Recruitment Update – Middle East – June 2014

Having recently returned from Dubai I thought it might be helpful to provide those of you with an interest in the region – perhaps you live and work there or perhaps you are considering relocating to the Middle East – with an overview of what is happening in the legal market from a recruitment perspective.

The overall picture is positive and more so than hitherto. Clients both in private practice and in-house can see signs of recovery, not least in construction  – visible signs of which you can witness as you travel around Dubai and EXPO 2020 has provided an added boost. Consequently, client sentiment is improving and there is renewed appetite to recruit. A number of international law firms are looking to grow in areas such as Corporate M&A, Real Estate and Insurance. Corporate clients are also looking to develop their in-house legal capability and to rely less, therefore, upon external counsel, certainly for the more routine work.

From the point of view of a lawyer wishing to work in Dubai or the wider Middle East then the year ahead looks promising. That’s not to say, however,  that there are no potential pitfalls. It’s early days yet in Dubai and there is a sense in which we have yet to see who the “winners and losers” are as the economic outlook improves. Abu Dhabi has a much smaller, Government-led market for legal services and is perhaps more conservative in approach. Doha is currently in the news of course with regards to the FIFA  World Cup bid the outcome of which will have a material impact on the nature of legal services there. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia seems to press on regardless and offers numerous opportunities.

So the picture is a little mix albeit more promising and firm’s are certainly “open for business”.

If you’d like to know more about the Middle East legal recruitment market and/or wish to find out about our latest vacancies in the region then please do contact us.

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