PwC Legal Middle East is looking to expand further into the Levant and North Africa, as part of its latest offering to expand its Middle.
It comes after a series of debuts in the Middle East by the Big Four company, following the opening of offices in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, its latest. movement Last week.
Not content to limit its ambitions to locations within the lucrative six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which also includes Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman, PwC Legal also plans to tackle other economies. regions that have known potential.
“Regionally, we’re looking to double our size to 120 lawyers,” Darren Harris, chief legal officer and business leader, told Law.com International. “We are also looking at other markets, including Oman, Egypt and Jordan, and expanding into the United Arab Emirates. We are focused on expanding into the Middle East, unlike some of the other Dubai-based law firms.
PwC Legal Middle East specializes in corporate and commercial law, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructuring, family businesses, employment, fintech and financial services, new legislation and corporate governance. entities, and compliance.
A law firm for PwC in Oman, whose plucky economy is smaller than the three regional heavyweights already in the network, would be its fourth to open in the GCC.
The contrast between Egypt and Jordan is striking.
The International Monetary Fund estimated Egypt’s population at 102.9 million in 2021, while it said Jordan’s was just 10.3 million. In 2021, nominal GDP per capita in Egypt was only $4,180 and $4,390 in Jordan, compared to $43,540 in the United Arab Emirates.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Egypt is Africa’s largest oil producer outside of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the continent’s third largest natural gas producer after the United States. Algeria and Nigeria.
Jordan’s lack of hydrocarbon reserves has seen its economy struggle, but it more than makes up for it by having some of the best reputable lawyers in the Arab world.
M&A in Egypt hit a nine-year high in 2021 at $6.7 billion in 22 deals, up 38% from 2020, White & Case said last year. “Egypt has consolidated its key market position for regional expansion plans in the MENA region,” Said Hanafi wrote in a note.
Alison Hubbard, Dubai head of EY Law, the only other regional Big Four legal player, runs a practice that was registered with the DIFC in 2019, and also includes Yacoub Rabie.