Clyde & Co adds lawyers from Baker McKenzie for Egypt debut

Insurance giant relocates partner and legal director and hires two lawyers from Bakers’ Cairo office to open associated office

Mohamed Barakat Image courtesy of Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co has relocated two of its lawyers and added a further two from Baker McKenzie to open an associated office in Cairo, Egypt. 

The office will operate as Barakat Maher & Partners Advocates & Legal Consultants, a new firm that will work in association with Clydes, tapping into its market-leading network of Middle East offices.

The office will be led by managing partner Mohamed Barakat, a senior US-qualified corporate and M&A lawyer who joined Clydes in Dubai late last year from Baker McKenzie, where he was a partner. 

It will also house Clydes legal director and disputes specialist Sherif Ali Maher and two corporate lawyers who have joined from the local office of Baker McKenzie: Mostafa Elsakaa, who was a counsel, and Sameh Dahroug, who was a senior associate. The trio will be partners in the associated office, 

"Egypt has always been a significant gateway between the Middle East and Africa and a centre of trade and commercial activity in the region,” said Clydes' CEO, Matthew Kelsall. “The new association gives us an opportunity to provide clients with access to and support within this market and the North Africa region more broadly. We look forward to working with Mohamed and the team to maximise the potential this opening provides." 

The Cairo team will cover matters including capital markets, corporate and M&A, commercial, commercial disputes and international arbitration, employment, finance, regulatory and restructuring. 

Barakat has more than 17 years of legal experience across the US and Middle East. He advises clients on complex M&A and restructuring transactions in the energy, financial services, infrastructure and real estate sectors. 

Meantime Maher advises local and international clients on contentious commercial matters across the MENA region. He has been with Clydes since 2013 and will continue to be a legal director in the firm’s dispute resolution team, splitting his time between its office in Dubai and Cairo. 

Egyptian-qualified Elsakaa and Dahroug bring more than 15 years advising corporate and financial investor clients working in Egypt. Elsakaa focuses on debt and equity capital market transactions, public M&A and non-banking activities, while Dahroug’s practice covers M&A, restructurings, private equity and IPOs. 

Clydes has more than 75 partners and around 500 staff working in nine offices across the Middle East and Africa, where it has been active for more than 20 years. 

"Egypt is the second-largest Arab economy and has one of the most developed and diversified economies,” Barakat said. “This represents a huge opportunity for us, as part of Clyde & Co's global network, to represent an increasing number of clients who are doing business across the Middle East and Africa." 

Clydes’ Egypt launch through its associate office marks the latest step in a sustained period of international expansion for the top 20 UK firm, which last summer recorded its 24th consecutive year of revenue growth, upping turnover 1.6% in 2021 to hit £650m. 

Earlier this month Clydes announced it had taken over 14-lawyer insurance boutique Hermes Netburn O’Connor & Spearing to set up shop in Boston, having also recently launched in Milan, Bangkok and Santiago, Chile. 

Over the past few years the firm has also opened three offices across the southwestern US and two in Canada, in Calgary and Vancouver. 

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