Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

Freshfields head of Islamic finance to leave for Morgan Lewis

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer global head of Islamic finance Tarek El-Assra has quit the firm to join Morgan, Lewis & Bockius as a partner, as the Morgan Lewis targets the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. El-Assra joins Morgan Lewis’ Dubai office in a bid to build its cross-border Islamic finance and investment offering specifically targeting the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The departure is Freshfields’ second exit in recent weeks after Shearman & Sterling hired its co-head of telecoms, media and technology, Frank Miller, as the latter firm bids to pull in a greater array of M&A in the City.

Bahrain humbug

According to Norton Rose, its Middle East team is a ‘regional’ one in which no lawyers have formal bases. This was the answer given to the resignation of two of its lawyers in Bahrain.
The only two lawyers that stayed are construction partner Joanne Emerson-Taqi and project finance senior associate Angela Croker.
By comparison, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer lists three Bahrain-based lawyers (a partner, an associate and a principal consultant) on its website, while Trowers & Hamlins’ lists 15 lawyers and Baker & McKenzie’s lists 12.

Freshfields turns to A&O for first Islamic finance head

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has hired an Allen & Overy lawyer as its first-ever global head of Islamic finance.
Tarek El-Assra is the new counsel in the firm’s Dubai office.
The appointment comes after the news less than a month ago that partner Pervez Akhtar, hired from A&O in December, had been promoted to the role of regional managing partner for the Middle East and North Africa.

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