Simmons & Simmons have just announced the closure of their Abu Dhabi office, which reduces their office count in the Middle East to three, those being in Doha, Jeddah and Riyadh. The firm believes it can consolidate much of its work with their Dubai office, which is the largest of the three. The firm stated, “Ultimately, the location of our offices is determined by the key markets for clients in our sectors. This is demonstrated by our recent office openings in Singapore, Munich and Luxembourg.” This indicates a deteriorating necessity for their Abu Dhabi office based on their client’s needs. It is not yet known whether the three partners and two other fee-earners located in the Abu Dhabi office will be relocated.
A number of firms have closed their offices in Abu Dhabi, including Herbert Smith Freehills who shut their doors in the city in June of last year, sending their remaining lawyers to their Dubai office. US giant Latham & Watkins also announced last March that it would be closing both its Doha and Abu Dhabi office, consolidating the latter with its Dubai office. Fellow US firm Baker Botts also closed its Abu Dhabi office last May.