Three of Latham & Watkins’ leading Middle East partners are quitting the firm for Hogan Lovells’ office in the Emirates.
Banking and finance partner, Anthony Pallett, one of the top specialists in his area in the region; capital markets partner Andrew Tarbuck, another prominent figure in the Middle East; and longstanding Dubai corporate partner, Charles Fuller, have reportedly given the US firm notice of their intention to leave.
Both Pallett and Tarbuck are alumni of Norton Rose Fulbright's legacy firm, Norton Rose. Fuller was recruited from Simmons & Simmons. Pallett was the most recent addition of three, recruited in 2011 to strengthen the US firm’s finance offering.
The news comes after Latham announced its intention to substantially reduce its Middle East network earlier this year. In March the firm announced it would be closing two of its three offices - its branches in Doha and Abu Dhabi - in the region by the end of 2015, leaving Dubai as its sole base.
The west coast outfit began reviewing the practicality of its Middle East operation last autumn, concluding, after consultation with clients, that the relatively small distances between Dubai, Doha and Abu Dhabi meant clients based in Qatar or elsewhere in the UAE, could be advised from Dubai. Making financial savings was not a decisive factor, London managing partner William Voge said at the time.
At the time news of the consolidation became public, Latham emphasised that all its lawyers based in Qatar and Abu Dhabi would be offered the oppourtunity to relocate to Dubai. Prior to today’s news, only one partner has left the firm’s Middle East offices since the announcement. Projects specialist Nick Collins quit the firm’s branch in UAE’s capital to move to London with Jones Day.