Legal Business

Abu Dhabi exodus continues as Simmons becomes the latest major firm to pull out

With many major law firms losing money in the Middle East after overinvesting during the oil boom in the 2000s, Simmons & Simmons has followed Latham & Watkins and Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) in shutting down its Abu Dhabi operations.

Simmons carried out ‘a detailed review’ after its losses in the Middle East, which also includes offices in Dubai and Doha, rose from £243,000 in 2014 to just under £2m in the 12 months to 30 April 2015. The closure of the Abu Dhabi office affects five lawyers, including three partners. The firm’s accounts show in total Simmons has 56 staff, including 29 fee-earners and three partners in the Middle East.