.

A narrowing in 2013 of access to legal aid, including in welfare benefits, together with changes to the welfare system in 2012, disproportionately affected the disabled and long-term sick. Inadequate access to legal advice for the vulnerable have been a growing concern for Z2K, which offers support and advice to those entitled to means-tested benefits affected by unfairness in social security or housing.

Hundreds of thousands of people with severe medical conditions and disabilities have had their benefits unjustly stopped by the Department for Work and Pensions since the reform and around 40% of claimants for Employment and Support Allowance and Personal Independence Payments (PIP) have been wrongly rejected, resulting in many being forced into poverty.

Since October 2018, a team of 30 Mayer Brown lawyers led by London head of CSR, Heidi Newbigging, have worked with Z2K to deliver its Tribunal Project on a pro bono basis. Lawyers receive training from Z2K on how to run a case at tribunal, with the project open to participants at all levels, from partner to legal apprentice. Lawyers meet with clients, prepare their submission and attend the tribunal hearing with them, providing much-needed support through a lengthy and complex process.

For example, Yousef (not his real name), a 49-year-old man living alone and receiving psychological treatment following his torture in prison in the Democratic Republic of Congo, has several medical conditions and takes medication that causes side effects. His case was referred to Z2K as he had been awarded no points during his assessment for daily living and mobility for PIP. With support from Mayer Brown, he won his appeal.

Yousef was awarded PIP daily living at the standard rate of £58.70 per week and received a backdated payment of just over £4,000.  In a testimonial, Yousef said: ‘Tribunals are so overwhelming it is great to have support of people who know what the system needs so you do not feel alone.’

Highly Commended – Dentons

The world’s largest firm by headcount contributes 15,900 CSR hours over multiple programmes. One highlight is its collaboration with NatWest for The National Centre for Domestic Violence, using a unique structure that allows clients to become Dentons consultants for the purposes of pro bono work.

Dentons has worked with client NatWest Legal over the last two years to provide pro bono support to the NCDV, a nationwide not-for-profit organisation which provides free advice to victims of domestic violence ineligible for legal aid. The unique structure helps victims without having to refer them to other organisations, expediting the legal service.

The programme has to date supported 94 applicants in need of urgent assistance by obtaining emergency protection from the court. One senior associate obtained a non-molestation order having attended court with his 16-year-old client. The court granted the order without the need for a return hearing, which is extremely rare, and a great result for a young, vulnerable person.

Other nominations

DAC Beachcroft

Achievements in the past year include a 50% increase in employee engagement in CSR initiatives that include the creation of the Helpforce volunteering programme in support of a major client and its first collaborative CSR programme launched with another key client, Aviva.

Latham & Watkins

An impressive showing with 93% of partners, counsel, and associates globally worked on pro bono matters in 2018. In the past year, Latham lawyers in London opened more than 95 new matters and donated 14,000 hours advocating for disadvantaged, marginalised and vulnerable people.

Paul Hastings

As sole legal counsel to Clearly Social Angels – the UK’s leading network of high-net-worth individuals and families dedicated to impact investment into businesses that create positive social and environmental change – the firm provides legal training to the individual angel investors, answering questions from CSA regarding structuring the investments, as well as ad hoc legal support.

Reed Smith

Achievements include collaborative work with Kids in Need of Defense UK, assisting vulnerable clients, children and their families by regularising their immigration status in the UK. The firm can point to a 100% success rate and over 4,000 pro bono hours committed in two years.




Legal Business

Legal Business Awards 2020 – Commercial Litigation Team of the Year

After much back-and-forth between the judges in a keenly contested category, we are now delighted to reveal the winner of Commercial Litigation Team of the Year for the 2020 Legal Business Awards.

This category identifies one outstanding piece of commercial litigation work undertaken by the winning team. The key requirement is not necessarily a substantial award of damages but rather an impressive result for the client, which could include an important out-of-court settlement or avoiding a costly appeals process.




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Maltin PR

Winner – Dentons

The next time you are withdrawing cash from an ATM, you may have global giant Dentons to thank. In 2018, the firm’s real estate litigation division secured victory for supermarket chain Sainsbury’s and the Co-Operative Group in their Court of Appeal dispute against the Valuation Office Agency, in a case which could have seen thousands of stores lose ATMs.

At stake was the retailers’ ATM sites being treated as separate units for the purpose of business rates. However, with Dentons’ UK head of real estate litigation Bryan Johnston spearheading the claim, the Court of Appeal rejected a decision made by the lower tribunal; that retailers only controlled ATM sites facing into the store, not those facing outwards. The appeal also successfully argued that the spaces occupied by ATMs lack sufficient definition and permanence to be considered a property unit for rating purposes.

Such was the robustness of the firm’s representation of Sainsbury’s and the manner of the resulting victory, The Co-Operative Group instructed Dentons on the same appeal. Had the case gone the other way, liability for retailers would have meant a severe financial impact during a torrid time for the UK high street. Moreover, photo booths, vending machines, and children’s rides could have been next in the firing line. Dentons’ success now means its clients are owed rebates worth billions.

The case now sets a vital precedent, having been showcased at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ annual rating conference due to its importance in determining the meaning of a piece of property in a ratings context.

Throughout the matter, Dentons took the lead in liaising with other claimants in order to agree test-case parameters to avoid litigating many thousands of different valuation appeals. Further consistency was achieved by ensuring junior barristers were the same between clients, while different QCs were retained. Dentons also helped manage their clients’ spend by avoiding duplication of representation and allowing one client to benefit from the experience and knowledge gained from working with the other. By being in the trenches for both of them, each client saved hefty sums.

Highly Commended – Allen & Overy

A close contender was Allen & Overy (A&O), which advised Lloyds Banking Group on a landmark pensions case concerning GMP equalisation.

The matter concerned whether pension schemes have to equalise benefits for the effects of unequal guaranteed minimum pensions. All in, the industry-wide implications are estimated to be worth up to £20bn and affect millions of members in thousands of schemes.

A&O fielded partners Neil Bowden and Jane Higgins on the matter, which also saw the firm develop a matrix system to ensure seamless co-ordination with other stakeholders in the case. As a result of A&O’s advice, the industry now has clarity over a perennial issue in the pensions sector: scheme benefits in excess of GMP must be adjusted so that the total benefits received from male and female members with equivalent age, service, and earnings are equal.

Other nominations

Baker Botts

Securing a Court of Appeal victory for Marathon Oil in a high-profile dispute concerning an operating agreement for a large oil field in the North Sea.

Boies Schiller Flexner

Represented Apple on the UK aspects of its industry-defining global dispute with Qualcomm over chipsets and IP licences central to Apple products, which reached global settlement while UK proceedings were underway.


Achieving a favourable settlement for client Allergy Therapeutics in its High Court dispute with Inflamax Research concerning a clinical study in the US for an allergy vaccine produced by the firm’s client.


Achieving an appeal victory for executive recruitment firm Egon Zehnder in the Supreme Court in what was the first employment competition case to reach the UK’s highest court in 100 years.

Watson Farley & Williams

Advising Bester Generacion UK in a groundbreaking Technology and Construction Court decision where a fraud defence was successfully deployed for the first time to defeat an application for summary judgment of an adjudication award.

Legal Business

International roundup: Dentons enters Ireland and Cooley steps into Singapore as Winston leaves the Middle East

Dentons is to enter one of the few European jurisdictions missing from its sprawling international network by launching an outpost in Dublin.

Law firms’ strategies in the Middle East and Asia continue to diverge, meanwhile, with Winston & Strawn concluding its five-year spell in Dubai as Cooley confirmed its third office launch in less than a year by opening in Singapore.

Dentons announced today (8 January) it was launching in the Irish legal market through a couple of lateral hires, a different approach to the firm’s usual international expansion via merger.

Former Ashurst and William Fry corporate partner Eavan Saunders will become Dentons’ Dublin managing partner while Matheson’s finance and capital markets partner Peter O’Brien will become the chair of the new office, which will open in the second quarter of 2020 under the verein firm’s UK LLP.

‘A lot of the larger [Irish] firms have a very international referral-based business model which means they are going to be slightly less focused on the approach we want to take, which is about being able to service our existing and multinational clients and take our platform to the Irish market,’ UK and Middle East chief executive Jeremy Cohen told Legal Business. ‘We felt that building the team ourselves was the best way forward.’

He added the firm had been looking at the Irish market for two-three years: ‘It’s a vibrant market, particularly in the areas we play in strongly: financial services, funds, aviation finance, but also more and more in tech and real estate.’

Saunders said she expected to have a 50-lawyer, full-service team in her office ‘in the not too distant future’: ‘This is not a niche sector play: the ambition is to build a leading international firm. What was very attractive about the Dentons platform is that it’s not a Brexit play. The ambition is greater.’

A number of firms have launched in Ireland in the nearly four years since Britain voted to quit the European Union in June 2016, including Shepherd and Wedderburn, Clyde & Co, Fieldfisher, DLA Piper, Lewis Silkin, Simmons & Simmons, Covington & Burling and Pinsent Masons.

Moving East, Squire Patton Boggs will pick up the bulk of Winston’s former ten-lawyer Dubai team, including its Middle East managing partner Campbell Steedman, just over three years after the M&A veteran joined the firm from White & Case.

Winston’s corporate partner Christopher Skipper and Middle East finance head Shibeer Ahmed will follow Steedman to Squires next week alongside at least four of the firm’s Dubai associates, after the Global 100 top 50 Chicago-bred firm announced it is shutting its only regional branch.

The new additions bring Squires Middle East headcount to around 50 lawyers across four offices, bucking a trend that has seen several Western firms retrench or leave the region altogether over the last few years.

‘We are not a fair-weather player in this market. We have been here and will be here a long time,’ Squires’ United Arab Emirates managing partner Tom Wilson told Legal Business. ‘There have been a number of firms that have opened in the Middle East just before or just after the financial crisis, either capitalising on the economic boom in the region or trying to insulate from difficulties in other markets and some of them are retrenching or refocusing – that’s not us.’

He added: ‘Our presence in the region dates back 40 years through historic relationships and representations of governments and government entities in the Gulf. [Legacy] Patton Boggs was established in the early 60s with the goal of acting for newly minted countries in their relationships with other government and global organisations. Our presence in the Middle East is rooted in more than just the latest economic boom, it’s rooted in deep, long-lasting relationships that carry on.’

The move brings to an end Winston’s quick rise and fall in the region. It launched in the Middle East in March 2015 with the appointment of Stephen Jurgenson from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman as part of a 15-lawyer hire from the firm. The following year it added Steedman from White & Case, who had previously been legacy Norton Rose’s senior Middle East partner until 2011.

But several major law firms have been retrenching in the Middle East after overinvesting during the oil boom in the 2000s, with Abu Dhabi a primary target. Between 2015 and 2017, firms including Norton Rose Fulbright, Simmons, Latham & Watkins, Vinson & Elkins and Herbert Smith Freehills closed their doors to focus on Dubai, just 100km away. Weil Gotshal & Manges left the region altogether in February 2017.

Winston chair Tom Fitzgerald said the firm’s clients were located ‘throughout the Middle East and have cross-border legal needs that reach beyond Dubai – particularly into London’ and that the move equated to a ‘centralisation of resources’ allowing the firm to service clients more effectively.

Finally and further to the East, Cooley has confirmed plans to launch its sixteenth global office in Singapore, moving two of its partners to the city state.

Hired last year from Gunderson Dettmer, corporate specialist Ferish Patel will relocate from Hong Kong to become the partner in charge of the new outpost, while emerging company and venture capital co-chair Matthew Bartus is moving from Silicon Valley.

San Francisco-bred Cooley has picked up the pace of its international expansion lately off the back of booming business in its West Coast tech heartlands, its global revenue surging 14% to $1.23bn in 2018.

Last year it launched in Hong Kong and opened its first continental European base in Brussels.

Legal Business

Dentons rejigs US structure in bid to create first ‘truly national’ American dream team

He may have overseen more than 50 law firm combinations over the last decade – 12 since July alone – but Dentons chair Joe Andrew (pictured) is adamant that the double US tie-up his firm pulled off at the beginning of October is something completely different.

Pending approval by the partnerships, the 10,000-lawyer globetrotter will in January add another 300 bodies to its sprawling verein as it combines with 175-lawyer midwest firm Bingham Greenebaum Doll and 140-strong Pennsylvania-bred Cohen & Grigsby.