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Houston-based Fulbright & Jaworski, with international offices in London, Hong Kong and Munich, recently set up a beachhead in the Middle East by picking up a group of six lawyers, including five from Bryan Cave, and setting up associations with local firms in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. “The Middle East and the Gulf is really a natural for a firm like ours. We’ve been involved there for decades,” says Stephen Pfeiffer, chairman of the executive committee at 940-lawyer Fulbright. “If you think about the post-Iraq commercial buildup and infrastructure buildup in the Middle East, and particularly in the Gulf, there will be a lot of major projects, a lot of disputes relating to those projects … a lot of energy-related projects.” New partner John V. Lonsberg will lead the firm’s Middle East practice. Others in the new group of lawyers are partner Mark E. Bisch, senior counsel Sam E. Eversman, senior Middle East counsel Hassan Mostafa Kamel Elsayed, and senior associates Amgad T. Husein and Stanley E. Rice. All came from national firm Bryan Cave except for Eversman, a solo practitioner who once worked at Bryan Cave. Pfeiffer says Fulbright has applied for a license to operate an office in Dubai, but in the meantime established an on-the-ground presence in Dubai through an association with Khalid M. Kadfoor Al-Mehairi of Al-Mehairi Legal Consultants. In Riyadh, the firm is now associated with Nassir A. Kadasa of the Kadasa Law Firm. Pfeiffer says the new group of lawyers, who joined over the past few weeks, is an important addition to the firm. “The Lonsberg group, from our perspective, is the most effective group of American lawyers in the Middle East that we’ve seen. When they expressed an interest in moving [to our firm], we were interested,” Pfeiffer says. He notes that Lonsberg and Jeffrey Goodman, a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office have been close friends since they were law-school roommates at the University of Michigan. Lonsberg was traveling on Nov. 23 and could not be reached for comment. Pfeiffer says Lonsberg will split his time between Washington, D.C., and the Middle East, and the other partner in the group, Bisch, is based in Dubai. Additionally, Pfeiffer says, John Boehm, a partner in Austin, is moving to Dubai. Pfeiffer says the firm does project finance work for the International Finance Corp., a member of the World Bank Group, but he declines to identify Fulbright clients with work in the Middle East.

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