15 years as a leading law firm in Qatar

26 Nov 2018

This December 2018 will mark the 15-year anniversary of the formal opening of Simmons & Simmons’ Qatar office. As the firm reflects on the past 15 years, it is also looking to the future and the ever-evolving ways in which it can meet client needs in a constantly changing legal market.

In September 2003 (when the firm began advising the Qatar Government on the establishment of the Qatar Financial Centre), Simmons & Simmons became the first international law firm to be granted a licence to operate independently in Qatar, with permissions to advise on both Qatar and international law matters. Since then, the office has grown both its clientele and staff and at present, has seven lawyers including two partners.

As the firm celebrates this milestone, they are also looking to the next 15 years and what this may bring in terms of development and opportunity and ensuring they are well placed to assist clients both old and new, in the run up to Qatar staging the FIFA World Cup in 2022. The longevity of the firm in Qatar and the resulting knowledge of the law, and as importantly the practicalities of doing business in the country, means that the Qatar office is well placed to advise on the legal, business and commercial aspects of undertaking transactions in one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

Commenting on the 15-year anniversary and plans for the future Middle East regional head, Andrew Wingfield said: “We are thrilled to be celebrating such an important milestone for the Qatar office and indeed the firm as a whole. During my 13 years in Doha, I have witnessed great development and progression, not only in our office, but Qatar itself. We always keep clients at the core of everything we do, and that philosophy will naturally continue.”

Colin Passmore, senior partner at Simmons & Simmons added: “I was heavily involved in the establishment of the Qatar office, so I am very happy to be around to celebrate its 15-year anniversary. The office has seen many successes in that time and I must say a particular thank you to our office head, Andrew Wingfield, for his leadership over this time.”

The last two years have been particularly encouraging for the firm’s Qatar office. Its lawyers are currently working on the merger between the International Bank of Qatar and Barwa Bank (the first of its kind), and have also received several prestigious awards, including the Banking and Finance Team of the Year at the Qatar Business Law and Forum Awards (for the past three years running) and, the Investment Funds Law Firm of the Year in Qatar award at The Worldwide Financial Advisor Magazine Continental Awards 2018.

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