(J. Albert Diaz)
Six years after it opened, Holland & Knight is closing its Abu Dhabi office and exiting the Middle East.
The law firm said it decided to close to focus on the Western Hemisphere, particularly Latin America. Office managing partner Andrew Stephenson will relocate to the firm’s Washington office, said a firm spokeswoman.
“In keeping with our strategic priorities, we are focusing on expansion in the Western Hemisphere,” the firm said in a statement. “We have had only a small physical presence in the Gulf, and we will continue to service our Gulf-based clients and other clients with interests in the Gulf through our other offices. We intend to maintain the many valuable relationships we have developed in the region over the past few years.”
Holland & Knight recently opened offices in Mexico City and Bogota, Colombia. The firm has more than 1,000 lawyers in 19 offices.
When it opened its Abu Dhabi office in 2008, Holland & Knight said it hoped the office would allow the firm to better serve clients doing business in the Middle East, Africa, central Asia, India and Pakistan.
Hogan Lovells also closed its Abu Dhabi office in 2012, transferring lawyers to Dubai. Other firms with an office in Abu Dhabi, the second most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, include Vinson & Elkins and Allen & Overy.