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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.

It is a move designed to offer its services not just in the region, but also in surrounding African countries and southern Asia.

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 provides advice on areas including private equity and real estate. For the latter, it offers advice on various aspects of the sector including fund formation and on tax in limited partnerships.

A spokesman for SJ Berwin told PERE: “We will be structuring funds that invest in companies with significant real estate assets, and structuring real estate and infrastructure funds using the private equity model.”