Clifford Chance said it plans to transfer real estate, corporate and capital markets partners to Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Andrew Rolfe and Catherine Cook, partners in the firm's real estate practice in London who are currently working on a number of Abu Dhabi mandates, are transferring to Abu Dhabi to supplement the firm's real estate and public/private partnership (PPP) practice in the area.

Rolfe, who co-heads the firm's PPP practice, and Cook are relocating with a team of lawyers to work with Peter Deegan, the head of the real estate practice in the region.

The firm is strengthening its existing regional capability in projects, PPP work and major real estate developments, and bolstering a significant UAE real estate and construction practice that comprises 10 lawyers.

Two U.S. qualified partners have also transferred to the region: in January this year John Graham, a corporate partner in the firm's New York practice, transferred to Abu Dhabi. 

Michael Dakin, U.S. capital markets partner, also relocated to the Dubai office with one of the firm's lawyers who was based in London . The addition of U.S. law capability forms a strategic addition to the firm's corporate and capital markets expertise in the region.

"When we opened our new office in Abu Dhabi in September last year we expected the growth we have achieved so far to take about three years," said Middle East managing partner Graham Lovett. "With these most recent moves we will have increased the Abu Dhabi office in size to six partners and 18 associates. This is evidence of our continued investment and long-term commitment to Abu Dhabi, as well as a response to client expectations that we will put experienced partners on the ground."

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