Brown Rudnick has entered into non-exclusive associations with two Middle East firms as it looks to strengthen its position in the region. 

The Boston based outfit has signed agreements with Hikmat Fayad & Associates and Nasser & Associates to give it its first presence in the Middle East. The trio will handle transactions and disputes in the region.

The US firm’s MENA (Middle East and North Africa) head, Nicholas Tse, and Sébastien Bonnard, who leads the Paris office, will oversee the work from the international firm’s side.

Speaking with The Lawyer, Tse said: “We have decided for the time being not to have our own office in the UAE,” he explained. “We had a previous relationship with these firms and that’s why we were willing to sign up for something more formal.”

Tse and Bonnard joined Brown Rudnick from Gide Loyrette Nouel. Tse heads the firm’s global arbitration practice and is experienced in advising on risk allocation and project work in the defence, energy, infrastructure and marine sectors. Bonnard focuses on arbitration, specialising in construction contracts.

Brown Rudnick’s new partners were both founded in Lebanon and have offices in Beirut and Dubai, where the two work in cooperation. Nasser & Associates also has presences in Erbil - through an association with a local firm - and Los Angeles.

Brown Rudnick has six in offices in the US and branches in Dublin, London and Paris.