Two of the world’s largest law firms are set to shut up shop in Qatar. Clifford Chance and Herbert Smith Freehills are both closing their offices in the region in the coming months. Reports state that there will be no redundancies and rather the teams based in Qatar will be offered relocation to other offices in the Middle East or even farther afield in both companies.Clifford Chance moved into its office in Qatar six years ago and Herbert Smith Freehills launched in the country four years ago.
This is not the first closure in the Middle East for either firm. Clifford Chance closed its Saudi Arabia office after a legal battle last year. And Herbert Smith Freehills closed its Abu Dhabi office in 2015. Herbert Smith Freehills will retain two offices in the Middle East in Dubai and Riyadh and Clifford Chance will continue to operate in the region through their Abu Dhabi and Dubai offices. The move follows a number of other high profile law firms closing offices in the Middle East in recent years - US firm Baker Botts closed its Abu Dhabi office in 2015, and Simmons and Simmons its office in 2016. Latham & Watkins also closed offices in both Abu Dhabi and Doha in 2015.