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30 January 2017

Middle East office celebrates ten years in Bahrain

As our first Middle East office celebrates ten years in Bahrain, we look back at some of the major achievements and milestones over that period.

Charles Russell first ventured into the small Gulf state of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the early years of the new millennium. The firm secured a number of important secondments with prominent local organisations including Gulf Air and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority; all of which remain clients today.

In order to build on these relationships, Charles Russell took the decision to establish an office in the Bahrain Financial Harbour in 2006. Further investment and client success followed and we moved to larger premises in the iconic Bahrain World Trade Centre in 2010, which remains our home today as Charles Russell Speechlys. Our current team of 20 are housed here and in our smaller office in Qatar (which we opened in 2013).

Staff numbers have grown steadily over our time here and, with the arrival of partner Paula Boast in 2015, includes representatives from three of the firm’s four divisions. Over the last three years turnover has doubled, with growth being achieved across the board.

  • The Central Bank of Bahrain, continues to instruct our local and UK based teams on litigation, corporate recovery and insolvency expertise across multiple jurisdictions.
  • Last year we secured a landmark judgment in the Bahrain Chamber for Dispute Resolution for c. USD 800 million, which is thought to be the largest judgment ever made by the Bahrain Courts. That was swiftly followed earlier this year by a judgment in the Saudi Arabian High Court of $607 million.

Further successes have followed: including advising on the Kingdom’s largest master plan development project, Diyar Al Muharraq, acting in a major arbitration for the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, a USD 600m arbitration for Gulf Air and the successful defence of a USD680 million arbitration claim against Ooredoo. We have  also acted on numerous financing facility agreements totalling in excess of USD 1 billion.

In recognition of the quality and scale of our work, we have been shortlisted for several regional industry awards including the Oath Legal Awards and the Corporate Counsel Middle East Awards. Clients have also been fulsome in their praise of the local teams, as evidenced through our directory rankings.

We have grown to become one of the largest international firms in Bahrain, enjoying a premium market profile and we continue to win work throughout the Gulf region.