K&L Gates opens its first Middle East office at the Dubai International Financial Centre

The DIFC operation is the global law firm's 33rd office worldwide

Renowned global law firm K&L Gates LLP recently established its 33rd office worldwide - and the firm's first in the Middle East - following the granting of a licence to operate in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).

The Dubai launch follows the opening of the international offices of K&L Gates in Singapore and Frankfurt earlier this year. Senior officials joining the Dubai office include corporate and projects partner Paul de Cordova, as well as senior dispute resolution partner Neal R. Brendel, who has relocated to Dubai from the firm's Pittsburgh office.

HE Dr Omar Bin Sulaiman, Governor of DIFC, said: "World-class legal firms constitute an important part of the business community in DIFC because they help financial institutions maximise the benefits gained from DIFC's globally-benchmarked common-law framework. Over the last five years, DIFC has built a critical mass of legal firms, which include some of the world's leading names in this sector. The continued interest of global firms like K&L Gates in establishing a presence in DIFC is an indication of the confidence that they have in the growth potential of our region."

Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, added: "DIFC is not only linked to the chain of global financial hubs with one of the most convenient and modern legal and operational infrastructure, but it also offers global firms like K&L Gates coverage of a region stretching from across North Africa, Middle East, Levant and the Caspian to the Indian Subcontinent - a region where two-thirds of the world's population lives. I am sure, K&L Gates will have a very successful future in DIFC and the region."

"The Gulf region is, has been, and will continue to be of strategic importance to the global economy," said K&L Gates Chairman and Global Managing Partner Peter J. Kalis. "K&L Gates is delighted to launch our presence in the region to serve our distinguished clients who are active in the United Arab Emirates and throughout the Middle East."

Neal Brendel, who has a formidable background in international arbitration and dispute resolution, is a co-founder of the firm's Dubai office. Brendel's dispute resolution practice includes major matters in various international venues and subject areas.

Joining Brendel in Dubai is Paul de Cordova, who arrives at K&L Gates from another law firm, where he worked in the London, Tokyo and Dubai offices. An experienced corporate and projects lawyer, de Cordova has worked on a wide range of corporate and commercial matters during his more than 20-year career, including acquisitions and joint ventures; financial regulation; project development and finance transactions in the energy, water, and transportation sectors; general engineering and construction projects; real estate and real estate finance transactions; and government infrastructure projects.

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