SJ Berwin to open first Middle East office

London-based law firm SJ Berwin is planning to open an office in Dubai, the first for the firm in the Middle East.

SJ Berwin, the law firm credited with inventing the private equity limited partnership, is planning to open an office in Dubai with a view to servicing the Middle East and surrounding African and Asian countries.
The firm currently has only one office outside Europe. Its Hong Kong branch opened at the beginning of the month.

According to a statement released by the firm today, the Dubai office will be led by private equity funds partner Benjamin Aller who will move from Paris and international arbitration partner Tim Taylor who will move from London.

It will initially focus on investment funds, private equity and dispute resolution. The firm said the move was client-led.

SJ Berwin was earlier this year voted the best law firm (fund formation) in Europe in the Private Equity International Awards 2008, having last year advised on the formation of 165 funds worth nearly €74 billion.