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DLA Piper Names Al-Yaqout as New Middle East Managing Partner
DLA Piper has appointed a new Middle East managing partner with Kuwait head Abdul Aziz Al-Yaqout taking over from David Church on Oct. 1.
Church will now work full-time as the firm's international development partner, a position he has held since 2005. Since 2006 he has combined the role with his Middle East management responsibilities.
Al-Yaqout, a Kuwaiti national, will continue to be based in Kuwait while Church will remain in Dubai. Al-Yaqout has practised with DLA Piper since 2004 and has been Kuwait managing partner since June this year. In August, he was added to the firm's international board.
Church said: "I can think of no better person to take over as managing partner for the Middle East. I very much look forward to focusing on international development and for the current time will continue to be based in Dubai."
Al-Yaqout commented: "There is a feeling that it would be good to have an Arab run the Arabic offices. It ties in with the firm's strategy as a whole, to be a strong local player with an international focus."
"My aim for the future will be first and foremost to ensure that we remain the law firm with the widest reach in the Gulf region."
Aside from its Kuwait base, which is run through a joint venture, DLA Piper has Middle East offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha and Muscat and an association in Saudi Arabia.
Following its rapid Middle East expansion in recent years, DLA was forced to make significant cuts in the region during the recession. The firm laid off 8 percent of its Dubai workforce in April, followed by a 9 percent reduction in Middle East headcount in June.
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